Stirling, Basildon and Bournemouth all rise up Digital Influence Index.

The updated and improved Digital Influence Index now includes Twitter, Facebook and Instagram data. This means it more accurately reflects the Digital Influence of over 1300 UK Towns and Cities. We have found some interesting winners and losers in the index this week.

This week’s highlights – who’s moving up?

Several towns across the country are performing particularly well this month:

  • Stirling has risen 46 places from 217 to 171.
  • Basildon now ranks in 157th place following a climb of 46 places.
  • Bournemouth rose two spots to 23.

Rank Place Change
2Sheffield +7
3Glasgow -1
4Darwen +631
5Liverpool -2
6Kirkwall +639
7Birmingham +1
8Gloucester +42
9Greenhithe +178
data generated: 28th Jan 2020

What is the Digital Influence Index?

The Digital Influence Index ranks 1,300 towns and cities in the UK, taking into account audience size, message volume and engagement that occurs across social media networks from a total of 150,000  high street business locations across the UK. Measuring daily activity gives Maybe* information on current retail and digital trends.


  • The Stirlingshire city has made big steps and has overtaken Dunfermline (177) and has Ayr (144) in its sights. 57% of Stirling businesses are active on social media while the average for similarly ranked towns and cities is 47%.
  • The Victorian Stirling Arcade may date back to 1882 with over 15 boutique stores offering  alternative shopping under one roof but their social media is right up to date with an attractive Facebook page featuring independent shops and local events.


  • 132 of Basildon retailers are active on social media and 63% have a website promoting their store. Well above the average of 56% for similarly ranked cities.
  • Eastgate Shopping Centre hosted a dinosaur visit as part of a Jurassic event in the summer holidays. Eight foot long Ritchie the Raptor entertained customers and staff as he ran around the shopping centre.
  • A giant deckchair selfie competition on Facebook has resulted in a high volume of entries to win shopping vouchers. A fantastic idea to engage with shoppers.



  • Further south, Bournemouth rose two places places from 25 to 23 in the Digital Influence Index. Overall Bournemouth has climbed seven places since February 2017.
  • Only 31% of Bournemouth businesses are active on social media, giving the town huge potential to rise even further up the Digital Influence Index and challenge for a top spot. With the active support of Coastal Bid and Make it Bournemouth among many others, we look forward to seeing Bournemouth climb.
  • Moni Boutique have recently opened in the town and Make It Bournemouth enthusiastically shared the news, to help extend the shop’s footfall.

And who’s moving down?

Of course, each week there are some towns that move down as well. Here are this week’s noteworthy changes and why:

  • Crawley, Dorchester and Walsall have slipped down the Digital Influence Index. Crawley has fallen 34 places to 161, Dorchester 20 places to 181 and Walsall has dropped 19 places to 147.
  • A more in depth look at the  Place Report for Crawley shows they have lost four active retailers on social media reducing the number of posts created by 3036 in the last month. That’s many opportunities to share local news missed.

Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO and founder of Maybe* who compiled the Index, said

‘We see a clear link between digital activity and physical footfall. Shoppers increasingly start their journey online. Every town and city in the UK is a sum of its digital parts. From what we see it’s key that businesses become more pro active on social media. That is frequently the start of their digital journey.’

Collect today’s Digital Influence Index of 1300 towns. Buy your town report to discover what drives the ranking in your town.