[Interview] Social media and new businesses

Three years ago when Inkspire came into existence, little did Aliasgar Sabuwala know that a year or so down the line, he would be able to expand his horizon with Inkspire Media. As a young entrepreneur trying to sell customised canvas shoes, budget for promotional activities, was, of course, a sorry state of affair for him, at least when he started out. Today, he is able to attract a large number of people to his workshops across the city. In this blog, I talk to him to understand how he has used social media to his benefit.

What are the different platforms you have used the most for Inkspire?

Facebook and Instagram are definitely the two I have a lot to thank for as my brand got picked up on these social media platforms.

In the last three years, how have times changed in the digital marketing world?

I feel social media is a very important factor for PR and Marketing today. I personally didn’t invest a penny for Inkspire and have seen it grow organically. But now, I think the game has changed and it is no longer enough to just be present on the different social media platforms. Rather, you have to invest a certain amount for promoting your brand.

Why do you feel it’s important for a brand to be present on social media?

Today, you don’t need a website to start a digital store as your brand’s social media profile can itself become a digital retail store and you don’t even have to pay rent for it! Also, it helps in generating business. At the moment, Instagram is one of the best platforms to use as a brand.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that brands are facing online at the moment?

As more and more people are entering the social media game, it becomes invariably extremely important to continuously keep on innovating with your content as well as putting it up on a regular interval.

Do collaborations with other brand help? If yes, how?

Strategic collaborations help a lot. However, you need to ensure that both the brand get some benefit out of it. Also, it helps when the two brands offer products that are complementary to each other. If I sell customised shoes and someone sells fancy laces, there is a lot we can offer to each other as brands and to the customers as well.

What would be your advice to people who are currently starting out?

I would say, don’t sail in too many boats in one go. Also, keep in mind that when and if you fail you can always restart or do something else.

Ali is currently working on a new set of workshops and a quick glance of Inkspire’s Instagram page will tell you that he sure has a lot up his sleeves at the moment!

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