While we wait for the results of the Independent Achievers Academy awards, we take a closer look at some of the 12 retailers with a Post Office who are through to the finals.
Store’s social media has made a huge difference to the community
Linktown Post Office and Premier Linktown Local store is through to the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA awards). The winners will be announced at the IAA gala dinner in London on Thursday 22 November.
The family-run store and Post Office has been picked as a finalist in the Digital Engagement category.
Postmaster Mrs Shamim Iqbal’s son Faraz Iqbal has really embraced the digital engagement side of the business, after graduating from university three years ago and becoming more involved in the family business. Faraz’s knowledge of social media has made a huge difference to the community.
There are 5,200 members on the store’s Facebook group page and 3,400 on the Facebook page, so around half the households in Linktown are linked to the store’s marketing offers. It is also used to share community information, which has proved to be vitally important.
During last year’s bad snowfall a post on the store’s Facebook benefitted the whole region. Snow had blocked the car park of the Booker/Premier depot for Fife, preventing the distribution of essential food including bread and milk, so most shops had run out.
Faraz asked on social media if anyone had a JCB to clear the snow from the car park. Within 15 minutes someone had replied and they went straight to the depot with the JCB to clear the car park. This allowed lorries to make deliver and for retailers across the region to restock.
Faraz then offered the services of his 4x4 Range Rover through his Facebook group and page, to deliver food and supplies to people who could not get to the store because of the atrocious conditions. He offered this not just for the Linktown area, but for the whole of Kirkcaldy. Faraz made sure he kept some provisions for the most needy in the community.
At the height of the wintry spell there were over 100,000 hits on the Facebook page in a week and it became the community’s channel for caring and people offering to help others.
Earaz said, “Without social media we would not have been able to help the community to the extent that we were able to help last winter. The Post Office and convenience is already at the heart of the community, but social media is a new way that we can reach out to the community and also to build on the existing community spirit.”
Their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media channels are fully utilised all year round, with marketing special offers and customer loyalty scheme and giveaways all leading to 100,000 people being reached in a week regularly.
Faraz has also used social media to promote the products and services on offer at Linkstown Post Office, including a National Lottery post, which generated over 500 likes & shares from his followers, estimated to have been seen by a further 100 people per share.
Social media was also used to promote the popular Royal Mail Star Wars stamps when they were released and Faraz is planning to do the same for the Harry Potter stamps.
A post with a picture of the Post Office broadband leaflet also generated lots of interest, as many did not realise that we offered the service and people were impressed by the good value deal.
Soon, in the run up to Christmas, Faraz is also planning a social media post about the versatility of the One4All gift card.
The Linktown Premier store was also involved in a trial digital payment scheme called Zapper.
These various initiatives are why the store has reached the final for the Digital Engagement category in the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA).
Congratulations to the Linktown team on getting through to the finals – and good luck!