Our focus today is social commerce. Nowadays, we spend lots of time on social media. Businesses now spend lots of time on social media as well. This is because they now appreciate that you need to find potential customers there. Most of the content you see on social media these days is business-oriented. The content will lure prospects and hopefully get them to purchase something. That whole cycle is what social commerce is. It is the buying and selling of products or services via social media. Here is how you can formulate a social commerce strategy for your business:
Wisely Choose Social Media Platform(s) To Operate From
It all starts with choosing a social media platform. In fact, it is often more than one social media platform. There are several of them, so some systematic decision-making must occur. The idea is to choose social media platforms where most of your prospects are. The most commonly used social media platforms in Zimbabwe are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok. These are social media platforms with which digital marketing is considerably happening in Zimbabwe. If your target market expands beyond Zimbabwe, you still consider the same. Do not just choose social media platforms simply because everyone is doing so. Make choices borne out of detailed metrics in line with your business.
The Importance Of Regularly Posting Relevant And Engaging Content
Notice there I started with ‘relevant’ and then ‘engaging’ later. That is to show the importance of ensuring your content is relevant. I can tell you that telling people to buy is seldom relevant content. It seldom is engaging as well. We have always underscored the importance of not making hard sells online. Do not make it evident that you want people to buy what you are selling. You need to provide them with content that they genuinely benefit from.
The intelligent thing you can do is to centre on content that will make people see the necessity of buying from you. For instance, providing content on hair care science and routines gives prospects valuable information. It becomes easier to then sell to them later. This brings to mind the 80-20 ratio of content marketing. It means that 80 percent of the time, you should post relevant and engaging content (not selling anything). Then only 20 percent of the time is when you can directly post content selling something.
The Fewer The Clicks, The Better
In your bid to drive social commerce, the aim should be to make everything seamless. This should be your goal whenever you create a product or service in the digital space. The goal should be to ensure the users make a few clicks to get things done. For instance, when someone interacts with your social media content, how do they purchase? There are many possible avenues, and that is where you need to think hard. You could redirect them to your website or your WhatsApp inbox, for example. Whichever the process is, it should be characterised by as few clicks as possible. The more clicks and the longer the process, the higher the likelihood that prospects will not follow through.
Build Personalization Into All You Do
It is often the case that most businesses are impersonal on social media. They treat prospects merely as objects through which revenue must come. This attitude does not work in social commerce. You should interact with anyone who visits your social media platforms as you would a friend. Some businesses in Zimbabwe are pretty good at that. It makes it easy for people to value your content and trust your brand. Give your business a relatable personality. Figure out the general nature of the audience around your business.
Once you do, use conversational tones that they can relate to. The thrust is to get two-way communication with your audience going. It will also condition your audience to speak about your business online. In the end, brand awareness is boosted. All this stems from building personalization into processes. After all, it is social commerce; how can you thrive without being social and be social without being personal? Reaching out to prospects and engaging them pre, during, and post-sales should be personalized.
The Importance Of Data Analytics
When everything is up and running, you enjoy the benefit of data analytics. All social media platforms have inbuilt data analytics features. You need to use them. You need to check them out to understand your audience better constantly. Especially if you engage in paid advertising, you will get more comprehensive data. All subsequent decisions should be premised on insights you get from actual data. You will even notice that those insights will help your personalization efforts.
Those are the basics of formulating a social commerce strategy for your business. You will win if you centre everything on the people you are targeting. Do not do things just because they seem right or everyone is doing them. Seek to do what appeals to your specific business context.