Plenty has been written about social media as an effective tool for global brands, and growing number of small businesses have been getting in on the act too. Penderyn, the Welsh whisky distillery, has won praise for using social media to punch above its weight and develop an international presence, for example. While researching local businesses for this month’s Swift Awards, we’ve found that more and more local businesses are getting in on the act too – using social media to keep their finger on the pulse.
A desire to attract new customers and keep existing ones is vital to local businesses’ use of social networks. As a result of its uptake, service will no longer stop when the doors are closed. People are constantly connected and a 24 hour working day is likely to become a reality, at least as far as customer service is concerned.
One Swift Award winner consistently using social media in a local capacity is Reading-based poultry breeder Widgit’s Birds. Businesses don’t come much more local than this, but enterprising staff members are using Facebook to keep in touch with existing customers and build the business’s reputation. As well as the usual customer service support, the suppliers offer free advice, particularly important when keeping animals during the winter months. It’s great to see social media catch on locally – a clear sign that it’s here to stay.