The internet has been a game changer for small businesses, not least in the way they communicate with their customers.
Traditional outbound marketing techniques, such as press adverts and direct mail, have made way for inbound marketing techniques, like content marketing.
This means many of the new forums provided for promoting your business require a rethink, as customers change their expectations of how businesses should communicate with them. Social media presents a particular issue for the inexperienced.
Alan Stevens, director of MediaCoach.co.uk, explained: "Just telling people the benefits of what something is and then them buying it just doesn't work anymore."
Instead, people expect to be informed, entertained and engaged with before they part with their cash. Crucially, they don't want to be promoted to.
"They like to have a conversation with the person they are buying, they like to get questions answered, they like to be able to offer opinion on all those things. Creating that engagement can lead to a sale," Mr Stevens explained.
Hitting the right note on social media
If you're not promoting your product on social media, then what are you posting, you may ask?
The answer is well-written, well-research and relevant content that strikes a chord with your followers and encourages them to interact with you.
Customers have proven they don't want to be sold to on social media but will engage with your brand if you are offering them something interesting in return.
According to figures from the Content Marketing Association, 73 per cent of brands are planning to increase or maintain their content marketing budget in the coming year. Content written for websites is also soon expected to reach 70 per cent of UK adults a month.
Learn more about how content can bolster your social media presence here: