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Social Media And It’s Place In Town Centre Regeneration

By July 9, 2018June 23rd, 2022No Comments

Altrincham Market
When we talk about town centre regeneration we often talk about policies and initiatives, place making and public realm, public and private partnerships

We talk less about communication and marketing

We talk less about the technology that brings all these things together and makes regeneration possible

Shortly after Altrincham HQ was launched our home town was described as a “ghost town” and has now rose phoenix like from the flames

I argue if regeneration would have truly happened in our town without social media

Here are 4 ways that Social Media helps regeneration of places

1. Social Media Makes Marketing Affordable
Social Media makes marketing affordable for everyone involved in regeneration

It makes it affordable for the small businesses taking a huge gamble on a physical unit

It makes it affordable for the town teams looking to promote what is going on in towns

The speed of marketing has sped up, which has meant businesses can market in real time rather than old models of marketing

Social Media has never been a free option as it does take huge amounts of time to make it work and it also needs a degree of marketing expertise, but in terms of actual cold hard cash – social media without a shadow of a doubt makes marketing more affordable

2. Social Media Brings Communities Closer Together
When I say Social Media brings communities closer together I say it with a huge caveat

Social Media brings communities together, but there are also those that seek to divide the community

By definition – you’re not at the heart of the community, when you’re sniping from the sidelines

Social Media however is 99% positive, but we must make positivity louder (thanks Gary Vee for that one)

I genuinely feel that using my home town as an example – there are more and more connected people that want the best for the town and I’ve never felt that sense of community before in 40 years

3. Hyper Local Influencers become as relevant as the local newspapers
I hesitate to use the world “replace” as quality local journalism still has an important place in the mix

But hyper local influencers are becoming as relevant as the local newspapers

Despite it not being our core role one thing we’re proud of is that we often “deliver local news quicker than the newspapers”. It’s been that way since 2009 and continues to this day

We are at a crossroads however

Our home town of Altrincham has a population of 50,000 people. We used to have 2 local newspapers and we now have about 15 hyperlocal accounts – BUT very few of them offer a USP or any individuality. We need to question if what we’re posting is adding more value or simply more noise.

4. Everyone is an influencer
Everyone is an influencer – it’s just that some have more influence that others

I genuinely believe that everyone has their part to play in helping a town grow

In the 90s we’d have told the 4 or 5 people who worked next to us about a great experience in town

In 2018 we now check in on facebook, post a photo on instagram or tweet about it

The world is smaller. We all have connections. And every person matters

Love where you live

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We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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