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09.20.17

How Seriously Should We Take Amazon’s Attempt At Social Media?

by Miró Cassetta

As advanced as our world becomes, people are still just people with the innate need to connect. Now, thanks to social media, more and more of these connections are happening online. What does this mean for brands? In this bi-weekly series, T3 Connections Strategist, Miró Cassetta, weighs in on the trends transforming social media. 

Amazon recently launched its own social media channel, Spark. Spark is what you would get if Pinterest and Instagram had a baby who was born with e-commerce super powers. The channel, available only to Prime subscribers within the Amazon app, is a visual feed where users can discuss, discover and—ideally—shop. Knowing Amazon’s power and persistence, Spark could be a major disruptor.

Instagram has 700 million monthly usersPinterest has 175 million monthly users, and Amazon only has 65 million Prime members. With an industry obsessed with user growth, why would Amazon limit itself to a capped audience? Because that audience is loyal, growing, and 40% of them spend over $1,000 a year on amazon.com. There is no news about user adoption yet but we’re curious to see what kinds of data Amazon is willing to fork over.

Amazon is starting at a point that Instagram and Pinterest are still struggling to reach: an in-platform, already popular, robust e-commerce solution. If brands can start tying revenue more directly to social media, a big shift of ad spend could move over to Amazon.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MARKETERS

Power to the People: There are no options for brand pages as of yet, but with the ability for any Prime shopper to make their own images shoppable, consumers can drive sales by endorsing products they use in everyday life. This means WOM that can be tied directly to revenue. So how can brands get in on the action? Working with influencers, of course! #sponsored posts are already cropping up.

Primed to Shop: While there are fewer Prime members than Facebook users, they spend a lot in-platform. When these people go to amazon.com, they’re there to shop. And oh boy do they love reading reviews and recommendations. So you can bet they’ll be much more open to ads and influencer suggestions.

Data by the Boatload: Once Amazon Spark adds ads (because how could they pass up this $ making opp), their access to powerful user data and search history is the most compelling reason for Spark’s success. This could prove invaluable to brands for targeting purposes. Is the consumer looking for car part replacements? Maybe they need a car loan or insurance! Are they buying books about sustainability or logistics? Serve them a little thought leadership on the side.

Measurement Is Still Unclear: For now, there is no way to measure success beyond seeing which posts get the most Smiles (a.k.a. “Likes”) and comments. But we can’t imagine that click attribution and impressions are far off in the future.

Miró Cassetta

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