Well I had loads of fun on Twitter this week.  On Monday night Beth and I aka. @loveurlocalmkt and @mrsmarketuk decided to host #markethour for the first time and what a lot of lovely comments came in.  The first and foremost question was “In 140 characters, what do you love about your local market?”[pull_quote align=”right”]”In 140 characters, what do you love about your local market?”[/pull_quote] and we achieved quite a phenomenal response.

It would seem that a lot of you out there are committed to markets for the same reasons as we here at Nabma are; You can access good quality produce at reasonable prices; You can often talk to the maker or producer of the items you are buying; You can be assured of the supply chain, that it is short and is what it says on the tin……so many reasons. [pull_quote align=”left”]”❤ the pride stallholders have in their products! Always enthusiastic & friendly!”[/pull_quote] I have to say though, what was just as much of an eye-opener to me is that, even though we have been going around the country for the last two months with the Love Your Local Market Roadshows, talking about social media and the importance of genuine, compelling content, it wasn’t until we started #markethour that I truly understood even what I had been talking about.  In supporting Beth in her role as social media manager for LYLM @loveurlocalmkt, I took up the moniker of @mrsmarketuk…. and I thought I was doing a pretty good job, making comments, retweeting folks, picking up on news articles and passing them on…..but here is the crux of it: We asked some questions, we asked you guys for your direct opinions and the twitter feed went crazy.  So for all you newbs out there, as my son would [pull_quote align=”right”]”freshly grown local veg with the earth still on it. Chatty stallholders & the chance to sample cheese & other goodies”[/pull_quote]call you, that we have managed to convert to the social media way of life over the last couple of months, remember if you throw questions out there and ask people what they want or what they feel about your market, products, campaign or anything else… what will come back to you is genuine compelling content.  To this end there have been concerns raised at Roadshows that opening your organisation up to the public in this way can put you in for criticism but social media stats on this subject bear out time and again, that if you can meet these concerns head on and address them, then it will bode well for your organisation in the long run.

[pull_quote align=”left”]it gave me my first ever opportunity to trade:-)”[/pull_quote]


So to this end I shall get to the second thread that came out of this weeks #markethour which was that markets are a low-cost, low-risk route to starting up in business.  As many of you will know already, aside from signing up 500 markets to take part in LYLM this year (oh and by the way we’re already over 400) the markets participating in LYLM will be making 3000 new pitches available to entrepreneurial start-ups and as you can see from Mike Tattersall’s @indieices response, market trading is good news when it comes to providing a test-bed for new business.

I really enjoyed #markethour and Beth did too, so come and join us on Monday’s between 8-9 when we are going to be doing it all over again.