Are Amazon Posts Right for You and Your Brand?Sarah Snyder-Castaneda
With Q4 behind us, you may have the bandwidth and breathing room to investigate new opportunities to sell during a slower season. Now is a great time to see if Amazon Posts is a social tool you should be using. Ever since it dropped last fall as a beta service, the jury’s still out on what to make of it. So where does that leave you?
It’s hard to resist the allure of a new social media platform — maybe this is the white space you were meant to fill. What if Amazon Posts blows up and becomes the next Twitter or Facebook or Instagram? Could you be an early adopter and reap the benefits (Hello, free advertising!) before your competition jumps in or Amazon decides to charge for the service?
At the heart of it all is one question: “Are Amazon Posts right for your operation and your brand?” The answer is going to depend on your resources, your tolerance for uncertainty, and your brand identity (some just lend themselves better to social media and timelines and updates). However, if you have the resources and enjoy the thrill of a fresh marketing tactic, this may just be up your alley.
Here’s how to know whether to give Amazon Posts a shot or keep an eye on it from a distance.
What Are Amazon Posts?
Ever wonder what would happen if Instagram and Amazon had a baby and delivered it to the bottom of your shopping feed? Okay, me neither, but that’s the general idea of Amazon Posts. And there is potential for awesomeness here . . . but there’s also potential for the next Google+. Don’t remember Google+? Exactly.
In Amazon’s words, Posts encourages sellers to “Use curated photos to inspire shoppers to engage with your brand and products on Amazon.” Right now, Amazon Posts is in beta and it’s free, allowing anyone with Amazon Brand Registry and an Amazon Store to set up a steady stream of “instantly shoppable” posts. So, if a shopper sees your feed and identifies an item of interest, clicking the post will take the shopper directly to the item’s product detail page.
But how do users see Amazon Posts? Where do they appear on the already cluttered Amazon website? Posts appear in a carousel display that appears on detail pages of relevant products and related products. Once a shopper taps on a brand, that shopper is taken to the brand’s feed. At this time (still beta, remember), it appears the engagement ends there; users can only see these posts on carousels and in feeds, and the only engagement capability is to click through to the product. In other words, there’s no way to interact the way friends and followers do in other feeds. Amazon Posts does not offer commenting, liking, voting, or expressing an opinion via pre-populated mood emojis. In that sense, Posts isn’t really social as we know it.
3 Reasons to Give Amazon Posts a Try
In addition to Amazon Posts currently being free to qualified brands, there are actual reasons to consider Amazon Posts even in its less-than-robust state. Just because it’s not something that may immediately come to mind as a winner doesn’t mean it can’t go big (looking at you, salted caramel everything).
Brick-and-mortar stores had this experience with Google Posts. At first, nobody knew what to do with the capability. Before long, creativity prevailed and new opportunities to convert were unearthed. That could be you and your brand! Here are three reasons to try Amazon Posts.
Reason #1: You Want To Increase Your Reach and Impressions (Who Doesn’t?)
Any way you cut it, if your products are available somewhere and someone’s already looking for them and you can connect the product to the person, you’ve got a good match and high chance for conversion. And the more places you appear, the more places you can potentially be found. Leveraging that visibility can help you in both branding and social-media contexts by:
- Increasing your brand recognition
- Harnessing the power of visual media to showcase your products
- Showing your audience more of your personality
- Serving as one more extension in your online marketing reach
Reason #2: You’re Always Testing and Looking for the Amazon Advantage (You Should Be!)
You know that before going all-in, you should run a low-risk test and let the numbers tell you what to do next. And lucky for you, there are metrics! Amazon Posts allows you to view impressions, clicks, and clickthrough rates for featured products.
This can help you try several different ideas (and products) to see what resonates with shoppers. Amazon Posts isn’t like your product detail page where there are very-strict requirements about images and copy. With Amazon Posts, go for creative and eye catching, and let a new set of numbers tell you how your product is perceived. You may think that everyone wants to see your pet iguana modeling something from your newest reptile tiara collection, but the data may say otherwise.
Reason #3: You Have Resources (and You Have the Room to Experiment)
Having resources doesn’t doesn’t necessarily mean having money to burn. Think about time and effort and where it’s best spent and how much you have to experiment with. If you already have a strong presence on another social media channel, you may be able to repackage your content for Amazon Posts without investing too much sweat equity and/or time.
If you’re up for giving Amazon Posts a try, here are some tips to help you make the most of the vehicle and of your time:
- Already into social? Carve out a little space for one more platform. Don’t post a carbon copy of what you’re posting elsewhere. Remember your audience and that Amazon is about selling, not sharing or conversation. Be original but don’t reinvent the wheel either. Take what works, tailor it for your Amazon audience, and adjust from there.
- Befriend your product and take it with you. Say you’re on the move and introducing your new product in another country. Snap a shot of everywhere that product goes, like that gnome on the Travelocity commercials (aka that cool thing Amélie did for her dad). Dig into your brand’s personality and find your own version of this.
- If you’re an organizer and a creature of habit, add posting to your routine tasks. For example, if you make a point on a weekly basis to do payroll, sneak in a quick post on the same day.
- If frequent social posting isn’t your thing, you can still get in on Amazon Posts. Treat the opportunity like a sales special. Maybe you only post ahead of holidays and for product launches.
Remember, Amazon Posts is an opportunity in beta. It’s not mandatory (or even proven) and it shouldn’t stress you out or feel like just another must-do. There’s really not a right or wrong way to do this — it’s whatever makes sense for you and only if you have the time. Right now, Amazon Posts is a nice extra to try and it should not be first on your to-do list or even first on your social schedule.
And Some Reasons You May Not Want to Use Them
There are a few reasons why you might pass on Amazon Posts for now. As mentioned, if you don’t have the resources and you’re already struggling to find enough hours in the day to run your business, Amazon Posts is just more noise that distracts. It really is okay to sit back and see how the beta plays out. Amazon has tried and tested many services and options for both sellers and buyers. And it’s not a company that hesitates to pull the plug on something that isn’t profitable. You don’t have to be the guinea pig in this experiment, especially if your talents are better used elsewhere.
Even if you’re not ready to take the dive into Amazon Posts, make sure that your house is in order and you’re participating in Amazon Brand Registry if you’re eligible. Also remember that there are other exciting ways how you can amplify your presence on Amazon. Check out our take on the Amazon Influencer Program and learn how to add 360 videos and livestreams to your product listings.
Whatever you decide with regard to Amazon Posts, remember to be bold, take calculated risks, know your options and opportunities, focus on what really matters (not all the distractions), and listen to the data.
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