Cumbria has been recognised as one of the top five regions in the UK for retail sector social media engagement, in a nationwide study examining where retailers are most effectively harnessing the power of social media.

The research, conducted by social media specialists Maybe Tech from January 1 to June 30, considers several factors including the number of businesses within a region on social media, how active they are and how engaging their content is.

Cumbria’s high street businesses achieved fifth place, ahead of large metropolitan areas like Birmingham, and Liverpool, out of over 398 principal council areas in the UK.

Around 22 per cent of retail businesses in Cumbria use social media, with 20 per cent of those that have an account posting regularly.

The volume of businesses active is below the national average of 28 per cent, although, businesses based in the county between them, post in excess of 12,000 times a day across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

However, it is the nature of the content being generated by the region’s businesses that elevates its status in the findings, with retailers in the county’s posts having one of the highest engagement rates in the UK.

Maybe* Tech CEO, Polly Barnfield, who conducted the analysis, said: “Although the amount of businesses in Cumbria using and regularly posting on social media is slightly lower than the national average, our analysis has identified that the county’s businesses have extraordinarily high engagement rates in terms of the content that they produce.

“This means that retailers across the county - many of them independents - are producing images, video and promotions like competitions, that really resound with their customers. We can see how engaging content is by examining the amount of likes, comments or shares on a post - and it’s looking at these metrics that makes Cumbria’s success very clear.

“The region’s businesses also score in terms of their activity levels, they post regularly which keeps customers informed and interested. It also shows how other businesses could benefit if they harnessed social media to their benefit.

“Businesses in Cumbria are setting a shining example - and using social media exactly how it should be used.”