Manchester. You live here, you love it; you don’t, you feel you want to be a part of it. Leading the way for centuries in industry, fashion, music, entertainment and almost any other endeavour you care to name.
In 2013 this is no different, in this age of digital and online worlds. Social media is the new currency for networking and business, Manchester has a community and network of businesses unlike any other part of the country, creating relationships through the use of social media and then opening doors to friendships and business partnerships.
The love for the city is transferred online; the community emotion is what drives Manchester people and businesses to talk to each other digitally, share ideas and embark of further business together. Looking for somewhere new but affordable for lunch? Ask online. Need a man to fix your roof? Ask online. Does your business need a little PR or word of mouth boost? The Manchester community will want you to ask them. You get the idea.
The migration to the North of the BBC to Mediacity is a great asset for Manchester’s ability to embrace and be at the forefront of social media. The Beeb are at the forefront of terrestrial channels utilising social media for their networks, talking to their viewers and communities, which is widely embraced here in Manchester. There locality to all the topics that matter most encourage Mancunians to feedback on the things important to them; be it Manchester United, the Greater Manchester transport network or will our latest celebrity chef bring respect and appreciation back to the cities food & drink industries.
Leading the way with SEO and digital marketing agencies; last week it was said at the Smart City Conference last week that Manchester has the second largest digital sector in Europe. Clearly aspirational and leading the way. Manchester is inventing the future, making predictions other cities are afraid to contemplate and more importantly, they’re doing it together socially. Networking events are one of the keys to this future; from the small coffee meeting to 200+ conferences, every attendee is encouraged, even bullied to using hashtags, community hangouts and online sharing networks to tell the world what Manchester is doing.
It’s not just with business and enterprise that Manchester’s social media community is leading the way. The nicer things in life are equally, sometimes more so, impressive online. The popularity of the Supper Club has escalated in recent years, purely down to word of mouth via social media. Every week throughout the year there will be an event of some sort, from small meetings in a dining room up to grand secret dinners for up to 50 people, of which most of the diners arrived here from a recommendation by email, social media promotion (albeit rarely) and most likely from one of their community posting a photo or short ‘review’ from the last time they went along. You’re only a tweet or status update away from a new kind of dining experience in Manchester.
Manchester is empowering in its use of social media; when the exceptional Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) was threatened with a cutting of its funds and potential closure, the people of Manchester and anybody who has visited the iconic buildings in recent years took to all forms of media to rally support to fill an online petition with as many names as possible in a very short time period. Needless to say the museum is still open, with more visitors and support than ever before.
Last, but by definitely no means least, on the social media success trail is a little thing called TwitFaced. This started life as a small night out two years ago in a bar in Manchester, inviting the great and good of Mancunian Twitter-folk to get together and meet sociably instead of digitally. Following deserved furore and avid community recruitment, the last ‘event’ (as that is what it has now become) had 600 registrants almost purely down to social media interaction, word of mouth and the power of Mancunians to get behind a worthy gathering. Reflecting back to my opening sentence; if you’re not there, you want to be a part of it and TwitFaced is a perfect representation of this.
The defining factor you’ll find with Manchester’s social media communities is with their help and advice; whereas elsewhere you’d need to look for the advice you need and something to help you day, with Manchester there are people wanting to tell you these things and make your life better. You’re never too far from a digital handshake or a smiling face & nothing is ever too much trouble.