Visit Boston UK Social Media Consultancy

Client: Boston Borough Council

Project total: £8,000

About the project:

Heritage Lincolnshire were brought in as part of Boston Borough Council’s social media team to communicate with local businesses and people to increase footfall to the Visit Boston website and on their social media platforms over 12 months.

Research and Reach-Out to Businesses

At the beginning of the project, local businesses were contacted in a variety of ways, including visiting the shops, researching businesses that were local to the town, searching Facebook groups for businesses that were posting and cold calling.

This enabled a database of approximately 250 businesses that gave us permission to contact them in reference to the promotions that were going to be completed to support their business and encourage local Boston residents to shop and support local, the Lincs Pass Initiative and how to get involved, networking events for local businesses to connect with other like-minded businesses.

This grew to over 300 throughout the project and continues to grow with each promotion that is detailed below.

Social Media Course

It was identified at the point of research that a lot of businesses throughout Boston were not used to promoting themselves on digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  As part of this a free short 6-hour beginners’ course for Social media for Businesses was developed and delivered at Fydell House on 28th January & 4th February 10am -1pm. This was emailed out to the database of 300 businesses prior to the course.   We had 12 attendees from local businesses that over the two days learned about how to promote their business.

Some of the feedback from the participants was as follows:

Connecting Businesses:

  • LinkedIn Local events

Previously networking institutions like the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce have struggled to create events that Boston Businesses have wanted to attend to network.

These were to be held on the last Thursday of every month 5.30-7pm at the White Hart Hotel in Boston Town Centre.  The room was negotiated for free and attendees to the event purchased their own food and refreshments if required.

Throughout the consultancy and prior to the Covid outbreak we held two events: 30th January and 27th February, 2020.  At both events we had 30 local businesses attend to network in a casual environment and the events were well received by everyone.

Photos below are from January 2020:

The events were marketed on a variety of platforms including emailing the database that had been collected at the research stage of the project, as well as a Facebook event on the Visit Boston UK page, LinkedIn and Eventbrite.

Emails were collected upon registration of the event, as well as on the evening to ensure that these were added to the database of businesses to communicate with throughout the consultancy.

  • Other Networking events

Working in partnership with The Development Partner Network, the first ‘Showcase Networking’ event was held in Boston and hosted at the Boston Guildhall Museum.  Supported by Boston Borough Council, Visit Boston & Think Boston as part of the Consultancy project.
Over 50 local businesses attended the event to showcase their business in the town.

Monthly Calendar of themes

Calendars were sent out every month to the contact database including some ideas given to them as to how to link their business to one of the national days, or monthly themes.  This encouraged businesses to start thinking about the products and services that they offered and how they could relate it to ways of marketing themselves.

Throughout Covid, the calendar was not used as a lot of businesses have been closed.  Therefore, it was decided that we would complete wider promotions and concentrate on key themes such as Christmas.

Covid promotions:

Christmas Advent Calendar

With the Christmas Advent Calendar we started to promote this in early November, and the aim was to encourage businesses to think outside of the box; how could they offer a product or service to people within Boston as a Christmas gift for a loved one and still encourage them to Shop Local.

We had 36 businesses inquire about the promotion and had at least one business posted per day throughout December promoting these local businesses.

January 2021 Promotion:

Throughout January and to support businesses through lockdown number three, we offered a similar promotion to help businesses promote their January offers and services. This also continued for Valentines Day and Easter.