It astounds me when I see many businesses engage in social media and actually have no social media strategy or plan. They just do it then get upset when they spend lots of money and make no sales.

They come to us and the first question I ask is, what is your social media strategy? They give me a strange look as if I am speaking a different language. Marketing a business online is not easy. The best thing you can do is answer a few questions. Take a look below.

What is your business Objective?

I like to keep things really simple. We need to ask ourselves a very important question. We can call it a vision as many marketing people do or a goal or an objective. So what is our business trying to do? Don't say make money. That is an outcome. Your business needs to serve a purpose. Making money is an outcome of being successful at fulfilling that purpose. So what is the goal of your business?

Who Are your customers?

Now we have established the goal or vision of your business. We now need to work out who our customers are. That's right not everyone might be our customer. Are they old or young? Are they male or female, are they of a certain ethnic or cultural background. Do they have an interest in a particular activity?

The better you know your customer the more targeted your marketing will be. You really need to know and understand your customers.

How will your business help your customers?

We are starting to make progress and have only asked two questions. Let's keep moving. How will your business help your customers? Do they have a specific problem you can assist them with? Do they have many problems that you can remedy? Are you selling a product or offering a service that will make their daily lives much easier?

Perhaps you are not solving any problems. It could simply be a new handbag that is nice to have. You are solving a problem right there. Purchasing your product makes them feel good. Chances are regardless of the product or service your business promotes you are always helping your customer even if it is a short-lived feeling or sensation. You must clearly understand how your business can help your potential customers.

Where are your customers?

This is a very important question. Where are your customers located geographically and where do they spend their time online. Many will ask why does it matter where they are located geographically? It most definitely does.

It costs more to advertise online in the US than Italy. It costs less money to advertise in India or South Africa compared to Italy. So if you are trying to reach an audience and advertise online, where you advertise will cost you money. Depending on the country or even city you are located in, there could be a big increase or decrease in marketing spend.

let's look at where your customers are online. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn? There are so many social media platforms and many of them are tailored to a specific audience. Knowing which platform your target audience use is extremely important.

What type of content do they like?

Finally, were are really getting into the details. Do they like video content, if so are they short videos that are 30 seconds or webinars that are 30 minutes to 1 hour? Do they prefer images or text content? Now initially you might not even know the answer to these questions but a huge part of marketing is trial and error. Learning what works and doing more of what works. Learning what does not work and eliminating this type of content from your marketing.

Many times when we initially start we might not have the answer, so in marketing we split-test. We create two of three different types of content and push it out to the same or very similar audience and see which type of content works the best.

What actions do they need to perform so you can make a sale?

Your business has an objective, a vision but your business also needs to make you money. It's not a hobby, it's a real business and the expectation is you will after successful marketing start to make sales. What are the steps involved from the time a customer has seen your marketing content to actually making a sale?

Do they need to call you or fill in a form, perhaps they need to visit your website or have a meeting with you? Do you need to create a proposal for your customer and how soon will they become a customer, one minute, two months?

It will be different for every business but the easier and the shorter the process the better. Sometimes that is not possible, complex services and business solutions take time but usually pay more in the long term.

Report Track Rise Repeat and Learn

Again developing a social media strategy is unique and will be different for every business. You will not have all the answers at the start, the main thing is to constantly ask yourself questions and attempt to find out the answers.

I have created a video and really believed it was amazing only to find the outcome was poor. I have created content I considered weak and had amazing success. We need to constantly test our marketing and keep a track of the results. Marketing especially for a new business will be expensive, you want to know ASAP if it is working to your benefit.

Track everything and constantly learn and refine the process. Above all be prepared to spend and initially lose money on marketing before you see positive results. Social Media is extremely competitive. If you need help contact us and if you think you can do this without guidance you will be in for a disappointment. Marketing is not easy, that is why we exist. We can help you so you can reach and help your customers.