I spoke with a local business today, based just down the road from me. I won’t mention the nature of what they do (although see if you can spot the hidden clues :-)) but they are often busy and have been established for several years – I have been in there a few times in that period and they are friendly guys. The shop is well run and looked after, contemporary and smart.
So I was surprised, when carrying out some research beforehand, that they had no Facebook or Twitter page, even though quite a few people had ‘checked in’ to the shop on Facebook, this was just a blank Check In page, rather than one with any info or opportunity to engage. They do have a nice-looking website, full of useful info and decent images.
I asked the owner why they didn’t use Social Media and he said that he had done some customer research in the shop (great idea) and discovered that only 1% of his customers found the shop through the internet. Most people just ‘know it’s there’ or learn through word of mouth. Therefore, online marketing was ‘not for him’.
I then asked him in that case, why have a website at all?
He remarked that having a website is vital to any business, it’s essential. And he’s right – however there is little point in having a website if no-one is looking at it.
I mentioned the benefits of using Social Media to drive traffic to his website, but he remained adamant that no-one would find his business online.
My opinion is that having less than 1% of his customers being driven to his shop from the internet suggests that he should be doing more online marketing, rather than less.
His business could not be better set up for Social Media marketing so it’s a real shame. He provides a service to a demographic which use Facebook more than any other age group. The potential for these guys to unlock special offers by ‘Checking-in’ on Facebook, or retweeting, is huge, word could spread incredibly quickly across the community.
Facebook and Twitter may be worldwide platforms, but their respective community reach should not be underestimated – a huge majority of people – particularly those at school or college – will have vast numbers of ‘friends’ who live in the immediate area.
Anyway, at this stage, to my dismay my friend above doesn’t want to move forward with any online marketing, even though people in his shop are ‘checking-in’ on a daily basis – essentially for no gain to anyone which is a massive shame.
I’m confident that the day will come very soon, where having a Social Media presence will become more important than having a website, and I would urge all small business owners to consider how you attract visitors to your website, and subsequently your business, and how your online marketing could be a ‘cut above’ the rest!