Traders should use social media to alert customers to great produce

Markets need to take advantage of the benefits of digital media if they are to compete with supermarkets and high street stores, declared experts at a conference for UK traders.

The annual National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) conference is taking place in London in association with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM).

At the launch of the two-day event yesterday, delegates were told to embrace new technology and social media.

Joe Harrison, chief executive of the National Market Traders Federation, set out the future vision for markets, which included making greater use of digital skills. Harrison said that markets were in danger of dying out, like dinosaurs, unless traders moved with the times.

“Adapt, adopt, or disappear,” he warned.

Attendees also heard from Guy Douglas, a consultant with Connected Places UK, that social media was like “telling a story’, and could attract custom by communicating that story with local people.

“When you have great local produce on your stall, Instagram it, tweet it, and let people know about it,” he said.

Professor Alan Hallsworth, of Portsmouth University’s department of marketing and sales, echoed the call for traders to be more digitally aware, adding that not only can social media promote business but also help to save it by harnessing community support.