Will Facebook’s ‘buy’ button lead to more immediate marketing results?

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The social media giant unveiled the new test feature, ‘limited to a few small and medium sized businesses,’ in a Thursday blog post.

By Matt Wilson | Posted: July 18, 2014
In a report released this week, Facebook researchers found that people engage with advertisements on the site more frequently when they tell a story or are otherwise “sequenced.”

Facebook may be trying to speed up the process, it seems. On Thursday, the social media company announced in a blog post that it’s testing a “buy” button on ads and brand page posts.

“With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook,” the blog post states.

At first blush, it’s unclear whether the “buy” button could be a magic ROI solution for social media marketers. Facebook is being cautious.

Facebook’s post goes on to note that, for the moment, the button is only available to “a few small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S.” Likewise, the post states that Facebook won’t share buyers’ credit or debit card information with other advertisers, stressing that the payment process is “safe and secure.”

The comments on Facebook’s post range from excitement (“I want this now”) to annoyance (“Try to work on a method to suck less money from users”). Enthusiasm seems to be winning out, though. There are also a few requests. One person asks why the button is gray and whether other colors will be tested.

Advertising Age notes that this isn’t the first time Facebook has tried out a payments system. It gave up on Facebook Credits, its virtual currency, in 2012.

Twitter appears to also be eyeing methods to entice readers to buy products on its site. It announced Thursday that it had acquired online payment firm CardSpring to “bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to users.”

How do you feel about all this, Ragan readers? Will Facebook’s “buy” button get customers down the funnel faster? Will it make proving ROI easier for social media managers and online marketers? 

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