How To Build A Social Audience For Your Amazon Channel In 2020?
Selling through Amazon is the online equivalent to renting a space in the world’s most popular shopping mall. Sure, there are some drawbacks, and the mall in question is the size of a modest city, but it provides you with a level of exposure that’s incredibly hard to achieve elsewhere. That doesn’t mean automatic success, though. It’s just a foundation to build upon.
How do you fabricate such a foundation? Well, there are various viable approaches: you could focus on SEO, trying to get your product pages to rank higher than the alternatives, or you could use a paid marketing method like pay-per-click advertising or influencer marketing. Even so, I suggest putting the bulk of your energy into building a social audience for your channel.
In this post, I’ll set out exactly what I mean by building a social audience for your Amazon channel, then offer up some tips for how you can manage it with minimal fuss. Let’s begin.
What does a social audience involve?
When I talk about a social audience for a channel, I’m talking about gathering followers across one or more social profiles created in support of said channel. A strong Amazon channel will be branded somehow, and that branding can be carried over to a Facebook account (among others): that account can then be used to build up interest and promote the products on offer.
What it is that attracts followers to such a social account can vary wildly, of course, and largely depends on what exactly the associated channel brings to the table. It’s admittedly a challenge for a given seller to stand out in a marketplace: there’s only so much they can do design-wise, and there’s a strong chance that they’re selling generic products (probably dropshipped).
Even in those circumstances, though, it’s possible to offer a unique service. Careful curation can produce a product range that’s notably useful, regardless of how generic the component parts may be. It’s possible to find items that aren’t otherwise available on Amazon (or online overall). Additionally, superlative customer service can make any seller exceptional.
You can try to approach the problem from the other end by using attention-grabbing social media work to attract people unfamiliar with your operation, but it’s a tough task when you’re trying to drive ecommerce traffic. Ideally you’ll use your social activity to emphasize whatever is special about your Amazon presence, serving as a marketing extension of the storefront.
Why social marketing is the right way to go
Why should you put time and effort into social marketing instead of other types? Well, let’s run through some alternatives. Pay-per-click advertising is tricky to get working economically, and it stops working when you stop paying. Influencer marketing generally requires a brand with a unique site, and can backfire if you choose the wrong influencer. SEO is hard to recommend: though being on Amazon ensures a solid baseline, it also prevents you from engaging in the kind of granular optimization that can set one seller apart from its competitors.
Social marketing allows you to gradually accrue and engage with prospective and existing customers. It gives you massive creative freedom, making it possible to stand out even if you’re not offering any unique products. And with the built-in analytics at hand, you can engage in the kind of detailed analysis that can drive a consistent uptick in visits and conversions.
And regardless of your personal feelings about the value and coherence of the social media world, it’s hard to deny the massive role it plays in shaping brand reputations. Notable sellers (whether their notability is positive or negative) will be mentioned on Twitter in particular, and steering clear of it won’t change that. Staying apprised of feedback and addressing concerns is a key part of the retail world — and that means going where the feedback is being provided.
Social marketing tips for Amazon sellers
Now that we’ve run through what a social audience involves, why it’s a challenge to build, and why that building process is so important, let’s get into some essential tips for managing it in the complex online retail environment of 2020:
- Create and maintain a notable tone of voice. The social media landscape is vast and unforgiving, with social feeds moving at a pace that sees a majority of the posts come and go without being noticed. If your social activity is to achieve anything, it needs to get some attention, and that calls for a tone of voice that warrants it. Is your brand resolutely optimistic? Pragmatic? Succinct, or elaborate? Casual, or formal? There are options.
- Highlight updates to your product range. However interesting your brand may be, the point of your social audience is to drive visits to your Amazon channel, and that means highlighting updates to your product range (you should be keeping your range updated). People love to hear about new items: it’s a good excuse for retail therapy.
- Learn how to read the social zeitgeist. Now more than ever before, social media is a minefield, with near-constant scandals, revelations and arguments keeping users in a frenzy. All it takes is one joke in poor taste to attract enough ire to sink your brand, so don’t make flippant remarks, and stay updated regarding current events.
- Automate, but get the balance right. Social media accounts have a recency bias, and that means that an uplift in posting frequency alone can prove effective — but posting so often is tricky when you’re doing everything manually. Automating posts promoting set products is the way to go provided you get the balance right: that means ensuring you don’t post too often, and that you mix up the content so it doesn’t feel too repetitive.
- Offer a valuable mixture of content. In addition to straightforward product ads, you can feature product guides, industry insight, instructional videos, and any other types of content that you can fit into your content calendar. If you only sell through Amazon, you can create a basic blog to host your long-form content — just remember to fill that blog with product page links so that traffic ultimately serves a purpose.
Building a strong social audience for a marketplace storefront isn’t easy, but it can be extremely valuable, giving you a compelling edge over your competitors. Use the tips we’ve set out here to get some attention through platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and use digital analytics to achieve iterative improvements.
Article by Kayleigh Alexandra, @microstartups.org