A new drive to harness the power of social media to help north-east businesses through the coronavirus crisis has been launched.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s North-East Now initiative promotes companies, large and small, across the region that have been significantly affected by lockdown measures.
As part of that ongoing campaign, a Power Week is to be held from Monday, September 7, which will allow firms to boost their exposure on social media and let everyone know the north-east is open for business.
The social media accounts of The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 will retweet any company that uses #northeastisopen for the seven days.
Since its launch in June, the North-East Now campaign has pulled together a range of information, directories and blogs aimed at enabling people to find out more about local firms operating throughout the pandemic.
It has made it easy for people to support local firms across a wide range of industries, including retail, hospitality, fashion and wellbeing.
The team behind North-East Now are urging the public to back the upcoming Power Week campaign, which will run until Sunday, September 13.
Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The hub provides information on which local products are available in shops and supermarkets now, making choosing north-east brands in your weekly shop really simple.
“There are also sections on local businesses and those promoting local provenance operating across the food and drink, retail, wellbeing, lifestyle, fashion and beauty sectors and more.
“It links to a wide range of directories and shines a light on individual businesses who are doing great things by sharing news articles, blogs and inspirational stories from across the area, encouraging people to think about the ways they can support local in the weeks and months ahead.
“We’ve just added a new ‘Local Business’ section to support business-to-business services too as we have had a lot of companies asking to get involved, so we’ve created a dedicated platform to help them do it.
“The whole site is designed to signpost people to existing resources, not compete with them. This is about sharing information and making it easy for people to support local.”
“We want to hear from any businesses or groups in the region who want to contribute.”
The Power Week campaign takes inspiration from June’s North-East Now Power Hour.
The Press and Journal Evening Express, Society and Original 106 Twitter accounts retweeted every tweet posted by businesses within the one-hour time slot in a bid to promote as much of them as possible.
A total of 69 businesses took part – and the hashtag #northeastisopen was also trending in the UK.
Mr Borthwick added: “The impact of the recent Aberdeen city lockdown has been felt by a huge number of local businesses, many of whom were operating in sectors outwith those directly affected by the restrictions.
“While the broader hospitality sector has been worst impacted, by virtue of their forced closure, the consequences of these restrictions have hit the small producers who supply them.
“This has led to a significant decline in footfall and sales in retail across the area, as well as a measurable impact on forward bookings in the accommodation sector, not just in Aberdeen itself but in Aberdeenshire too.
“We tested the water in June with a Power Hour which saw the region dominate social media and reach the coveted number one spot on Twitter, sending out a really strong message that the north-east of Scotland is open for business.
“It was a great start and we had begun to see increased footfall and a buzz return to the area before this latest setback. With many businesses teetering on a knife-edge it is important we regain this momentum safely and quickly.
“We decided to launch the Power Week to share stories about the amazing firms we have right here on our doorstep and we want to send a positive message about the north-east being safe and ready to do business.
“The hope is that the North-East Now Power Week will inform, inspire and encourage people to do just that.”
The initiative is also supported by creative agency Hampton, Aberdeen Journals, Original 106 and VisitAberdeenshire.
Visit northeastnow.scot to access the hub.
If you are a local company, there are numerous ways to get involved:
- Go to www.northeastnow.scot and see the sort of information that is available, from listings in external directories to being included on our ‘shopping list’. If you have a news story, a blog, a special offer or something else you think should be on there – let us know.
- Follow @NorthEastNowAbz on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and tag us in any of your posts so you can tap into the wider network using the #NorthEastNowAbz along with your own
- Help spread the word and encourage other businesses in your area to get involved too. The bigger the network, the more people your business can reach.
How to take part:
- North-East Now has created a free toolkit jam-packed with logos, posters and graphics to get you started.
- You can choose to print the poster for display in your premises.
- Use the ready-sized graphics on your social posts, on your emails or even on your website throughout the week.
- Feel free to share the pack with other businesses you think could benefit from joining in.
- Consider running a discount or a special offer during the week. You can shout about it on social media and North-East Now will maximise your exposure
- If you have a great story to tell, share it via firstname.lastname@example.org Your story might end up being a good news article in the Press & Journal, Evening Express or you could be interviewed on Original 106 during Power Week, giving your brand a great profile boost.
- Do your bit and like, share or comment on posts from other local companies tagging @NorthEastNowAbz or using the hashtag, it’s a great way to grow your contacts.
- At any time from September 7-13, do one special social media post using the steps below:
- Write #northeastisopen on a piece of paper/card/banner
- Take a picture of employees or owners holding the sign with the hashtag outside or inside your business
- Upload the image to Twitter including the hashtags #northeastisopen and #NorthEastNowAbz on your post
- The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Original 106 and Society will all retweet your post, gaining you maximum exposure