A Guide to Social Commerce Success for Nigerian Retail Brands

In the last 18 months we’ve seen the rise of social commerce features on our favourite Social Media Channels! We believe that social commerce is here to stay and retail brands, especially those with low cost products, stand a chance to be the really big winners.

Today, users can discover, research and complete a purchase without ever leaving their social feed.

Social networks are deepening their e-commerce features and directly integrating with payment gateways and e-commerce websites, while endorsements and influencer marketing are also on the rise, slowly pushing people towards brands that they may not necessarily have purchased online or sometimes even offline.

Facebook recently announced it would introduce AI features like price-range suggestions and auto-categorization in it’s Marketplace. Instagram also released a shopping tab on its Explore page, which allows users to view products from various sellers in a dedicated feed.

Of course these features are not suitable for all retailers, but as the various platforms continue to invest in retail, brands need to stay on top of trends and features in order to win big.

As a retail brand in any stage; new, growing or established — social media and specifically social commerce will become your greatest equaliser yet.

Here Are 6 Tested Ways to Succeed at the Social Commerce Game as a Nigerian Retail Brand:

1. Let your brand come ALIVE!

Your social media audience wants to feel like they are talking to a brand that has a personality. Posts don’t always have to be about selling / showcasing your products. Come up with an angle for your content that is expandable and evergreen. Let your feed make your brand come alive.

2. Expand your reach — Use Hashtags that have high levels of engagement

Hashtags are like keywords on search. They help social media users search topics and follow conversations about your brand, products or industry at large.

In addition to your own brand hashtags that must be easy to remember and help create awareness for your brand, you should research the top performing hashtags for your retail category. Make sure they are short, relatable and easy to memorize.

3. Engagement is critical — Focus on building a community on social media, not just gaining followers

Incorporating social media into your retail business is actually more of an art than rocket science. Don’t just monitor your likes and your follower growth, make sure you focus on building strong connections with your customers.

Be social & build relationships — beyond your daily posts, learn to interact with your customers, communities, complementing brands and influencers. Like and comment on other brands and people’s posts too. There must be lots of brands, communities and individuals that your brand finds interesting. It’s not just about pushing content, you also need to be engaging with other people’s content. Following people and interacting with them on social media works to build beneficial relationships.

Other than your channels, closed third party Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, as well as subject matter Instagram pages are great places to start engaging with potential customers or simply get noticed by them.

We have also seen great success and high levels of engagement by building communities for brands that consist of their target audience, but share brand unrelated content only. This allows brands to engage through subliminal advertising, features of new products, polls, surveys etc. without community members feeling like they are constantly being bombarded with one product or the other.

Social campaigns are also a great way to create excitement and buzz about your company and sharing that excitement about your product or service online is a great way to gain more exposure for your brand while connecting with your audience.

4. Get Social Commerce Ready

You can’t sell without a store now can you? Social Commerce features like the Facebook Buy button and Instagram Price Tags are easy to set up and can integrate directly with the products on your e-commerce website. You can use the social commerce features to drive more targeted traffic to your e-commerce website, as well as convert sales right then and there with a little help of automatic checkout features that can be integrated.

Make sure that your posts have as much info as possible of product features, benefits etc and don’t forget to be available to respond to messages and DMs with questions right away — as the saying goes the fastest fingers convert sales or something like that. :-)

5. Improve you Facebook Messenger Engagement

Last week Facebook announced that it is going to consolidate Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs and Whatsapp into one beast of a messaging platform and marketers everywhere are super excited for obvious reasons.

Until this dream becomes a reality you must make sure to get your FB Messenger game on. An easy way to do this is to integrate a chatbot into your messenger that responds to first level enquiries. This helps push potential customers further down the sales funnel and helps you learn about sales objections. Facebook also offers a great feature for promoting your page to get more messages — this is great to get conversations started, collect contact details and of course close sales.

6. Encourage Reviews and Customer Feedback

There is no point to being active on social media as a retail brand if your actions do not encourage your customers to give their feedback. In order to encourage reviews and customer feedback, makes sure you create sharable content, request for pictures of your customers using your products, send them links where they can write their reviews and create posts with captions that actively allow for interaction with your customers.

One more thing, let them feel the love! People now rely on social media to guide their purchasing decisions. Responding to your social media audience positively and within a short / reasonable time frame increases brand loyalty and brand value. So when they comment, acknowledge and respond to each comment in a warm and courteous manner.

Social Media is a land of new opportunities with the constantly evolving algorithms and extensions. With a clearly defined strategy, commitment and care, you can start building and shaping your brand into an epicenter of opportunity.

Futuresoft offers Social Media Marketing services with a core focus on Social Commerce specifically for retail brands and would love to work with you to steer you through these sometimes-murky waters.

Learn more about our services on our website — www.futuresoft-ng.com or simply leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to reach out to you.