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Brands, fans and influencers: why social media for small business is about more than sales

Guardian Technology 12 Jun 2020 03:58
Social media channels must be up to date with everything from posts to contact details and opening hours.
Photograph: Maskot/Getty Images

Most businesses these days will have some form of social media presence, but many may not be making the most of the opportunities it provides. Not only does it open up a huge potential customer base – half the world’s population is now on social media – it also gives companies the perfect opportunity to build and retain loyalty among existing customers.

Like all aspects of technology, social media is constantly evolving. So while a small business may have set up a Facebook or a Twitter account a few years back and thought that was a case of “job done”, new social media platforms such as TiKTok have been developed since then, while Instagram and YouTube have become vital parts of a holistic social media ecosystem. 

Beyond the platforms themselves, trends have also changed in terms of what users want, how they interact with brands and what’s important to them. Customers have now become fans, emotional ties to brands are a thing and thought-leadership can make you an influencer. Content is still king, and shareability is vital. 

Shareability matters

Her efforts to spread the word were given a huge boost when her campaign was picked up by influencers such as the Beckhams and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who shared it to their followers. 

Establishing it on Instagram even before they had products to sell, they were able to develop a loyal audience. 

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