I love bar trivia. I’ve spent many nights at the nearby water pits, enjoying a local beer with friends, eating unhealthily and showing my useless wisdom; And I’m not alone.
Madison Wellman is the Business Opportunity Specialist for the Worcester-based nonprofit RCAP Solutions, which provides free support to small businesses. Contact him at (774) 239-9783 or [email protected]
Trivia is a great way for smaller canteens to attract crowds on quiet evenings. On a recent Tuesday night, my girlfriend and I were scouring social media for trivial decisions. We chose a location and enjoyed drinks, dinner and guessing the names of obscure Disney characters at the crowded bar. While we found many advertised options, why did we choose this location?
You had a great website! Event descriptions, menus, drink menus and other promotions complement the social media strategy, thereby winning our business over our competitors.
Social media marketing is not a substitute for an informative website. Many small businesses have come to the conclusion that a strong social media presence will attract new customers and keep existing ones. But without the anchors that a proper website provides, many people will find the return on their efforts disappointing.
A strong foundation for your brand
As the home of your brand, your website controls the context in which your product or service is marketed and tells your story to your customers. Social media provides tools to help you make your marketing stand out, but published and paid ads limit the content and terms of the ad. Your website allows complete control over your advertising through the use of creative design elements, with no restrictions on what you share with customers. After all, as the cornerstone of your brand, your website should always be the ultimate destination for your customers.
Ecommerce functionality allows your website to make sales to customers anytime, anywhere, or allows visitors to schedule their own appointments through digital scheduling. An informative website is your best customer service representative, conveying important information to your employees such as location, contact information, FAQs, menus, prices or special events with minimal effort.
When customers see your social media presence but can’t find your website (or are looking for a seriously outdated website), they may consider your business unprofessional, amateurish, or worse, a scam. In the age of propaganda and cyber warfare, consumers are getting tired of what they see on social media. A modern, well-designed website gives your small business a legitimate presence, even if you don’t have a physical location.
The example above shows how a proper website complements a social media strategy to drive customers to small businesses. While social media caught my attention, the site closed the sale. In building a brand from my perspective as a customer, the website conveyed the vibe I was hoping for and I extracted that information from a physical customer without calling a staff member. Ultimately, the modern design and clear presentation of information made me feel like this was a legitimate, safe company offering a well-run event.
I hope this shows that there is no binary choice between a good website and a strong social media presence. Rather, both should complement each other as paired tools in the entrepreneur’s toolbox.