Smart businesses realized early on the power of social media platforms as marketing channels. Today, many companies successfully use social media to market their products and services. Consumers can interact with their favorite brands through social media, and buy products simply by clicking a link on social media post and going to the company’s website. This is certainly a powerful tool for marketers.
The future of social media marketing is already here, and it’s called the ‘buy now’ button. Social ‘buy now’ buttons allow shoppers to make a purchase online without ever leaving the social media platform’s domain. With two clicks, one to buy and one to confirm, a purchase is made.
Facebook: First to Test Social Commerce
In July of 2014, Facebook began testing a “buy” button. However, Facebook has been searching for ways to enter ecommerce for a few years. In 2013, it enabled on-site payments to charities with a “donate” button, and it also has been testing a feature called “Auto-fill with Facebook” which enters payment details automatically when you make a purchase in a third-party ecommerce app. Today, Facebook’s “buy” button is up and running. Jason Del Rey of recode.net has written a great article on his experience making a purchase with the Facebook “buy” button, here.
Twitter: Targeted Selling
Around the same time as Facebook was testing their button, Twitter announced they were testing their “Buy Now” button. Currently only a few companies are part of the initial testers. Twitter’s button would allow you to run a business without even owning a website, rather you could sell through a site like Amazon or Ebay. Twitter followers can link their payment information to their profiles, and make purchases with one click without ever leaving the social media site. Twitter buy button users could use trending or relevant hashtags to target selling.
Visual Social Media Sites are Selling too
In 2015, Pinterest and Instagram are also entering the realm of direct social ecommerce. Pinterest will offer buyable pins, and users will be able to complete their purchases using Apple Pay or credit card. Like Twitter, the initial release will be to select large retailers in the US. Instagram will offer call to action buttons, which are similar to “Buy Now” buttons but may offer more options. For instance, Instagram’s shop now button will allow users to install an app, sign up for a service, or just ‘Learn more’. Since Instagram’s parent company is Facebook we can expect to see enhanced targeting and analytics similar to what’s available for Facebook advertisers currently.
What It Means to You
“Buy now” buttons have the power to dramatically alter the way companies view social media. Social media is now the top internet activity. Eighty percent of the internet population make online purchases, yet today’s primary focus for many social media marketers is still only brand awareness. The two most important dilemmas facing social media marketing today are providing solid data regarding conversion rates and ROI. ‘Buy now’ buttons will allow marketers to effectively track purchases made on social media and provide their companies with solid analytics regarding both sales tracking and marketing initiatives. Solid proof a marketing initiative is working means we will see companies allocating more marketing dollars towards social media efforts in the near future.
“Buy Now” buttons have the ability to drive the future of your business. If your not already using social media to engage start now, if your business is already engaged in e-commerce, “Buy Now” options within social media should be on your horizon. It’s better to be ahead of the game than left behind! Please like, comment, or share this blog post!