Shreya Mehta from Dehradun knows how to turn a challenge into an opportunity. Before the lockdown, she worked at a school in Uttarakhand, which shut. This was followed by a pay-cut that she wasn’t prepared for. What she was prepared for was to pick herself up and move on. The money was important and so was her sanity, so she decided to start a small digital venture.
Mehta had been hearing about the demand for menswear during the pandemic. She worked on sourcing a collection from suppliers in Jaipur and Surat, and uploaded photos of the merchandise on a WhatsApp group with 200 people that she created. In one month, she saw a turnover of one lakh. She now operates 20 such groups.
There is a digital revolution sweeping the country, according to Partha Chakrabarty, Dean of Studies at Advaita Academy of Future Learning, a digital marketing institute. Smartphones facilitate pretty much everything, especially ease of shopping. “According to market reports, 2021 may witness a tremendous change in Instagram and Facebook algorithms,” says Chakrabarty.
To help you make the most of this, digital marketers share five ways to leverage this opportunity.
Choose the platforms wisely
“If learners want to sell consumer products such as skincare, apparels or gourmet food, Facebook isn’t the right platform. Create YouTube videos to promote the products. Or maybe Instagram Reels, says Chakrabarty. If you’re new, visit a competitors’ profiles to see their favourite medium.
Know your audience
Spend time understanding what your client-base looks like—profile, demographics, demands, and financial segment. “Get data from social media platforms such as Facebook Pixel, Hootsuite, Keyhole, Sprout Social and others,” adds Chakrabarty.
“You can start by creating a business profile on WhatsApp. It has a feature that lets businesses add important company details to their profile to create a formal professional presence,” says Shikha Mishra, Executive Director, Team White Balance, a digital marketing and PR agency. With the ‘catalogue’ feature, businesses can create a free mobile storefront to showcase goods or services, while customers can browse and discover things they might want to buy. There are the useful messaging tools too.
Engage on Social Media
Create a strong social media presence. “To use the digital medium to your advantage, you should know how to mark a presence. And it doesn’t stop at creating one social media account. The more you engage, the better,” says Mishra.
The Loyalty Club
Make sure to tag customers, brand patrons, and competitors. Additionally, tag or mention companies that you source from. This will help you reach out to more people faster. “If you do this consistently, you can expect at least a 10 percent tagged users to tag you in return. That, in turn, attracts eyeballs for your business,” says Chakrabarty.
The Right Tools
Take advantage of tools available online to automate your work. Hootsuite Insights, Brandwatch, and Google Analytics help you understand customer traffic.