With Meta platforms and products such as video and messaging, small businesses around the world are becoming more visible in their communities
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is getting the word out about their products and solutions.
Though social media platforms have made online advertising more varied and diverse, providing opportunities for businesses of all stripes to attract new customers through posts, videos, and ads, it’s also become harder for small businesses to cut through the noise.
At Meta, we want to help SMBs connect with their audience and communities by enabling and empowering business leaders to use our platforms and tools so that they go from being invisible to visible, connect with new customers, and increase conversions, such as more website visits, appointment bookings, and sales.
Home to some of the world’s most popular social media and messaging platforms, Meta sees over 3.6 billion people use its services, which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, monthly.
The power of video
Over the past two years, Instagram and Facebook have become popular video platforms for connecting with brands, and half of the time people across the globe spend on Facebook and Instagram is spent watching a video.
This is a powerful storytelling medium that can help businesses showcase their products, people, and brand story, which in turn can help them win the hearts and minds of shoppers.
For example, homegrown Australian brand Pop Wilder successfully used Meta video tools such as Reels and Instagram Live to reach new customers.
Our philosophy to bring plants into people’s homes in an easy and innovative way is bigger than the brand itself,” said Mishka Nansi, owner of Pop Wilder.
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“Reels has helped us develop and grow the business while connecting with our customers through visually powerful stories. We love making Reels and showcasing our products on Instagram Live.”
How to use videos to reach new customers
For businesses looking to raise awareness by diving into video content for the first time or by ramping up their video offerings on Meta platforms, here are tips and techniques to consider:
For Reels, the Instagram community loves short, authentic, and entertaining videos that are optimised for mobile viewing, meaning filmed vertically, and that help make your brand come alive.
The first three seconds are important for capturing people’s attention, and it’s important that your video is easy to watch, don’t clutter it with too much text and ensure that there aren’t watermarks that make it obvious you’ve recycled content from other platforms.
If you’re using Stories, many of the best practices from Reels can be employed: keep the videos short, authentic, entertaining, and filmed vertically.
But with Stories, you can add interactive content such as tags, links, and stickers that can help engage people and encourage them to take actions such as visiting a website, shop, or voting in a poll.
The business power of conversations
Apart from videos, messaging has also become a handy way for businesses to connect directly with shoppers to answer questions, provide customer support, and even drive sales.
In fact, 56 per cent of shoppers in the Asia Pacific said in a recent survey that they would like the ability to make a purchase directly through a messaging app and more than half of holiday shoppers across Asia are more likely to buy if a business is contactable via a messaging platform.
This shows the importance of conversational commerce, the ability for customers to chat with businesses, and why small businesses should use it.
By setting up customer communication channels on Messenger or WhatsApp, brands can chat with people in real-time quickly and easily. This in turn can provide a personalised experience and positively influence a shopper’s decision to sign-up for a subscription or class or make a purchase.
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A great example of this comes from BungaKita, a business that sources ornamental plants from Bandung. Located in Indonesia, the company’s team uses messaging to connect with customers in real-time, engage with them to build relationships, and stay top of mind for their services.
“We build relationships and engage our customers using WhatsApp,” said Rudi Ardiansyah, owner of BungaKita. “I’ve seen my products become better-known thanks to Meta Tools.”
How to use conversational commerce to grow your brand
Like BungaKita, small businesses can use messaging platforms effectively to more closely connect with customers and grow their brand. Here are some quick tips that will help you be well on your way to providing excellent conversational commerce.
Since many small businesses will likely use a customer service team rather than automation to begin, make sure that you respond to people who reach out to you quickly and ensure your messages are clear and succinct, especially if you need a bit more time to respond fully to their query.
Message tags can help you manage conversations by sending personalised and timely non-promotional messages, such as human agent responses and post-purchase updates and sponsored messages can be used to send promotional updates to people you’ve interacted with via Messenger if they have opted-in to receive them.
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As your business scales and grows, you can consider transforming your conversational commerce experience to be fully automated or a hybrid solution that uses both automation and human agents.
As you become more comfortable with both video and messaging on Meta platforms, you can use both to drive more awareness and connect with your customers in a friendly, conversational way.
Gaining greater visibility with Meta
Businesses deserve visibility and with Meta platforms and products such as video and messaging, small businesses around the world are becoming more visible in their communities, both online and offline, as more people discover, interact with them, and become customers.
To discover more good ideas for small businesses, check out this space.
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