by Paul Slack
Twitter expands “Buy” Button access
Three of the big social media players have been tinkering around with “Buy” buttons that can be used directly on a post to purchase a product. The idea, obviously, has been to add a new source of revenue for the social sites. Twitter first offered the Buy buttons last September to a small group of “special” players – namely artists, non-profits and a few select brands, but they just rolled out a major expansion.
Twitter has teamed up with Shopify – an e-commerce software vendor – to allow business users to add the Buy button to their posts. Through Shopify’s integration, the purchase will take place on Twitter and no traffic will be directed to the businesses’ website – but they will have made a sale. The added advantage to Twitter users is that billing and shipping info will be stored, encrypted of course, on Twitter – so they won’t have to enter it again and again for different businesses.
Some businesses have already made “product pages” which Twitter rolled out a couple of months ago – like the shopping pages on a website – but on Twitter. The biggest problem so far is that users have to wait for an item to come across their timeline – or they have to know they want something from a particular company, but Twitter says they are working on a “search” system.
The biggest problem for businesses may be that integration with a company’s website isn’t part of the plan so there are two product pages to manage – but you get more exposure.
See if you can make a fortune on Twitter at Fortune.
Point is – This is a new e-commerce platform – convenient and accessible to anyone on Twitter which covers about a quarter of all the people on the Internet. You already know you should probably be tweeting but this may give you another reason. Shopify is a big player in e-commerce web design with over 100,000 customers – they are already integrated in a lot of Facebook business pages and they wouldn’t be in this game if they didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. Right now, it may have limited function due to lack of search but it is worth checking out – especially if you offer e-commerce on your website.
The Windows 10 era is now
The much touted Windows 10 is here. It was rolled out late last week and is available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users for the next year. That is you can upgrade during the next year – the system is free for life once you upgrade.
Microsoft claims this will be the last version of Windows and that any further changes will take place through updates and not as a totally new, purchasable operating system. Because the system takes a bit of time to download and install, not everyone who is eligible (that would be millions of users) have done the update but the buzz is mixed so far.
Users are happy that the “pop-up” start menu is back and some are excited about the prospect of going “password free.” Others find this disconcerting, particularly as there is lot of unrest about the fact that Windows is “watching” you, tracking everything you do and you agreed to it when you didn’t read the user agreement. There is also the minor issue of “no media software” meaning you can’t watch DVDs unless you buy the media player for fifteen bucks. “How to” articles about stopping the spyworks are already all over the place and free programs to let you watch DVDs are on CNET.
Of course, there are the predictable bugs and the update fixes are already rolling out big-time, but as is typical, Microsoft isn’t talking about them – just sending the updates.
Microsoft also has plans for a Windows developer bridge to IOS meaning that the tech gurus that have been developing “Windows” apps for mobile aren’t left as far out in the cold as they thought.
If you haven’t downloaded Windows 10 yet, there is tons of info on the web but here’s a pretty positive spin on it at CNET and you can check the news about the IOS bridge at PC Mag.
Point is: We have gotten used to a never-ending round of Windows versions – some of us can remember all the way back to Windows 3.0 and you may still be recovering from the Vista debacle. This may seem like just another one but the difference may be that since it is free to most users, eventually most people will be on it. If it really is the last version – then everyone will be on it. Windows has become more “app” driven – even on the PC and the added news of an IOS bridge for app developers means that Microsoft is aiming for a time when all computers act more like mobile devices – which brings us back around to the repeating phrase “you have to be mobile-ready.”
Facebook allows direct Messages to business
Facebook is doing something new – allowing users to send private messages to businesses that have Facebook ads show up in the newsfeed.
Facebook obviously has “business pages” – which are useful, but if customers want direct interaction they have to go to the page and are often required to “like” the page before they can post a public comment and hope for a public response. Facebook users will soon be able to private message the businesses right from an ad.
This will allow users to ask questions about products, give feedback and maybe even get some customer service in a private forum. It gives users a way to directly interact with the business without leaving the confines of Facebook and it offers businesses a way to attend directly to potential customer needs, potentially increasing sales.
Facebook page admins can also respond to public posts on the business page with a private message – rather than a public reply. This gives businesses the option to create a personal interaction and be more engaging.
The business has to opt-in to the messaging when they create awareness ads and users can opt-out of any business messaging (probably just as difficult as changing your hidden, default privacy settings which are always moving).
Facebook says they have also made it easy to save responses (i.e. they can send “canned” messages) to common inquiries so page admins don’t become bogged down.
Responsiveness will be tracked as part of the page management “Insights” function and those who meet 90% response rate will get a “special bonus sticker,” actually a green badge that says “Very responsive to messages” displayed on the business page.
Get the whole message at PC Mag.
Point is – Facebook is pretty much everything social, but Twitter has had a bigger share of the “customer service” traffic. Since more users are on Facebook, more will be using Facebook for customer service interaction. Up to 70% of those who tweet a company about a product or service expect a direct response – and half expect it within an hour. Facebook users may be just as demanding, so someone needs to be watching your Facebook page if you use this function.