Website and Social Media Advice for ‘Old School’ Businesses

Retro Desk

Whilst many emerging businesses are clued up about the impact that online marketing and social media can have, there are some more traditional ‘old school’ company owners who are understandably struggling to embrace this concept and failing to recognise the potential it can have in terms of attracting new customers.

It’s crucial not to be dismissive through lack of knowledge – the online world is your key marketing tool and it isn’t a dark art. Trust us.

Updating your website frequently is essential so that it looks fresh, and it should be search engine optimised to maximise your chances of ranking highly in search results. Social media is also a key marketing tool for business - it is important that you manage these accounts efficiently in order to reach out to your target market.

Case Study: John Yates

John is 55 years old. He’s a self-employed builder in the West Midlands, and this year will mark the 30th anniversary of his company.

Thanks to excellent testimonials from happy customers he has generally had enough work to keep busy, however during the past 18 months he’s been struggling and he is worried about the future. He has two young apprentices working for him, but is concerned that he may need to lay them off within the next few months.  

Listed in the Yellow Pages, every now and then he places a small ad in his local paper, a business card on a notice board at his local pub and a card in the window at the local Post Office. Occasionally when things are very quiet he has 1000 flyers printed and pays his 17 year old grandson to deliver them to homes within their neighbourhood.

John’s noticed that there are now lots of other builders in his area and realises that he needs to implement an effective strategy to gain new business, rather than simply relying on referrals.

He has a basic website which his son-in-law built for him 6 years ago, but he appreciates that this is now looking tired and out-of-date.

His wife created a Facebook page for him last year and they currently have 95 page likes, although these are mostly friends and family. John has never updated his website (and doesn’t know how to). He only updates his Facebook page once or twice a month, or whenever he can remember.

He doesn’t understand Twitter, Instagram or Google + and he thinks they are just for young people like his grandson who seems to spend his whole life looking at his iPhone.

Our Advice to John

As a starting point we'd suggest that John re-launches his current website with a basic Squarespace 5 page design including:

  • About Us
  • Services
  • Testimonials
  • Gallery
  • Contact Us (including an enquiry form, and possibly a form for a newsletter sign-up)

The price for this would be in the region of £1,300 and without doubt it would be an investment for his business going forward. (Check out our blog ‘6 Reasons Not To Skimp On Your Website Spend’).

In conjunction with the re-launch John would benefit from a new logo for his company, and this would be approximately £750.

On the header or footer of each page on his new site we'd include social media icons, which would feed through to the following:

Manage My Website would help him to set up these accounts and then provide advice and training about how to maintain them. He wouldn't necessarily have to update them every day as 3-4 posts per week would be enough. We could then show him how to add photos and updates via his phone and he’d soon realise how quick and easy it is.

John would learn how hashtags work (they’re not as complicated as they look and act as electronic magnets for a business) and we'd explain Promoted Posts and Facebook Ads, which ultimately would be far more effective than a card in the Post Office window.

We'd be happy to give John some ideas about the kind of things he could post about (before and after photos of recent jobs he has undertaken, testimonials from satisfied customers or even links about news articles which are relevant to his line of work). This may even be something which one of his apprentices would be keen to do and it may make them feel more involved with the business, as well as feeling motivated and enthusiastic about gaining new customers. Or perhaps he could ask his grandson to be his Social Media Manager.

John may also want to add his company profile to a website such as TrustaTrader or Rated People where customers leave feedback about tradesmen. If so, we could include information about this on his new site.

Another option would be to send e-newsletters and we'd provide MailChimp training, or write the newsletters on his behalf. He may also want to include a blog page on his website where he could write about new jobs which he has been working on, and again he could include before and after photos and testimonials.

As a ball park John would be looking at spending approximately £4,000 on the following:

  • A beautifully designed SEO friendly, up-to-date website with fresh content and crisp images
  • A high impact logo which could be used on his website, social media accounts and stationary/invoices
  • Help with setting up social media accounts (plus training on how to update them)
  • Help with creating an email newsletter template and creating his customer email list

Initially this may seem like a lot of money to John (especially when his business is struggling), but we'd ask him to consider the value of this based on the predicted income that it may generate for him over time. We'd also encourage him to think about the profits of his building services and take into consideration the potential revenue that his website and effective social media management could bring in.

If you want to bring your business up-to-date Manage My Website would be very happy to help you with re-branding and logo design, re-launching a website or offering social media advice and training. Please contact us for further information.