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As more marketing and sales budgets are being shifted to social media, many marketers are being asked to show the return on that investment and provide more detail on the impact that social media has on the bottom line. In response to this, many social platforms are creating ways for brands to make each platform shoppable, making it easier for a brand’s fans and followers to go from casually browsing to becoming a valuable customer. Here are some of our favorite ways to utilize these features across a variety of social platforms.

Facebook

Ads with Call-to-Action Buttons
As part of their major push to get brands to shift their marketing dollars to the platform, Facebook released an ad unit with clickable call-to-action buttons (a ‘shop now’ button is included in this set). These buttons have proven effective at encouraging fans to take action and can have a positive impact on your site’s traffic (and conversions) from social.

Multi-Product Ads
Facebook recently released Multi-Product Ads, which allow brands to showcase 3-5 images and links within a single ad unit and direct people to their e-commerce site. This ad type is a great way to highlight a variety of products while driving fans to your website to purchase them.

These ads are relatively easy to set up through Facebook’s Power Editor (here’s a guide from Jon Loomer Digital). Facebook suggests using product imagery to target returning or high-intent customers, and lifestyle imagery to tell your brand’s story to new customers. As a bonus, Facebook will automatically optimize the performance of the ad by selecting and ordering the top performing images and links for each person who sees your ad.

Targeting
In addition to creative ad units that help drive website traffic and conversions, Facebook has created a handful of effective ways to reach your most valuable fans. You can leverage Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature to remarket to:

  • People who have visited your website
  • People who have signed up for your newsletter
  • People who are similar to your Facebook fans (lookalike audience)

You can also show fans a product that they viewed on your website but did not purchase. This requires working with an agency or Facebook Partner.

Click here to read more about how brands have used these features (and their successes with them).

Twitter

Buy Now Button
Last fall, Twitter introduced a Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on the platform. Since it’s release, only a handful of nonprofits and musical artists were invited to use the feature, with a few select brands being given the opportunity to join in. As there has been no further information released as to when this will be available to more users, we’re standing by for more information. In the meantime, click here to learn more about how shoppers use Twitter during the buying process.

Pinterest

Pinterest Rich PinsPinterest offers a host of options for brands looking to optimize Pinterest performance. Rich Pins require a brand to embed a small piece of code onto website product or service offerings, delivering relevant information to a user from directly within the Pinterest interface.

There are six kinds of Rich Pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. Although Rich Pins can require a website admin or IT professional to install, once the system is set up and adopted by a brand’s web admin, it requires little to no maintenance.

Rich Pins offer brands the opportunity to increase engagement, impressions and clicks while also creating a better user experience, offering Pinners access to information about Pins that they might otherwise have to click off of the site to view. Pinterest has a host of success stories outlining how Rich Pins have helped brands, but the numbers speak for themselves — Room 214 clients invariably see an increase in engagement and clicks on Pins including this extra piece of data.

Pinterest Promoted PinsA more recent offering from Pinterest, Promoted Pins are now available to U.S.-based brands, and offer brands an easy way to boost their content on Pinterest at a low cost, to a relevant, targeted audience. All U.S.-based brands can access Pinterest’s Promoted Pins product as of January 1, 2015.

Promoted Pins are a huge asset to brands looking to increase reach and engagement on Pinterest. Through sophisticated targeting and relatively robust analytics, it’s intuitive and simple to set up campaigns, analyze performance and optimize accordingly. Even with small budgets, brands have seen promising results to date and are likely to continue to improve as Pinterest improves the platform.

Instagram

Like2BuyCuralate’s Like2Buy program has helped ecommerce brands monetize Instagram effectively and simply. Like2Buy, which is offered as an add-on product to Curalate’s Pinterest and Instagram analytics/promotion platform, is an intuitive platform that makes it easy for users to click through a brand’s Instagram post to purchase a product directly from the brand’s website.

To use Like2Buy, fans click the link in a brand’s Instagram profile (promotion of the tool by the brand is needed for fans to learn this additional step) to view images in a gallery that have been posted by the brand on Instagram. This gallery is easily curated by the brand, and can click through to a specific product, or product category, on the brand’s website. Fans can also access brand photos they’ve Liked in the same gallery interface, making the experience customizable by both the brand and the user.

The platform has a simple user interface that does not require sign up or downloads. Analytics are easy to understand and help brands see which content fans consume and click through from most.

Like2Buy alternatives Alternatives to Like2Buy are still few and far between, but we expect this type of platform to become more and more popular in the coming year. Platforms like Pixlee and Piquora have developed similar platforms that offer brands functionality close to that of Like2Buy.

Regardless of a brand’s preference between these or other platforms that make Instagram shoppable, the value that can come from making Instagram shoppable can’t be denied. Finding website traffic and conversions where there was previously none is a huge asset for any brand on Instagram. 

This post was co-authored by Maya Shaff, an Account Director at Room 214. She loves digital marketing, apathetic egg characters and exploring the Colorado outdoors with her husband and dog Brooks.

Leah Lesko

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