- Christopher Barstow
- Monday, March 20
A small business’ web site and social media platforms should work together to build awareness, create engagement and drive purchases.
By using social media to generate more traffic to the company’s website, you also increase the likelihood that your content will be shared to many other places on the internet. To get more insight into using a website and social media to promote a small business, we contacted former Richland Library Entrepreneur-in-Residence Shennice Cleckley.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started and how you promote your business using your website and social media?
My name is Shennice Cleckley and I have been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. I got started when my friend offered to pay me $20 to create candy wrappers for her wedding. I had no idea I could get paid for something like. I believe your website is your online storefront. When clients visit you online, it should feel like they are talking to you. That’s the best promotion on social and via a website.
2. When a small business owner is just starting out, is it ok to use a free website and social media to promote your business? If so can you recommend a free website?
I’m going to be honest, I don’t like when business owners use a free site. While I understand that a free site is better than no site, I also know the value of investing even the smallest amount in your business. If you can’t afford to spend $14.99 to purchase a domain name and $10.00 or so a month for hosting, then how can you afford to be in business. A website is low cost marketing that you can make look amazing. But if you do have to use a free website, I recommend Google and Canva.
3. When selecting a company to create your website for the first-time what questions should I be asking the company about themselves and their services?
I would ask if they are using a drop and add template or are they creating it with code? This would determine the price and cost. Ask if you will have to be in charge of maintenance and updates? Be sure you have complete access to the site even if you are not doing the design. You want to continue to have ownership of all your content.
4. What percentage of my budget should go to promoting my business?
It’s not really about the percentage of your budget. It’s more about making sure you have a budget. A budget that will get you the most visibility is best.
5. What is the purpose of the website vs. social media? Is it ok just to have a Facebook Page?
A website is your online storefront. Social media is how to you tell people to go to your storefront. A Facebook page is a tool of social media to lead them to your website. You don't have control of your Facebook page nor do you own the content after it goes on Facebook. With a website you control the narrative.
6. How much time should I be spending monitoring and updating my website and social media each day? When is it time to hire someone to do it?
Social media needs to be consistent. If you post everyday then continue to post every day. If you post weekly then stay posting weekly. Social media is a relationship builder. It is time to hire someone when social media impacts the actual work you are doing. There are tons of schedulers out there that can give the appearance of you posting. The key is the engagement. I would schedule my post weekly or monthly but spend the time interacting and engaging with my followers.
7. In your experience what are some good examples of ways to connect with customers through social media and a website?
You can always send Direct Messages. Be sure to use the comment section. Also go to your top followers’ pages and comment on their post. These things make them feel seen and special.
Additional articles about promoting your small business using social media and websites:
- How to Do Social Media Marketing for Small Business - https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-tips-for-small-business-owners/
- Social Media for Business: Marketing, Customer Service and More - https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7832-social-media-for-business.html
- How To Market Your Business on Social Media: 15 Effective Ways - https://www.shopify.com/blog/69319365-20-highly-effective-ways-to-promote-a-product
- How Your Website and Social Media are a Team - https://sitesavvy.com/how-your-website-and-social-media-should-work-together/