CARMA participated in a panel that focused on social commerce. The panel line-up included Andrew Nicholls, Managing Director at CARMA Asia; Marcus Yong, Vice President – Global Marketing, Strategy & Planning at Klook; Anna Rehermann, Head of Innovation Programs at Elemental Concept; Om A. Bhatia, Head of Digital Revenue Growth at Chubb; and was moderated by Amanda Yesionowski, Marketing Director, Tech In Asia.
Through social commerce, brands leverage social networks to meet customers where they are, drive sales and build loyalty. We don’t need any explanation on the power of social media, but it is important to be very clear on your short- and long-term goals.
For example, are you aiming to simply boost engagement on your social media channels, build awareness of your brand, or grow your customer base? Understanding your aim allows you to define what success means for your social commerce strategy.
Know your customer segments before engaging with them
Stage one of planning for social commerce is identifying your target customer segments.
Segmentation helps in developing a tailored approach to addressing their habits and preferences. Customer segments guide you in choosing the right platforms, collaborating with relevant influencers, and creating content that resonates.
Through a combination of surveys, focus groups, and utilising social listening data, you can build detailed segments that enable you to personalise, localise, and better engage.
Anna said, “An approach tailored to a teenager in Thailand should differ significantly from one aimed at a 50-year-old Singaporean.”
Andrew added, “It gives you a perspective on what messaging is likely to resonate with those people. Be choiceful about not targeting absolutely everybody in all instances.
Explore the factors that influence them, identify the topics that resonate, and uncover the relevant hashtags and trends that connect with both your audience and your brand.
Andrew also emphasised the importance of competitor analysis. Analyse what sets them apart, how they drive engagement, and what customers know perceive them for.
Building brand trust through social commerce using the example of Klook
Social commerce’s focus has shifted towards authenticity and user-generated content, as a way of building trust. Om highlighted that a brand must ensure that all experiences and touchpoints, from virtual to tangible, leads to assuring customers that their expectations are being met.
Social media plays a pivotal role in the brand experience.
Marcus shared Klook’s approach which involves embracing user-generated content. When Klook promoted a cooking class in Vietnam, they anticipated what else their customer segments might want to know about the activities.
Klook then worked with content creators to vividly showcase the experiences. The content creators naturally advocated for Klook’s products, and in their own ways told us why. This approach fosters trust in Klook.
The value of making your brand distinctive
In the competitive realm of social media, standing out is crucial.
Andrew stated, “The sheer volume of messages that people are being bombarded with, means that most marketing communications go unnoticed. Even the ones that manage to grab attention are often forgotten.
It is easier to capture short-term performance metrics, but the real challenge lies in measuring how your brand sits in the mind of your consumer.
The key lies in creating a memorable impact. He continued, “Priority number one is that you need to be distinctive. To stand out, especially in the initial stages, you must focus on building mental availability. Why does Coca Cola continue to advertise? It’s to ensure that people remember them.”
Companies often want to communicate a certain message, but it may not align with what the audience wants to hear.
When embarking on your social commerce strategy, measurement and analysis should come in at the planning stage. This establishes benchmarks for:
- Understanding your customers through segmentation
- Knowing what makes you authentic and distinct; providing insight into why they love your brand
- Tailoring your social commerce strategy according to your customer segments
- And finally setting specific metrics to measure success