Isn't word of mouth really the original social media platform?
The other day I was heading to a little event, and I decided in true West Indian fashion to not bring wine I would instead bring some Jamaican patties. I messaged one of my friends and asked where he got his, he told me about this little Caribbean grocery store that he goes to for all his food. As I got to the store I couldn't believe all of the things that they had, hair products, food products etc...
So I grab three boxes of patties and some pepper sauce and head to the cash. The woman at the cash is extremely nice and we get in a conversation. I ask her "Do you have a website?" and she replies "No we do not" I look over to her and I say "Well how do people find your store" and she replies "Word of mouth"
The fact is that word of mouth is something that will never go away and it is absolutely a great resource. The issue is word of mouth is not the same as it was before, in order to drive a
successful business it is essential that you have social platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat the list goes on. I would also say that in the current environment it is critical that you not only have a website but you need to ensure that your website is creating a frictionless experience that will ensure that customers continue to engage with you over time and especially in a time where people are hesitant to leave their home and go into businesses.
"Ten years ago it may have been a choice to jump on the online bandwagon, but now it's an absolute must to survive and thrive as a small business. With over 85% of searches for products and services happening online, it's just a "duh" at this point," shares Jenny Servis, Vice President of Marketing for marketing solutions company SnapRetail. Expanding on this, Servis adds that "being online means having a responsive, search optimized website as well as an engaging and growing following on social media plus using email as part of your marketing mix."
As black businesses continue to grow social media and effective marketing is going to be something that will need to be focused on in order to succeed. This is something that smaller businesses struggle with and is sometimes due to the fact that all businesses do not have the same resources to become successful. With that being said social media and websites can be leveraged to drive engagement and awareness without cost. There are platforms such as Wix and Shopify plus many more that can provide these services.
I will continue to support the local shop, but telling the 6 people that I saw that evening versus spreading the word to thousands of my followers throughout my platforms doesn't seem to even out.
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