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How Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram Are Enabling Marketers to Sell Smarter

Can point-of-purchase shift from catalogs and websites to social networks? New “Buy Now” style options from Pinterest and Instagram aim to make that the case, and this week Twitter joined the party with a test of their own in-network solution.

buy buttons

The truth is that as digital consumers we’re no longer concerned with limiting our activity to one central  hub. We’ve seen users widen their adoption of social networks, digital news sources, and purchasing methods.

I don’t just use Paypal anymore. I use Squarecash and Venmo, as well.

I don’t just use Uber. I use Uber and Lyft.

I don’t just use Twitter. I use Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Soundcloud…although I may have a problem.

The intersection of mobile and digital have made us more willing to use single-point solutions for our various interests, because no matter how many apps we use, they’re all in the palm of our hand.

Why this Matters to Marketers

As marketers, we have the complex task of identifying and reaching consumers in a more disparate ecosystem, but we also have the ability to reach people at multiple touch points. While the ability to sell a product directly within one network is appealing, the ability to deliver similar offers across each channel until they decide to pull the proverbial trigger is much more valuable.

These “Buy Now” style buttons also signal an important focus for each of these networks, demonstrating the ability to deliver targeted, impactful experiences for consumers on each network, driving revenue from advertising partners, and creating an easy and unobtrusive way for users to interact with those partners.

Can You Access these Features?

Let’s walk through each network to answer this question.

1. Twitter

Twitter’s Product and Place pages are currently in “test” mode, with an impressive collection of 41 brands, influencers, and celebrities using the feature.  You can learn more about this service in Twitter’s blog post, but  according to the network, it’s a new way “for people and brands to create and share Twitter collections of products and places. You’ll be able to browse rich collections from influencers you care about and get more information about the products or places you find interesting.

twitter buy
Demi Lovato and Lebron James’ collection pages.

2. Pinterest

Pinterest’s “Buy It” feature is still listed as “coming soon” on their website, but according to CNET, the network will be partnering with big name retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Nieman Marcus, and relative unknowns like SOBU and Madesmith.



3. Instagram

Instagram is currently testing the direct-response features that allow users to download an app, visit a website, or buy a product directly from an Instagram sponsored post. This feature will be rolled out more broadly in coming days.


To learn more about trends on these major networks,  download our 2015 State of Social Marketing Report, which highlights social marketing trends across seven major social networks, as well as the results of two surveys that highlight the common structures of social media teams, and what social marketers struggle with on a daily basis.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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