Thame is once again entering the Great British High Street Competition in the Small Market Towns category.
Last year there were 230 competition entries from across the UK, and Thame was awarded a Rising Star award for its entry, one of ten market towns to receive this accolade. This year the town are hoping to win the category.
Thame are also submitting entries in a new category, High Street Heroes, celebrating individual achievement. There are four categories, best market trader, best store manager or employee (independent retailer), best store manager or employee (national retailer), and best under 25 years old.
Last year the judges commended Thame for its use of social media, and this year the town aim to build their social media presence.
The team that are entering Thame into the competition have received funding from South Oxfordshire District Council and Thame Town Council which has made it possible for them to work with a professional social media specialist, Mushroom Soufflé, who will help extend the use of social media around the high street.
Thame’s social media champions are being trained to give advice and encouragement to high street businesses, getting them tweeting and posting on Facebook.
The GBHS organisers mark applicants on online activity, so it’s important that as many people as possible get active, engaging with others, and raising profiles for their own and other businesses, as well as for our wonderful market town.
The social media champions will be active on the high street over the coming weeks, sporting #GBHighSt t-shirts (sponsored by Mr Mend of Thame).
Twitter has joined other competition sponsors this year, with an award for the Best Shop on Twitter (open to small businesses with a rateable value below £18k). Anyone – shop staff or members of the public – can nominate a shop to win by tweeting #BestGBTwitterShop and the shop’s Twitter @handle.
Nominations must be in by Friday 9 September. The Twitter feeds of nominated shops will be assessed and the winner will receive £1000 of advertising credit, plus a visit to Twitter’s London offices for a best practice workshop.
For the Small Market Town and High Street Heroes categories, the entry deadline is Friday 9 September.
The judges will visit finalists between October and November, assessing entrants and deciding on winners. But the public plays a big part in this too – public voting makes up 50 per cent of the final results.
For further information about Thame’s entries in the Great British High Street Competition, please contact Helen Johns.