I love bar stories. I’ve spent many nights at neighborhood watering holes with friends enjoying a local beer, eating badly, and showing off my useless knowledge; and I am not alone.
Madison Wellman is a business opportunity specialist for Worcester nonprofit RCAP Solutions, which provides free assistance to small businesses. Contact him at (774) 239-9783 or [email protected]
Trivia is a fantastic way for small canteens to draw crowds on slow nights. Recently, my girlfriend and I scanned social media for Tuesday Night Trivia options. We picked a venue and enjoyed drinks, dinner, and guessing the names of obscure Disney characters at the crowded bar. While we found several advertised alternatives, why did we choose this place?
They had a great website! Event details, menu, drink list and other promotions complemented its social media strategy, thus receiving our company over competitors.
Social media marketing is no substitute for an informative website. Many small businesses have concluded that a strong social media presence will attract new customers and retain existing customers. But, without the anchor that a proper website provides, many will find the return on their efforts disappointing.
A solid foundation for your brand
As the headquarters of your brand, your website controls the context in which your products or services are marketed, telling your story to your customers. Social media offers tools to make your marketing stand out, but paid posts and ads limit promotional content and terms. Your website allows full control over your advertising using creative design elements, with no constraints on what you share with customers. Finally, as the cornerstone of your brand, your website should always be the ultimate destination for your customers.
E-commerce functionality enables your website to make sales anytime to customers anywhere or allows visitors to book their own appointments through digital scheduling. An informative website is your best customer service representative, communicating vital information such as location, contact details, FAQs, menus, prices or special events, while consuming minimal effort on the part of your employees.
If customers see your social media presence but are unable to find your website (or find a very outdated one), they may view your business as unprofessional, amateurish, or worse: a scam. In the age of misinformation and cyber warfare, consumers are growing weary of what they see on social media. Having a modern, well-designed website communicates a legitimate presence for your small business, even if you don’t have a physical location.
The example above illustrates how a proper website complements the social media strategy to attract customers to small businesses. As social media caught my eye, the website made the sale. The website communicated the vibe I could expect, branding my perspective as a customer, and I accessed this information without calling and telling an employee away from a physical customer. Finally, the modern design and clear display of information gave me the impression that this is a legitimate and safe company, offering a well-run event.
I hope this demonstrates that there is no binary choice between a good website and a strong social media presence. Rather, the two should complement each other as paired tools in the entrepreneur’s toolbox.