From Watney Market to the world wide web – council helps retailers make the most of online marketing

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Traders and shop owners in Tower Hamlets are taking their traditional sales technique online in an effort to attract new customers.

Over the past three months, the council’s high streets and town centres team has arranged for 16 businesses in Watney Market to take part in social media and online marketing training.

The programme, delivered by Social Streets, saw small business owners working in the fields of fashion, fresh produce and wellbeing come together with market traders to learn how best to reach new audiences and make their brand stand out from the crowd.

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth said: “Traditionally, markets have been at the heart of the community in our borough but we know that the rise of online shopping has made it more difficult in recent years.

“It’s important that traders and other small businesses based at our markets take advantage of social media and other online marketing techniques and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to give them access to the training they need to get started.”

The Social Streets team has delivered 40 hours of one-to-one training as part of the programme. 24 social media accounts were created, including a new Instagram account for Watney Market which has attracted almost 100 followers.

The project brings the total number of Tower Hamlets businesses trained by Social Streets since 2016 to 200.

Ioana Dragomir, Head of Training at Social Streets said: “It has been very rewarding to see how Watney Market traders and shops have embraced the training.

“We have designed our programme to deal with the challenges of reaching small businesses who find it hard to leave their shops and who often have outdated digital platforms and English as a second language.

“We were delighted to have a particular strong uptake with traders eager to learn the benefits of social media for their business.”

Posted on Friday 2nd August 2019