There is no business today that is not online to some degree. However, so many small businesses are still working without a proper social media and digital marketing strategy and getting average results.
Almost 90 percent of marketers say their social marketing efforts have improved exposure for their business, and 75 percent say they’ve increased traffic.
Whether you sell a product, a service or events or a combination of these, it’s important to understand that Social Media and Digital marketing delivers results in leads, sales, branding and customer experience.
1. Take stock of your Social Media and Digital Marketing
I love the Kaizen philosophy that you need to understand what your current state is before you move forward. So! Before you start putting together a strategy document; you need to understand what your current assets are and how it has served you. It’s pointless doing the same thing if you are not getting the results.
In saying this, I met a guy who told me that Facebook just doesn’t work. His results had been dismal. After asking him a few questions turns out that he posts once a week, doesn’t do any advertising and has only ever boosted one post. So YES, Facebook is not working. In this case, it’s not the platform; it’s the person having a minimal understanding of how Facebook works.
My point here is that when you are analysing, do it properly without prejudice and be honest with yourself. Of course, if you can get an external analysis, even better as there is no bias.
Questions to ask yourself when you are analysing are:-
- Which social media channels am I on?
- Is the branding consistent across each of these?
- Are they set up correctly?
- How often am I posting?
- Is my content relevant?
- Am I using advertising to my benefit?
- Do people understand my product/service?
- Am I blogging regularly?
- Am I an authority in my space?
- Are people leaving compliments/ complaints? What are they saying?
- Does my newsletter go out regularly?
- Have I got a clean mailing list?
- Is my website updated regularly?
- Do I use live video? If yes, how do I come across?
2. Analyse what your competitors and business similar to yours are doing.
You can live in a fantasy world believing that you never have to see what your competitors are doing. I know small business owners that even block their competitors because they ‘don’t want them seeing what they are up to’.
You can block all you like; there are ways for your competitors to see what you are doing, don’t be naïve.
Go ahead and follow your competitor accounts. Follow accounts that are similar and follow accounts that you aspire to. Follow the influencers that are making a difference and are not necessarily in your line of work. You can learn a lot from all of them.
3. Understand your Business Goals.
You have your social media channels, a website, an email list, a sales funnel and customer experience funnel and maybe even an App. Is everything you are doing aligned with your business goals. Wait! Take a step back, have you even defined your Business goals? It’s important to know these because social media and digital marketing are not something you do in isolation. They are one of the very core ways of achieving your business goals.
For example – If you have a monetary business goal of earning $1 million by the end of the financial year, you need to understand a few business principles.
- Do you have a product that can earn you this kind of money?
- Do you have an established list or audience of people that believe in you?
- Do you have money for advertising and influencer marketing?
- How much time are you going to put into this?
- Do you have resources?
- Are all your digital assets working in a process that helps you to achieve this goal?
- Are your potential customers aware of you?
4. Are you doing too much?
As a small business owner, we already do so much ourselves. You need to ask yourself if you have too much going on. Are you trying to sell too much or do too much? Unless you have a team behind you that can help, I have yet to see a business become successful when a person is working on two other companies alongside it. It’s not impossible but to what expense?
If you are in a service based business, target what you are good at, specialise and become known as the expert.
5. Who can help you?
Through years of experience, I can almost guarantee that you cannot build your business on your own. I also understand that it can be a chicken and egg situation if your funds are limited.
It helps to work out whether you are busy for the sake of being busy or whether you are working towards those goals – pffft – pesky business goals coming up AGAIN!
In the digital and social media space, you are going to find that you will eventually want to work with some experts to get your business off the ground. The money will be well worth it.
Let me give you an analogy. Once upon a time, a lady approached me to build her website (back in those days and I don’t do that anymore, but the experience was invaluable). I gave her a cost of $2000 for the website. She decided that she was going to do it herself. Her primary business was advising people on gardening, and she was a speaker on the topic on some media channels. A few months went by, and I bumped into her again. She then told me that she was very proud of the fact that she had built her website. She spent 50 hours on the WordPress channel, learning and then another 50 hours building. A total of 100 hours.
I asked her two questions
- How much do you charge an hour for your consulting? She charged $90ph. I pointed out that the website had then cost her $9000 to build.
- Will you be building websites for other people? The answer was hell no! So you’ve spent time learning a skill that is going to become redundant as you will not use it again.
You see where I am heading with this? Experts are doing this all the time and yes they deserve to be paid for their time, but if they are good at what they do, they should save you a heap in the long run.
6. Understand your digital sales process and your potential customer.
You may be asking – what do you mean? It’s the process that you map our step by step of how a customer will ultimately buy from you. The process will show you the touch points of the potential customer to your business and how and when they engage with you.
It’s important to know who your customer is. Who is the person/ people that you think would value your product or service the most? There is an exercise that we do to determine this.
7. Let’s talk money.
I love when Small Business Owners tell me that Social Media is free. It’s far from free. Every time you are posting in a group or having a conversation with a client in messenger or giving advice, you are ‘spending money’. As per the analogy before, you need to start understanding how much each hour is worth to you if you want to achieve your business goals. Each time you are doing something, you need to determine what the end purpose will be. If it’s just to help people, you’re in the wrong business, and I urge you to get a job. Harsh! I know, but that’s the reality.
If you want to take responsibility for your business, you need to understand the numbers.
When you are online, are you building your reputation and brand? Is the person that keeps asking you for help going to value you and pay for your time? Will they refer you or give you a good review?
Know your base costs – how much does something ‘really’ cost?
For example. If you charge $180ph for coaching, you need to take into consideration the tax, travel costs, prep costs, materials. So your actual base cost may only be $80.
Once you know these figures, you can work out how many products or hours of service you need to sell to hit those business goals.
Finally, I cannot stress enough that you need a decent accountant as your business grows.
Use these seven strategies to help you move your business forward. Would love to hear the strategies that you are using?