In 2019 we were commissioned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to help market stall traders and local shop owners on Watney Market unlock the potential of social media to help promote and advertise their business, and to raise awareness of the market among people who live within two kilometres from the market.
Many challenges were overcome for what ended up being a very successful three-month programme.
Some traders or business owners had old phones that were difficult to update or work on. On a few occasions we faced a language barrier, as the trader’s knowledge of spoken or written English was minimal, in which training was offered to the wider family eg the mother or children who supported the business from home. The celebration of Eid meant we had to postpone two training days as most market traders were on holiday. Training on site at stalls meant training was disrupted due to rain on some occasions. Also when trying to set up Google My Business listings for the Watney Market businesses we noticed that most had accounts created by a third part company, and none of them had access to change their hours, descriptions etc. We managed to reclaim two accounts after extensive phone calls to Google.
Despite this, uptake and enthusiasm for the training programme was particularly strong. Traders took enthusiastically to working on brand logos, creating Instagram Stories and running Facebook paid campaigns.
One-to-one training was offered to 16 people over a period of three months and each trader was given a personalised plan to further improve their digital presence.
Project: May to July 2019
Partner: London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Engagement: We trained 16 people, 9 market traders and 7 businesses. In total we delivered 38 hours of training.
Platforms: We opened 24 new platforms and optimised 4 existing platforms.
Branding: We created eight new logos for businesses (11 participating businesses and market traders had no online presence before our training).