How independent fashion retailers can buck national trends on social

Since lockdown we’ve observed a worrying drop off in the use of social media by independent retailers. Pre-lockdown, 40% of indies were active on social media. Post lockdown? That number has fallen to just 28%. By sector, independent fashion retail has taken the hardest hit.

Maybe* is committed to supporting local recovery across the UK. This week we’re off to Billericay, home to Gavin of Gavin and Stacey fame, to see what we can learn from its businesses, what Billericay’s best social content looks like, and how those efforts can be applied by any independent business looking to get better results from social media.

Maybe* Place Insights allows you to benchmark the social media activity, posts, engagement, sentiment and conversation topics of all businesses within your place. When you know what the local conversation sounds like in any town or place, you can replicate the successful tactics no matter where you are.

How many businesses in Billericay have social media accounts?

Maybe* Place Insights shows us that 41% of businesses in Billericay marked in orange have social media accounts. This is higher than the average across Essex, and much higher than the national average of 28%.

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How many businesses in Billericay create social media content every day?

Of the 41% of businesses that are active on social media, 30% of them are active every day. In Essex, this can drop as low as 15%. Getting as many businesses within the Essex area to follow Billericay’s example and stay active on a daily basis is a crucial way to keep them connected to customers, especially if they were to face local lockdown restrictions.

How many posts do businesses make and how engaging are they?

Billericay’s businesses create an average of 2,500 pieces of social media content per day which accounts for 17% of all of Essex’s content published. Those social posts earn approximately 10,000 engagements per day. That’s four per post.

Billericay’s businesses do well to stay consistently active throughout the week, with no drop in activity at weekends. As a result its engagement follows suit.

What is Billericay’s best social media content?

We’ve used the Maybe* Best Post in a Place tool to find Billericay’s best post on Friday September 4th.

French Martini is as fabulous an establishment as you’d expect from Essex’s 'glamourati'. 

While the bar doesn't go heavy with place hashtags, they do a wonderful job of mentioning their customers by name. Whether it's celebrating birthdays with them, or highlighting someone's impact, personal touches are always present at French Martini.


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What conversations do Billericay’s businesses create?

Both Billericay and Essex are strong trending topics in the conversation. But the conversation by Billericay businesses is fashion led and bucks the national decline seen by the indie fashion sector.

Whether it's sparkles, prom dresses, glitter, plus size styles, the fashion industry is booming with something glam for everyone in Billericay.

As independent fashion businesses using social media has fallen since lockdown, looking to the South East for some inspiration could get them active again.

Both Essex and Billericay’s content just about scores for positivity. If businesses ramp up the personality and warmth like that shown by French Martini, and the place will be glowing like a freshly sprayed Essex tan.

Key takeaway

Maybe* Place Insights aims to inspire more businesses to take up social media on a daily basis. When one business thrives, others can follow suit by participating and engaging in the local conversation.

As well as engaging and using conversation tags about place, make sure you show your sector some love and learn from other independents in your industry.

WATCH THE WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS: discover more super social from Billericay's independents with the Maybe* team

Maybe* is a social media management platform that helps organisations make social media work better for them. We provide easy to use engagement tools, smart insights and reports that rock.