What can ecommerce businesses learn from Facebook’s Instant Articles?
Instant Articles is one of Facebook’s newest features. It allows online publishers to post news stories directly to the social media site, speeding up article loading times by up to ten times. A host of major news outlets – BBC News, BuzzFeed, the Guardian, The New York Times and others – showed their support by working with Facebook ahead of the launch of Instant Articles in May.
Publishers benefit from more exposure, users benefit from faster loading times, and Facebook benefits because they retain more traffic.
Instant Articles is a response to the way people use social media, and highlights the scramble from mainstream media to retain their share of that audience. Its launch highlights a trend that all ecommerce businesses can learn from, too.
Publishers’ backing of Instant Articles is a measure of how importantly they value giving users instant access to their content, even if that is at the cost of direct traffic to their site.
Engagement is key for companies who use social media to raise their profile. That stands for independent traders who have a Facebook page, as well as for international publishers who rely on social shares to build their brand.
Customers expect their demand to be satisfied immediately – they want product updates, and expect to know when something is or isn’t in stock. That information empowers your audience; the sense of ownership gives you the best opportunity to win and retain their custom.
More tools, more trade
Whether in-house or through acquisitions, Facebook constantly innovate to ensure they remain the world’s most used social media platform. Earlier this year, they acquired eccommerce search app TheFind, which allows customers to search for products within Facebook and see live price comparisons without leaving the social media platform.
Just as they are prepared to read an article while they’re socialising online, Facebook users are equally prepared to shop – Facebook knows this, it’s exactly why they acquired TheFind. A well-run social media marketing and PPC campaign will put you in the best position to take advantage.