Chris Brogan recently wrote a post on whether social media could save a small business.
It was a post that rattled around in my head until earlier this week when I went to a small restaurant near my house called Vinny’s Panini. Vinny is a nice guy who probably makes the best – and biggest – veal sandwiches in Toronto. He’s a classic entrepreneur who works hard, knows his customer by their first names, and serves up great food.
That said, Vinny told me recently that business is soft. It could be the economy, it could be that the two nearby grocery stores are selling more prepared foods, or it could be that not enough people know about Vinny’s.
It got me thinking if there was some way I could help Vinny using social media. Given I just launched a consulting firm with social media as a pillar, giving Vinny a hand would be a good thing to do and be a social media experiment.
So, that’s what I’m going to do.
The first challenge is Vinny doesn’t have a Web site. If you do a Google search, there are lots of places that talk about Vinny’s but in an ideal world, Vinny’s own Web site would appear at the top of the list. It wouldn’t have to feature a lot of bells and whistles – just the menu, address and hours that it’s open.
So, job one is create a Web site for Vinny, probably using WordPress or Googles Sites. (Note: If you’re a Web site developer and a veal sandwich fan, feel free to chip in!)
After that, I’m going to go into my social media toolbox to see what else I can do to give Vinny’s an online jump-start.
If anything, this is going to be an interesting social media exercise. If it works, maybe Vinny will comp me a sandwich!