How to get started in social commerce
Nov 18, 2016 - MARKETING
Olivier Stapylton-Smith

Want to start a social commerce strategy but don’t know how? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Sometimes, just knowing how to start is half the battle. So we’re here to give you the artillery you need to start your social commerce strategy.

Social Examiner found that 96% of small businesses use social media for marketing, so you might feel like a small fish in a big pond at first. Don’t worry though, by the end of this article, you’ll be the best social commerce expert there ever was. 

Well... maybe you won’t quite be THAT good, but you’ll certainly be a step ahead of the competition, because you’ll know the foundations of social commerce success.


What’s your plan, man?

Wait, don’t touch a thing. Before you do anything, you need to know why you’re doing it. Sure you want to make some money but you should have a marketing goal beyond that. There are a few main goals which people tend to stick with.

  • Making sales: For people who just want to increase their custom merchandise sales by as much as possible.
  • Increasing awareness: No one wants to be invisible, sharing your campaign is the most important thing
  • Getting repeat customers: Even if you don’t have fans, you still have enough interest to get people buying multiple products 
  • Creating a fanbase: Having fans means you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find new customers to sell to
  • Doing market testing: With so many people using social media, it’s the best place to test your ideas, don’t be afraid to share them.

It doesn’t matter which (if any) of these goals you have. You just need to make sure that you know exactly what you want to achieve because this will shape your entire approach to social commerce.


Knowledge is power

That’s not just a cliché. You should know everything about your audience, well, maybe not everything, but the more you know the better. This will help you sell more clothes designs because you’ll know what they’re looking for before they do.

Social media platforms are the best places to research your audience because they store a disturbingly large amount of data on their users. With 2.34 BILLION people using social media worldwide, that’s a lot of information for you to get your hands on. 

Make sure you know

  • What your audience is interested in
  • Whether anything is trending in your niche
  • If you can offer your audience something they don’t have

Once you know these things, you’ll be able to get going with your social selling. Knowing what your audience is interested in will also help you with....


Creating Killer Content

This just means that you need to create fantastic content. Once your brain is filled with all the knowledge of your niche, you can start posting on your platform. 

Since we’re such a fan of goals here; this is what your content should do for your audience:

  • Offer a solution to any issues that they have.
  • Give people a chance to engage with you and your posts
  • Create an environment that your audience wants to be a part of

Remember that it’s quality over quantity with your content, in fact, even if you could achieve quality AND quantity, you wouldn’t want to. Sending out too much content will annoy people and send them away rather than bring them to you. 

Sometimes figuring this out is trial and error and other times there’s handy little bullet points:

  • Facebook: 1 to 2 posts a day
  • Twitter: 3 to 5 tweets a day
  • Instagram: 1 a day
  • Pinterest: 5-30 pins a day (based on how much content you have, also remember to space them out over the day)

Keep a constant stream of high quality content that’s useful for your audience and you’ll start to gain organic traction. This builds your following and turns you into a reliable source of information for your niche audience.


Advertise. Everywhere.

If you’re a social butterfly and are using multiple social platforms, you should sync up your advertisements and posts. You can promote your Pinterest page by posting onto Facebook and vice versa.

Remembering to cross-advertise your social media accounts will keep the users on each platform high and increase your chance to make sales. If you upload a piece of content that is relevant to one platform, you can still advertise it on another one. Posting images of your new designs on Instagram or Pinterest will gain some traction.

However you should also make sure you include cross-platform advertisements so you can keep selling on social media. You aren’t going to make sales if you don’t advertise your products, so once you’ve built up an audience, it’s time to get selling.


Calendars are Key

In case no one told you, knowing your goals is super important. It’s so important because having a plan makes everything so much easier. That’s why creating a schedule for your social media accounts is the next step here.

Knowing what you’ll post and when you’ll post it means that you can create entire marketing strategies ahead of time. Your Christmas sales will be a breeze if you plan them in July. This will let you focus on the important things in life, like reading this blog article about the companies that help you schedule your posts.

Automating the entire process not only means that you save time, but it also makes you a reliable source of knowledge for your audience. People are more likely to purchase your custom clothes if they trust you.


Don’t be a shameless self promoter

You probably shouldn’t automate the entire process though. People need to see that there’s a person on the other side of the screen, even if you’re on the other side of the world. Maintaining your social commerce channels doesn’t just mean that you should post only about your products.  

Your Social media accounts have to look natural. If you’re all about advertising yourself, then you’re not likely to gain much traction.

  • Post on other channels 
  • Share other people’s posts 
  • Communicate with people using the platform. 
  • Share content that is interesting, even if it’s not about your products

You should spend more time on non-promotional activity than you should on promoting yourself. This shows consumers that you’re interested in more than just making sales (even if you’re not).


We are family

It’s not a bad thing to watch your social page develop on it’s own. Your page might start to outgrow you as people talk to one another and share content with one another. Remember though, you’re the one that started it all, and everyone there will still be buying from you.

Create competitions and encourage your audience to interact with you and each other. This will encourage your followers to form a community rather than losing interest. It’s better to have a few hundred active members than thousands of disinterested members.


Let’s wrap this up

We know which platforms to use from our previous blog post and now you know the foundations for getting started with social commerce. Remember these 7 commandments:

  1. Know your goals
  2. Learn about your audience
  3. Create quality content
  4. Cross-promote and advertise
  5. Schedule your posts
  6. Share content and be social 
  7. Encourage your community to engage with you and each other

It’s time for you to get out there and start building your social commerce empire, one step at a time. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask us at the Moteefe Hangout, and you can learn more tips and tricks by reading our blog.

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