As a digital marketer, especially during my scouting times online, i come across a lot of pages (facebook and instagram especially) that think they are doing digital marketing. At times it’s funny, cos a lot of people (globally) think having a facebook page and putting pictures and captions there at all times means you’re doing digital marketing. In a way you are, but you’re only using just a small fraction of the whole cake. Social media is now arguably an extensive portion of digital marketing, when ignored, it has its repercussions and when harnessed, brings in great ROIs. For the purpose of this, lemme not delve too much into the technicalities. (FYI, I’ve been in the industry for 4 years. worked with top brands such as Startup5 Gh, Global Entertainment Network (Nigeria), Scribbling Sage (Nigeria), Sparkzuta International Modeling Agency, SAI wine, The Gallery Apartments, Acacia Build, The Kingsmen, Seasonal House Ghana, etc , and the list goes on and on, most of whom are still current clients.)
I’m into real estates as some of you who have been anticipating this piece may know. I recently scouted digital platforms such as tonaton and olx to find suitable needs to some clients and also arrange some deals with other partners in the business. One thing struck me – a lot of junk listings. Yes! i call them junk cos these are stuff that won’t attract you even on first sight. And what’s shocking is, it runs across. Most of the listings have even been on the platform for as long as a year and over, all because they are not doing the right thing to attract the right clients. There were some commendable ones that caught my attention too. With this and more, i decided to share my knowledge. Some of the information you’re about to receive has been what gets me paid, whether during consultancies or actual contracts, but hey, i’m just glad to share. There is no significant group of people to whom this piece goes to but if you’re a page owner on facebook, you’re definitely going to find this useful. Other criteria are for people who occasionally buy or sell online using tonaton.com edwaaso.com themarketghana.com olx.com and other similar sites. There is no sideline, so far as you sell something especially products, you’re good to go.
In a digital age, what captures attention the most is audio-visuals. This include images, designs, audio ads, songs, etc. As a seller, you should be able to capitalize on this as a tool to facilitate your selling process and even help validate the payment process till you get the value of money for the product being sold. The problem has to do with eagerness to sell so virtually no preparation, bad images, bad captions, bad grammar (don’t think cos i can control my english language so i’m being harsh on others, evidently if it is an accepted national first language, then i think we should uphold it and use it as such). Other problems have to do with inadequate, irrelevant or too much information, etc. Of course, like to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, i think some reactions need not be equal. So lemme propose practical solutions to the concerns raised.
For effective sales using social media and ecommerce platforms, it is expedient to consider getting the best out of the following tried and tested solutions.
- Content : When we say content, it is a general term for the What, Where, How, etc, the How many, the how much, the where to get, etc. It is a complete knowledge of what you’re selling, from which location you’re selling, to whom you’re selling and even why you’re selling. Some things may not make sense in a Ghanaian terrain but with time, as we embrace digital marketing the more, you’d be amazed.
- Grammar and English: People buying and selling do not interact in vernacular online. When last did you see a post fully written in Ga, telling you to buy some products here and there? Good! That should tell you that the most widely accepted language is the language of the people. Some may argue that English seems to be an issue to some greater parts of the population, i concur. But that should not deter you from getting your 12,000ghc on that house you want to rent out. So what should you do? Find someone who can speak and understand english well, explain what you want to him or her and let them transcribe for you so that you can put it up online. This way, you leave no stones unturned. If you get an enthusiast calling and you decide to speak twi, so be it, nobody fights, odds are you’ll get your property sold. As much as possible, avoid huge words, go straight to the point, don’t use jargons, spell well, use your punctuations. This is not an english nov/dec exam but if you have a target audience of expatriates on booking.com and airbnb like i have, you will scrutinise all your commas and dot all your I’s. (as if you can dot an I when typing. 😀 just kidding)
- Titling: When you know the content of your product, it is important to give it a good title. A good title should include the major catch-points of what you’re selling. For example let’s say i’m renting out a two bedroom house located at East Legon, a good title could be “A Two bedroom Gated House in East Legon, Renting out for One year Advance Payment” . The title should be catchy enough to let people stay, click on it and look for more details. It shouldn’t be too long too as it may bore readers since not the whole sentence will appear when the listing is live on the platforms (some platforms show all only when opened as a stand alone item).
