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Brentwood retailers failing to leverage the power of social media as new Rewards platform launches to connect local shops and shoppers

17 May Brentwood retailers failing to leverage the power of social media as new Rewards platform launches to connect local shops and shoppers

Only 29% of the 4863 retailers in the Brentwood area have a social media presence and, of those, only 31% are actually active on social media, according to data announced to coincide with the launch of a new, free to access service to help retailers in the town recover from the impact of successive lockdowns and supporting them in reaching more customers and increasing sales.

Local Rewards, a high street guides service ( launched by social media specialists Maybe* Tech, allows shop owners in Brentwood to communicate with and reward shoppers now they have returned to the high street. It has been created with the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local retailers and giants like Amazon.

Participating retailers are able to cross-promote and support their high street neighbours to create an online network of connected traders. Local Rewards allows shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content as they are shopping the city. The aim is to provide every shopper with a prompt after each High Street purchase that reveals somewhere else nearby that they may like to discover. All of the content is sourced from social media, connected via Google maps and is connected to payments from Visa, Mastercard and Amex.

The data reveals that those retailers in Brentwood who are active on social media are achieving engagement levels (based on a combination of likes, comments and shares) across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram of up to 119,000 each day.

Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe* Tech comments: “Around two thirds of shoppers regularly look online for inspiration and the Local Rewards programme groups all social media content by location to encourage people to browse their local high street and then rewards them for their local spend.”

“High streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses. and this programme will enable them to communicate with shoppers in real-time and showcase what’s available on every UK High Street in real time . In order to compete, High Street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our service helps those that are active reach more shoppers and those that are not yet using social media get started.”

As part of this project Brentwood Borough Council has provided all businesses in the town with a voucher for over £1000 worth of social media tools and training. To access their voucher businesses just need to sign up via

The platform has been developed to provide High Street businesses across the retail, hospitality, leisure, health and beauty sectors, with access to social media, the tools and training to increase their customer base and drive sales. It also gives businesses the opportunity to engage with each other, creating a network of connected traders that can support and promote each other across social media. Maybe* Tech provides practical suggestions and easy to use tools allowing organisations to connect with their audience, improve their return on investment and understand how to stay ahead of their competition.