Well I am losing count of the number of cafes, and local businesses I have seen open up shop and a few months later they’re gone; and truth be told it makes me sad!
In some respects I think the marketing and technology world combined is to blame for distracting the consumer away from a trip to their local shop. Yet, in other ways I understand that we rely on the efficiencies of social media so much now that puts responsibility on small and local business owners to ensure they have a some kind of presence online – And perhaps if they had applied the right principles and know hows of online marketing, they would still be here. Who knows? It’s a shot in the dark explanation, but what I do know to be true is that small and local businesses need to rally round fast and grasp hold of what is happening online – At least in my own local area they do… I am still getting Facebook friend requests from people who have tried setting up their Facebook pages as profiles.
Despite offering to give them a hand up. I was surprised at their response:
“We had thought about setting up a public page as I have experience through my day job with this and so do a few other committee members. With over 600 friends on the current page, we felt having a public page for people to like we are less likely to reach as many people…”
My personal thoughts: I think it’s fantastic that you’ve managed to drum up 600 ‘friends’ on your current page – and I respect the fact that you may have experience within a day job. However, I do feel slightly concerned that you think by having a ‘public‘ page you will attract less people? Surely you can expect to gain more, not less? Baring in mind that to reach anyone through a normal profile page, you must invite and be accepted by the end user first – Isn’t that more hard work?
This was one of many similar responses I received back from a few local businesses, mixed in with some silent treatment from others.
I get that people are unsure of online marketing and all it’s processes. I do – But burying your head in the sand will do no good, and neither will settling for less than best. The population of the area concerning the business response I just gave, is currently in the region of 13,000. Taking their current friends of 600 and multiplying it by 21.6 equals 13,000.
There is such an opportunity out there for any business of any size, and I believe that only those prepared to take up the fight will survive the journey. There is no sense in losing a battle before it’s ever really got started. My advice to business owners reading this is to get equipped and take on the fight (figuratively speaking) – And don’t use size or fear as an excuse.
Just some personal thoughts, views and opinions. No disrespect to any business currently hiding from the buzz online, just a gentle encouragement to think differently.