A BUSINESSMAN is urging other shop owners in Chard to get wise to social media for the good of the town.

Les Gilbert, who runs the BetterBuyLocal newsagents in Chard and South Chard Stores and Post Office, is calling on other shops to join Twitter in a bid to bring people into the area.

Several businesses are on the social networking site but Les said the town was still missing out on thousands of potential customers.

He said: “We live in an online world and visitors research places to visit using social media and the internet – customers are attracted to businesses they have already heard of.

“It would be great to see more Chard businesses on Twitter – it doesn’t take long and they could join us and other local businesses and organisations in promoting our town and local area.

“Customers old and young alike use Twitter – it is a particularly effective way of getting an online presence and it is free.”

Lyme Regis, Axminster and Honiton have a strong Twitter presence, and in Wellington a town guide app was launched for smartphone and tablet users.

Les, who has run the Chard store with his wife Margaret for 11 years and South Chard Stores for eight years, said if the town had a greater online presence it could bring more tourists and visitors to the area.

He said: “If people visit Somerset they are most likely going to visit places that crop up when they look on the internet, so if Chard is not cropping up then we need to do something about it.

“It is not just the younger people who use it and all the businesses could interact with each other.”

Chard Town Team chairman Garry Shortland said a town guide app would be launched in the next two months and urged any traders who have not joined to get in touch with him on 07982-591025.

The town team is also appointing someone soon to run its social media to give it a greater online presence.

  •  To join Twitter, visit www.twitter.com While you’re there, follow @chardandilynews for news 24 hours a day, seven days a week.