I can help with this somewhat as I’m pretty qualified in this area.
Long story but I owned a brick and mortar business, taking it from failing and turning it around to a very profitable business that I sold, after just 5 years.
It was a tourism based boat rental business. (I’ve actually written a book about it).
Now, what I will say is that I come from a long history of social media / digital experience, my first online business started in 2000, and I become a social media consultant in 2008 (I hosted some of the first conferences for social media in UK, back in 08,09,10,10,12), so if anyone knows about digital and social I do.
Now, here is the pain that a lot of “social media managers” wont like to hear.
Yes, I deployed digital activities in my brick and mortar business BUT, I’ll be honest I found “social activities” almost a complete waste of time, in terms of return on investment.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I did deploy digital activities but those activities were mainly focused on Google Ads, and also partnerships with other local businesses (links from websites, to better my SEO).
In addition I also used offline advertising to join up with digital, so think coupon codes and special links for tracking in guide books etc.
I also made a lot of business connections with other local businesses.
Pure social activity? – just a few pictures now and again on our FB page.
Activity on Trip Advisor? – Yes I absolutely made that a sales channel for us, and hit number one in our area.
The summary here for anyone reading is that, digital worked for me using Ads, because i could pay, set and forget, and it hooked into people already searching for a service with intent (google). I knew for a spend ox xyz I would generate business of ABC, and this is what all business owners want.
So, the nuts and bolts of this is link up offline activity to the clients websites. What small businesses need is more of a consultant role to help them through this, not just selling social media content campaigns – but understanding what they really need for more sales.