The personal branding assignment really got me thinking of an event I stumbled up on Facebook a few weeks ago. A friend of mine sent me a Facebook invitation to an event being hosted by local shops in my area called “Shop Late, Shop Local”. I live in Whitby, Ontario which is about 45 minutes east of Toronto. Downtown Whitby is rather small, and it spans over one main intersection. Whenever I go downtown I visit the same store every time. I had never really browsed any of the other stores because I had never heard of them. No one I knew shopped there and I was used to my one store. When I got the Facebook Invitation, it said a bunch of stores (including the usual one I go to) were kicking off the holiday season by staying open late for one night and offering lots of great deals. I had only heard of a couple of stores, which I was confused by because downtown Whitby is very small. The pictures on the event page were very intriguing and showed a lot of products that were exactly my taste. Another thing I noticed was the amount of people interested in attending the event, it was well over 300. It was a very high number (for Whitby), but I didn’t think that many people would actually show up.
The night of the event, I went downtown with my friend to check out all the shops. I’ve lived in Whitby my whole life, and I have never seen the downtown area that busy before. There were crowds of people walking up and down the streets. All the stores were packed with people and there were massive lineups at the registers. I went into the stores I had never heard of before and found that they did indeed have lots of cool and interesting stuff.
I thought it was very interesting to see the turnout for this event from one Facebook group. If my friend didn’t notify me of the event, I would probably still be shopping solely at that one store. I think it’s great that local shops in my area are hopping on the social media bandwagon and getting their name out there. It really showcases the power of social media in building awareness for different stores and brands, even in small areas.