As an Amazon seller, you’ve got to take every opportunity to boost the visibility of your brand and products. There are a lot of people out there who recommend that every single business gets on social media as part of their marketing strategy, but is that good advice for Amazon sellers?
For most, we think it will be a good idea to use social media to help capture some of the attention that goes to the Amazon platform. We all know by now that you’re unlikely to get good results just by being on Amazon – you need a way to draw traffic to your listings.
The key is to use social media strategically, so that you are optimizing your resources and are able to get the ultimate results you’re looking for – more sales. There are plenty of sellers who largely waste their time on social media because they’re not using it well.
Here are some tips for FBA sellers to get the most from social media:
Is social media for you?
First of all, there are plenty of detractors out there who believe that social media is more of an unnecessary hassle for FBA sellers. They bemoan mediocre results and the amount of time that they use just managing social media accounts.
Social media definitely isn’t for you if you’re looking for super-quick results.
Building up a following and seeing good engagement with social media is something that takes time and following a consistent strategy. As Sprout Social says:
“Social media engagement is essentially like a long-term relationship. You can imagine a committed and lengthy relationship takes dedication, readiness to adapt, the ability to think about the future and ensure the other party involved is happy for years to come.”
A Social Media Today article reports on a study where almost half surveyed said it took two years for them to see social media have an impact on sales, while most social media marketing strategies need about 6 months to see a payoff, especially if you are not yet an established brand.
While all of this might point to some serious grind to get traction from social media, just remember that it can payoff with more than just an engaged following and sales – if you’re looking at selling your business later, a strong following can help to boost the value and attraction of your business.
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
Social media mistakes
For those sellers who don’t like social media, it’s possible they have wanted quick results, had poor overall strategy or made one of the common mistakes that brands have been committing on social media.
A key to success on social media is to build relationships and engagement, yet many companies (possibly the same ones looking for quick results), fail spectacularly when it comes to nurturing their following.
Forbes and others have highlighted some common mistakes, such as:
- Going silent on your audience. If you want to be successful with social media, you need to be there responding and posting.
- Relying too heavily on automation. This can have the same effect as above – you’re not there responding to your audience.
- Posting far too many marketing messages. You’ve got to actually be social – people tire of being sold to all the time.
- Not having a real strategy. For example, your posts should be curated with your target audience in mind. Failing to be intentional about posts or simply jumping on every bandwagon that comes along will see your audience drop off.
- Not being consistent. Many companies start off their social media accounts with a roar then dwindle off to posting every now and then. Consistency is what gets your posts seen and helps you to get results over time.
In short, if social media is going to be a strategy in your marketing toolkit, you need to be prepared to put in the time to develop a strategy, post regularly and cultivate audience engagement.
Choose your channel/s
Another common mistake that businesses make is to try to maintain a presence on each and every social media channel. There are two problems with this:
- Not every channel will be the best place to find “your” customers.
- You probably don’t have time to do more than one or two platforms justice.
What often happens is that the business ends up with mediocre efforts on all channels as they try to spread their efforts. This is never going to get good results.
You are much better off strategically choosing the best one or two platforms where you’re sure you can reach your target audience and can commit to a consistent strategy. Give yourself the ability to focus your time and test what really works on your chosen platform. Pew Research is a great resource for annual demographic data on social media users, giving you a place to start with choosing a platform.
Use social media to build your list
One great marketing tactic to help build your profile and relationship with customers is to grow an email list so that you can keep in touch with them. Amazon doesn’t give you any way to collect email addresses because the customers are theirs, but you can still create your own website and other means of getting people to opt in.
Social media is one of those means. Make good use of the links you’re able to put in your profiles by including one to a landing page where people can opt in to your list. If you’re using Facebook, try using the button they provide underneath the cover photo. One idea is to include some text which points to it in the cover photo to tell people what they’re signing up for. For example, you might say something like “Sign up for updates from us here and get a 20% discount code.”
On another note with regard to links, be careful about including any links back to product pages. It’s better to save those for posts so that people who are interested in the specific product click on them rather than having them permanently in your profile and having anyone who lands on your page potentially clicking. The reason for this is that you might get a lot of clicks from people who don’t intend to buy, driving down your page conversion rate and resulting in it showing up less in Amazon searches.
A solution is to use those links only on posts that are specifically about the product, such as for deals or coupon codes. This way you should attract more clicks from people with a buying intent.
Keep it interesting
Have you ever noticed that popular accounts of well-known people (Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk or Sheryl Sandberg, for example) don’t seem to need to promote posts to get a lot of interaction on them?
Of course, today, these people are famous and people look for them, but there’s something else in play when you look at the content they share…
All of them know how to tell interesting, engaging stories which their followers want to read and often feel compelled to comment on or share. They have the art of being “social” down.
As a seller of products on Amazon, you might wonder about what sort of interesting content you can share, but really, that usually comes down to knowing what your audience wants to read and delivering something that is relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell travel products, you might create content about quirky places to visit, favorite airlines or must-try local delicacies.
Of course, sometimes you need to promote your products too, but take a cue from some of these celebrities and look at how they often manage to do so without coming across as “salesy.” You’ll often see posts like “hey look, I found my new book in the airport bookstore at Denver”, managing to get a product plug in while telling a quick story about their day.
As another example, look at the videos Facebook pages like Fatherly are putting together, highlighting cool new products. The format of the videos is engaging so it doesn’t really feel like you’re being sold to (check out an example here).
You’ll need to test what the optimum mix of content to product posts is for you, along with what works in terms of frequency. This will vary according to platform – a Tweet has a shorter lifespan than a Facebook post, for example, whereas Pinterest and YouTube tend to have much longer lifespans. Experiment to find the frequency that works for you.
Over to you…
Social media can be a great addition to include with your marketing mix, as long as you’re prepared to put the time and effort in, and realize that seeing results can be a long game. The most successful social media accounts didn’t pop up within a week – most started with a trickle of followers which built up as they kept consistency with updates and interactions.
That being said, with your limited time, make sure you are choosing channels that make sense for you to be on and focus on just one or two. It’s easier to be consistent and do well on a couple of channels rather than being spread too thinly across all of them.
Deliver your audience quality, engaging content and use your platform to help build your email list. In doing so, you can create extra opportunities to engage and grow your customer base outside of Amazon.