Taking social media on a night out with licklist (The Enquirer)
Taking social media on a night out with licklist
IN a world where staying in and browsing through social media is the new going out, one man from Benfleet is hoping to use social networking to get the nation enjoying nightlife again with a new website and app – Licklist.
Founded by 24-year-old Brad Nobbs, the social networking site is designed to help improve someone’s night out through ticket sales, reviews, loyalty points and even offers a nightlife photography agency, posting photos from events on its online gallery – and the best part is? It’s all free of charge.
“For business, there is LinkedIn, for dating there is Tinder, for reviews there is Trip Advisor and for nightlife, now the world has Licklist,” says Brad.
With a background in running student events in Southend and with the world of social media expanding, Brad saw a gap in the market for a new nightlife venture.
“It became apparent to me that the way that clubs and bars were advertising and marketing was really dated,” he explains. “Handing out fliers and continuously reposting about an event on Facebook quickly becomes oversaturated.
“Sitting at home, logging onto Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp has taken over the thrill of going out and dancing until the early dawn,” he continues. “This is how the modern generation socialises. Nowadays people don’t have to go outside to meet a member of the opposite sex for example – dating websites have taken care of that.”
Realising that he could use social media as a platform to get people interested in going out and enjoying nightlife not only in Essex, but around the world, Brad began developing ideas for Licklist.
And since launching the site two years ago, Licklist has reached 500,000 monthly hits and has grown from Brad working at home to now having an office with a team of over 20 individuals in Southend and 60 freelancers.
“The site is by no means a substitute to going out,” he says. “This is a way to get people interested in going out again. We currently have around 100,000 active users. All users have their own profile pages and can write reviews of the venues or events. I’ve seen the success of Trip Advisor for hotels and Top Table for restaurants, so this is our own review system.”
Once a user logs onto the website, they can use a search engine to type in key words or an area they would like to visit to find out what relevant events are going on. And having worked with some of the biggest names in nightlife including Pacha, Cirque le Soir, Ministry of Sound and Amnesia in Ibiza, the site certainly isn’t short of nightlife ideas.
“You can type in clubs, towns or even music genres to find an event,” says Brad. “Licklist now has a national directory of 6,000 venues listed on the site and we’ve integrated that with social networking so you can see if your friends are going. A ‘lick’ in the site is like a recommendation – it’s similar to a ‘like’ on Facebook.”
In the next five years, Licklist aim to target 25 million users and position themselves as the go to place for nightlife across the world. The company also has a strong board of Non-Executive Directors who have previously worked with the likes of Google, Facebook, Qype and Vodafone.
“We’re really excited about our board of directors because I really think they can help us to grow from strength to strength,” says Brad.
And, having been up and running for the past two years, the website and app are now shortlisted in the top 50 of Virgin Media’s Pitch to Rich competition – a contest that gives new and expanding businesses the chance to win an investment up to the value of £1m.
“Winning will help us to get out to more users and grow,” he says. “We really want to put an emphasis on the social networking side of the site. There are no other platforms for 18-30 year olds to plan their weekends locally or nights out further afield.” For more information about Licklist visit Licklist.co.uk or for more details about the Pitch to Rich competition visit virginmedia business.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/g row/licklist.
Story by Michelle Norris