A Twitter networking craze in Wetherby has grown into a UK phenomenon since it was set up at the beginning of the year.
The social networking trend #wetherbyhour has gone from strength to strength since January, gaining more than 1,100 followers and receiving more than 141,000 tweets in total.
Wetherby resident and mum of two Joanne Maltby, founder of #wetherbyhour said:
“Wetherby is right in the middle of the Harrogate, Leeds and York triangle but since the development of the new A1, it has seen less passing trade visiting the town.
“We want to change that.
“Being passionate and extremely proud of our local businesses, we want everyone to know about the diversity and enthusiasm in Wetherby and the surrounding area. #wetherbyhour, a social networking hour on Twitter.
“It has become extremely popular.”
The social networking campaign - which is designed to connect local businesses and the community- has now become so popular that it has become one of the most talked about topics trending on twitter on Tuesday evenings between 8 and 9pm.
It gains an average of 66 followers each week. Ms Maltby, who has lived in the Wetherby area for more than 30 years, said social media was becoming increasingly important to local community and businesses.
She said: “Wetherby didn’t have anything like this and social networking is becoming the best tool for small businesses to get noticed, it’s especially powerful if you are not on the high street.”
As well as the online #Wetherby hour, free live events are held where tweeters can meet face to face, discuss topics and gain contacts.
On Tuesday, a free live event was held at The Muse and Ale Wine bar, with local celebrities including Wakefield Trinity Wildcats RLFC Richard Mathers and Stray FM’s Alex B Cann attending.
Local celebrity Christine Talbot has also been to a previous live event.
Future live events will be held at The Boston Spa Cheese shop, Wetherby Racecourse and Stockeld Park later in the year.
Anyone who wants to join the tweeting hour can do so using the hashtag #wetherbyhour on Tuesday’s between 8 and 9pm.
Mrs Maltby added:
“I would like to thank everyone who joins in #wetherbyhour every week whether weekly online or at our monthly LIVE events and our hosts so far Lizzie’s Kitchen, Sant’ Angelo’s and The Muse Ales & Wine – without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.” Have you been getting involved in #wetherbyhour? Let us know what you think by tweeting us at Wetherby.News@ypn.co.uk or call us direct on 01937 582663.