What Twitter's dead buy button means for social commerce

The platform is dropping its buy button, but there is still plenty of opportunity for social commerce, writes the co-CEO and founding partner of Wondersauce.

What Twitter's dead buy button means for social commerce

Recently, Twitter axed their buy button, a tool aimed at baking commerce directly into the platform. Their focus has shifted to other commerce related products that, for instance, drive website conversions.

If a major platform shifting from direct commerce worries you, don’t let it. In Twitter’s case, the shift shows that although users are more than ready to engage with brands on the platform, there is still plenty of opportunity across it and other social platforms to get them to convert into customers.

As a company that builds ecommerce infrastructure and uses social to drive customer engagement, we know a conversion will close more efficiently if you’ve built rock solid e-commerce or brand infrastructure, created the right content, and understand the importance of engaging with your audience throughout the conversion cycle.

Social platforms are still incredibly focused on commerce, and that means that we are quickly heading towards a world with fully integrated social commerce. It’s time to dive deep on your efforts in social to push commerce and conversion and then watch those investments pay off as users come to expect this behavior in their different social feeds.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more give marketers better access to their current and future customers than any other medium in history. The platforms also continue to build new tools for targeting a brand’s user base and collect critical data to inform future business decisions by brands.

To triple down on the opportunity today, focus on three areas:

Infrastructure: Investing in infrastructure enables businesses to convert no matter where the sale starts. This will be true even as fully integrated social commerce grows. Users on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are currently there to focus on social behaviors. Introducing a buy button in a social feed still requires an element of lifting to move that user into purchase mode. 

Get out of your user’s way when you drive them to your owned platforms by excluding superfluous content, non-expected interaction models, and unclear or too many calls to action. Aside from ensuring straight-forward and solid user experience your infrastructure needs to focus on performance. Social platforms deliver data incredibly quickly whether on LTE, 3G or a fiber connection.

If you aren’t delivering your data close to or as fast as social networks are then you’ve completely lost an opportunity for converting a user into a customer. Regardless of whether you are using a combination of techniques to improve page load (asynchronous JavaScript loading, WebP images, etc.) or if you have made sites conform to Accelerated Mobile Pages guidelines, the effort must be made to deliver access to your platforms faster.

Content: All great marketing starts with great content. Content that doesn’t get in the way of the product. Content that resonates directly with your customers. We have the ability to target and place content in extremely specific places with today’s tools ,which leads us to creating specific content for those distinct channels and audience segments.

A/B testing for optimal conversion helps quickly identify where we can and should focus our creative dollars. This is a non-stop loop that you constantly work on to stretch each cent spent on your content.

Engagement: Conversion cycles don’t end at the sale. Social platforms have been opening up new tools to brands, publishers, and agencies to create a means to extend our ability to engage with customers. Bots for Facebook and Twitter help us automate the top of the funnel, engage immediately post-conversion and keep all of the appropriate messaging in one place should the customer look to engage the brand for any issues (positive or negative) with their purchase.

Today’s successful social commerce starts in a user’s feed then closes quickly on an intuitively designed and optimized brand page. In the near future the entire cycle will become more wholly integrated.

Pairing strong brand infrastructure, iterative content strategy, and thoughtful customer engagement tools with a smarter approach to sending media dollars to these platforms allows you to take an active approach to marketing that is poised to convert with your customers now and into the near future.

—Eric Mayville, Co-CEO and founding partner of Wondersauce.

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