What are Social Buy Buttons?
Social media “buy buttons” came on the scene in 2014 and were thought to be the next big thing in social media marketing. They provided a new way for retailers to sell directly to consumers. Businesses saw opportunities to turn “likes” and “pins” into cold hard sales. At least they’d hoped.
Are Social Buy Buttons Effective?
Social media has done a great job to help people discover new products and services and an even better job to provide peer reviews and opinions from people you trust. However, it’s not necessarily the best channel when it comes to pulling the trigger and directly making a purchase.
A study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reported that only 35% of millennials were likely to use buy buttons on Facebook and just 24% were likely to use buy buttons on Twitter. As of now (March 2017) both Facebook and Twitter have decided to drop social buy buttons altogether.
The challenge is that in social media there is a disconnect in user intent — socializing and networking versus making a purchase decision. Until audiences shift their mindset social buy buttons will have a difficult time proving themselves as a significant factor in sales.
The Washington Post reported that many stores are seeing big increases in mobile traffic (via social media), yet very few have reported increases in mobile sales. This supports the previous statement that social media is not a strong channel for targeting users with “intent to buy.”
So far, Pinterest has had the most success with buy buttons, but platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are aggressively making changes to bring more commercial appeal (and marketing dollars) to their channels.
Are Buy Buttons Right For You?
At Gravitate, we believe in leaving no stone unturned when it comes to generating new business. Don’t underestimate the power of constant experimentation. Especially in terms of testing new marketing channels, calls-to-action, and audience targeting. If we know 20-30% of millennials are open to using social buy buttons, then there’s no reason not to try them out. This minimal investment could be YOUR next big thing regardless of how successful (or unsuccessful) they are across marketplace averages.