Wed 17th Sep 2014
Local #Belfasthour initiative gains followers by the hour
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) is the latest organisation to get behind Belfast hour (#Belfasthour) – a recent online initiative by law firm Edwards & Co Solicitors to develop links and communication amongst entrepreneurs and small businesses in Belfast.
With over 350 businesses taking part in this initiative every week, Belfast hour is a Twitter-based forum, on which businesses and individuals are free to discuss whatever they want every Thursday between 9-10pm. This could be anything from pitching for business or sharing good news stories, to promoting other businesses or general networking. The project is increasing rapidly in terms of popularity with nearly 2,000 followers and is causing a stir among SMEs in the city.
Sean Kelly, Finance Manager at Edwards & Co expressed a sense of excitement about the project:
“The forum acts as a modern-day chat-room and has seen lively activity since it began this summer – there is business being done right before your eyes.
“It’s the perfect way for Belfast SMEs to practice their social media skills and encourage online networking and connecting. It had come to our attention that there was no forum for entrepreneurs or businesses to connect online in the main Belfast area. Being a small business owner can be an isolating place and it is essential to have support of like-minded people in your network.”
Welcoming the initiative, Chris Morrow, Communications Manager at NI Chamber, a membership organisation that represents over 1,200 local businesses, said:
“Belfast hour has quickly become a key platform for local businesses to network and enhance their profile via social media. Used effectively, it can bring you closer to your customers, generate traffic to your website, support customer service, extend your marketing efforts, and boost brand awareness.
“NI Chamber is delighted to see so many of our members participating in the initiative and we hope that #belfasthour becomes an important part of a company’s marketing and social media strategy as the initiative continues to grow.”
To view any activity that is occurring on the forum, the user simply uses the hashtag ‘#Belfasthour’, which will lead them to discussions between people involved. Once the user then posts a message and uses the hashtag, all other interested parties can view that message. Over four and a half million timelines have been hit to date, which is the potential number of times somebody could have seen the hashtag #Belfasthour, with a reach of over 749,000 (this is the number of unique users that could have seen the hashtag).
Any interested company or individual can find out more by following Belfast hour at @BelfastHourNI on Twitter, or use the hashtag #Belfasthour to get involved every Thursday evening at 9pm.