- Pictures: Pictures, not just any, but great quality pictures can do a great deal of magic that even the titles and content may not be able to. While on tonaton and olx the last time, i was pissed off at some images sellers put online. I wonder if they really want to sell the thing and sell it fast. Cos some were taken with some very bad phones. Others were blurry. Others were taken as if someone was chasing the holder of the phone as at the time he pressed the shutter button. I dont know if people even review what they put online. argh! i hope people change after this post. If need be, hire a professional photographer ( like me 😀 oh yes! i’ll be sharing some under the post) to facilitate the picture taking process. If it’s rooms and apartments, you need a photographer. If with clothes and other products, a good photoshoot will get you scaling in no time. Invest in what you’re selling such that when you price them, people will think twice before negotiating. In the course of the photoshoot, an experienced photographer (like me 😀 ) will consider the angles and details. If it’s a house, the exterior, even surrounding buildings is important. Other notable shots should cover the bedrooms, kitchen, washrooms, garage, compound, exterior amenities, etc. Make sure you cover enough to be enough. Most of these platforms have limitations for the number of images you can upload, so it will be nice to upload them all into google drive or a website, and have the url in the description so that enthusiasts can follow up and gather more information.
- Details: Details are a continuation and explanation of the title. Still with my example in “Titling”, a good detailed description could be – “The interior is all tiled and painted white. There are two separate bathrooms. You have your own private meter. There is a polytank installed for water reservation. The kitchen is 59 sq. ft. The two bedrooms are each 72sq ft. One of them features a pre-installed wardrobe. The compound has a lawn and a porch as well. There is also a spacious garage that can house two four-wheel drive vehicles. The landlord is accepting one year advance payment of which a month goes for 750ghc. Price is strictly non-negotiable. However two year payment plan will see a monthly fee of 650ghc. No agent/agency fees. Kindly contact me via [email protected] or call or whatsapp 0500018757 for further discussions leading to you purchasing and me delivering your keys. Best regards. A Seller.” (that was a hot one, i’m even tired.) I’m sure you can relate with how much information to give such that you wont get stressed out again with unnecessary questions when customers call you later.
- Contacts: It is important to leave active contact numbers with names and positions (if it’s an agency). You may also want to leave email addresses, you never know if some documents will be sent to you for verification or processing or other formalities. Do not leave a number you will not be available to answer or reply to. This may lead to frustration on the part of the buyer , that’s if you’re okay loosing about 12,000ghc just like that cos you failed to type the correct and most active number.
- Links/Websites/urls: In a digital age, it isn’t bad at all to include links to your website where customers can get a wide array of information, even relating to other products you may have to sell. For fashion designers who have websites (contact me for a whooping 20% off if you need one), this wont be bad as you can show enthusiasts your whole gallery of collections and of course, your price lists. Imagine how thrilled customers will be and how filled your pockets will get, all cos of good preparation. ( 🙂 )
- Apps/USSD: oh Yes! apps are an integral portion of digital marketing. If you have an app, it is essential to include it’s download links and platforms in a listing or post. If you have an active USSD system, it is best to include the shortcode as well. For example, for one of my clients, Scribbling Sage (one of the highest paid authors on Amazon in Africa) , he runs a USSD for his books. There is a most recent one that was launched globally, and making waves across. Titile is “Entangled” and if you’re in Ghana, you can make a purchase via *800*200# and it will be delivered. (Order for four, and i’ll also pay one free for you. 🙂 )
In conclusion, let’s stop giving enthusiasts headaches and heartaches when they are looking for things to buy online. In our facebook groups, facebook timelines, instagram feeds, etc, we see some of these bad habits, let’s help be the change we seek. These are tried and tested means to make effective sales using the power of social media. I would be telling lies before man and God if i told you they haven’t made me a household name when it comes to managing brands’ digital marketing needs. For the money, we’ll talk about it later. As always, you can get in touch with me if you have questions or digital marketing needs. If there’s also another thing i omitted or forgot to add, do share with me in the comments. Some shares to your favorite friends who sell often online will be deeply appreciated. Till next time, it’s a bye for now.
*This article is available in pdf format. Order for a free copy via [email protected] *