Each week RN speaks to three retailers to find out how they use social media to market their stores and build stronger ties with their communities. This week Darren Rackham talks to Mehmet Guzel, Nathalie Quinn and Jon Powell about how they use Facebook and Twitter to impress upon customers and suppliers their unique brand and how they go about keeping that branding consistent.


Mehmet Guzel, owner, Simply Fresh, Bethnal Green

Mehmet-Guzel“We use Twitter to tell people about new products and sampling events and we have a Facebook page set up which we’re looking to utilise better. I’m going to educate myself better on using social media and then we will be able to do a lot more with it. At the moment we tweet about anything we’re doing that’s a bit different, or about specialist products. Doing this makes our identity clear because we are a unique and specialist store. We don’t have a social media strategy yet, but this is a vibrant area with lots going on. We want to be involved with the community and I am looking to use social media to talk not only about what we’re doing but what’s going on in our area.”


Nathalie Quinn, communications manager, Thornton’s Budgens, Belsize Park

Andrew-Thornton“We do a lot for the community. Andrew (Thornton, right) is always coming up with good ideas for stuff and it’s up to me to get our message out there. We’re quite quirky and a lot of what we do revolves around the environment and using local suppliers so the message we get across on Facebook is not corporate Budgens. I put up bright colourful pictures of events we have in the store or of the flowers planted by children outside and we get quick responses to those. Doing this helps to make us part of the community. Social media is all about engaging with people and by being a little tongue in cheek or a bit jokey we get across the right identity of who we are.”


Jon Powell, owner, Kiosks Newsagent, Newport

“I set up accounts for Twitter and Facebook about three years ago. I’m basically a one-man Jon-Powellband so I’m just myself when I use them and that seems to work really well. The local paper started using social media at the same time I did and have taken pictures from my Facebook page and used them in the paper, so that’s good publicity. I use Twitter more than Facebook because it’s quick and easy. I get local councillors re-tweeting me and I’m getting more followers all the time. Social media has made me part of the community and that’s good for business.”


Thornton's facebook page

How are you using social media to help your business? Let us know in the comments below.