The initiative, Local Rewards, a collaboration between West Lindsey District Council and social media specialists, Maybe Tech, aims to help businesses across the council area recover from the impact of Covid-19, by giving them the support they need to reach more customers and make more sales.
The programme will go live featuring 4,400 businesses from across the district and will offer free training and tools to companies looking to take part.
Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Coun Owen Bierley urged businesses to sign up for the free support.
He said: “We are delighted to have brought Maybe Tech on board for the next 12 months to support our business.
“The impact of Covid 19 changed the way businesses operate and following discussions with local businesses we recognised that we needed to offer additional support. Maybe Tech has proved to be successful in other areas and we want our businesses to benefit too.”
Local Rewards allows businesses to communicate with and reward shoppers when they hit the high streets.
One Market Rasen business planning to take part is Nice & Naughty Cafe Bistro.
Nicola Brooksbank, CEO and founder, said: “Since the pandemic I have noticed an increase in businesses working together for the greater good of the high street.
“We use each other’s shops as much as possible and promote each other. Rather than competition, we realise that our customers are one and the same, so the more we promote each other, the more we all see our takings increase.”
She continued: “Social media is very important to my business. Not every like returns a sale, but the more you have the more sales you will get.
“We have doubled both our Instagram and Facebook followers since the pandemic, through targeted posts.
“We are also doing videos with the aim that we create a large following sharing our beliefs in community, healthy eating, and home-cooked food. This includes recipes and creating a story people can get behind and want to follow.
“Social media is a positive that can only be good for us all and I’m looking forward to signing up to the programme and hope others will too.”
The technology enables shoppers to see businesses near them, view and engage with their social media content and shop with them via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
In addition, for every pound a shopper spends “in store” with a participating business they earn a point which can be used to claim rewards offered by local businesses across the county.
Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe Tech said: “High street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our platforms help them collectively to do that and we are delighted to be working with businesses across the West Lindsey district.”
Every business that signs up to manage their listing on the Local Rewards High Street Guide will also have access to an extensive range of social media tools and training.
l Businesses and shoppers can access the programme online at www.localrewards.chat/ or sign up via Messenger or WhatsApp.