Social Media Tactics Radio Can Learn From Amazon

Here’s another in a series of posts about what radio can learn about social media from the big, big, big online brands.

Today … Amazon.  As you know, these guys started off selling books, but now sell just about everything!

Here’s the big lesson we can learn from them.  Even though everything they post is about stuff that’s for sale on Amazon, the actual posts are handled in such a low-key, conversational way that instead of feeling spammed … you tend to feel informed and engaged.

You have a lot of big fans who’ve signed up to follow your social media posts.  You want them to listen more and go to your website more often.  How do you repeatedly get in front of them without over-selling?

Amazon has learned that you can, indeed, create customers and sell stuff by making social media part of your marketing mix.  But if you use traditional sales language … or even try and write like a DJ tends to talk on the radio … you risk getting hidden or dis-liked and unfollowed in social media.

If you click on the post above, it’ll take you to a page at Amazon where they are focused on selling camcorders.  There’s nothing social or low-key about it.  However, on Facebook, Amazon has learned the proper tone:

  • Low-key
  • Conversational
  • Engaging
  • One-on-one
  • Brief, with NO excess wording

How did Amazon decide to best push camcorders using social media?  With one question that has nothing to do with selling merchandise or spending money.  It was about experiences and engagement.  Beautiful!

Here’s the take-away for Radio.  A typical post about a big contest might be something like …

DON’T FORGET TO PLAY THE SONG OF THE DAY CONTEST ALL DAY TODAY!!!!!  Listen all day long for the BIG MONEY SONG OF THE DAY and anytime it plays the 25th caller wins a cool $1000!!!  Keep it on all day long at work to Farmville’s Home for the Hottest Hits!! RADIO 108.1!!

If Amazon wrote that, it would be more like …

How would you spend a thousand bucks if you won the Song of the Day contest?  <link to webpage with contest info>

Now, that post might get a bunch of “likes” and responses.

You just can’t cajole anyone into clicking a link.  You can only entice or intrigue them.  I’ve learned that a soft, engaging touch gets more clicks than a blatant attempt to hype someone.

I encourage you to scroll down through Amazon’s Facebook page.  Look at all the stuff they’re working to sell.  Meanwhile, they’re making sure their “brand tone” is friendly and engaging, and that they’re not risking turning anyone off.  How you talk with your fans in social media is just plain different from how you might do it on the air.

Even though I’m not a Twitter fan, Amazon has their “Amazon Deals” Twitter feed set up well.  Twitter makes a great bulletin service, and Amazon promotes a few different special deals each day.  Here, too, they do so with little hype; each tweet is a quick mention of what item they’re selling, and a link to go check it out.

In social media, more words add to less clarity, not more clarity.

More traditional selling leads to resistance, not acceptance.

Finally, let’s give props to Amazon’s landing page on Facebook, their “Welcome” page.  Very clean and uncluttered, where they’re just working to get you to “Like” them, and set the right tone at the same time.

Again … beautifully executed.  What do you want to bet that Amazon’s target customer identifies with the woman in the graphic?

What lessons can YOU learn from Amazon … and start using to build YOUR brand?  Consider you and me talking about it, and click my name to continue the conversation …

Chris Miller


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