Just as it was completing the acquisition of supermarket chain Whole Foods, e-retail giant Amazon also made a move to venture into the world of social media with its new platform Amazon Spark. The feature was launched in July of this year and has quickly caught the attentions of e-commerce recruiters, social media experts, and businesses leaders alike.
Spark is a a social feed platform for users to discover things from people with similar interests. Whether it’s advice on the best new electronics or inspiration on home decor, Amazon Spark is a place to explore new ideas, shop, and communicate with a community that shares similar interests.
The platform is currently available for users in the United States through Amazon’s mobile app on iOS devices. While only members with an Amazon Prime subscription can contribute (make posts and comment), non Prime members can still view posts.
After registering and logging into their Amazon mobile app, users can join Spark through the “Programs & Features” menu on the app. They’re then prompted to select at least five interests that is used to customize a feed of similar products and ideas.
If an image contains a product sold through Amazon, there will be a shopping bag icon in the bottom right-hand corner with a number indicating how many specific items in the photo are for sale.
Spark is a great new way for Amazon to push deeper consumer engagement by encouraging users to post reviews, stories, and images of products they’ve tried and recommend. Users can react to these posts with comments and “smiles” (similar to a like or favorite button).
What Amazon Spark Means for Your Business
With the constant influx of developments in the social media and digital space, it can be overwhelming for your business to keep up. So, how can your brand benefit from Amazon’s new social media platform?
As social media marketing recruiters, we recognize there’s immense potential for what Spark can become, especially for early adopters.
Spark shares commonalities with existing social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram’s “Shop Now” feature where engagement is primarily driven by visual content. However, there are key distinctions about Spark and Amazon that social media marketing recruitment agencies and brands should pay close attention to.
A major difference that sets Amazon Sparks apart from other social media platforms is that it provides a direct way for consumers to purchase products seamlessly. They can simply click on an image of a product they like and are able to purchase it straight from Amazon. A huge advantage of Spark is that product images are linked to Amazon inventory so users don’t have to worry about inventory being out of stock. That means it will be more important than ever to have active social media and e-commerce teams well-stocked with top talent and working hand-in-hand to maximize conversion opportunities.
Spark is a social media network built for online shoppers with the intention of buying the newest and best products on the market – which is proven by the huge increase in Amazon Prime subscribers who pay to get benefits on purchasing products. The rise of Amazon Prime members has doubled in the past two years and sits at a total of 85 million members in the U.S. According to Statista, Prime members spend an average of $600 more than non-members.
Users who use the platform go on it with the intent to buy, so it’s a great way to drive immediate conversions. Monetization could be possible for both brands and users in the near future on Spark, similar to Instagram where influencers can make $150,000 from a single sponsored post.
Currently, businesses aren’t explicitly allowed to create posts on the platform. However, they can reach out and work with influencers or “enthusiasts” as Amazon would call them to promote their brand. Brands in e-commerce should keep an eye out for Amazon Spark and consider integrating it into their social media strategy. Amazon Spark aims to improve product discovery and can be a great asset to driving sales and traffic.
Steps to Build an Effective Strategy
With the rise of new platforms in the social media space, brands need to be adaptive to changes but be cautious and approach them carefully. Successfully managing an account on every existing social network is nearly impossible and inefficient. Thus, a careful assessment of which social channels drive results should be done to establish what platforms should be paid close attention to.
Amazon focuses on creating the best experience for their customers, reaching new ones, and driving customer loyalty to generate sales. Brands have the ability to increase sales and traffic by integrating Spark into their social strategy. To be fully prepared to incorporate Amazon Spark into your digital strategy, your team will have to equipped with knowledgeable social media experts who have are able to working with current trends and innovative platforms.
Here are a few key parameters to consider:
Scout the right influencers
The first initial step is to find the right influencers to promote your brand. Enthusiasts receive recognition from Amazon’s system whenever they post on Spark or leave reviews. It may take a while for the enthusiasts of the platform to be established, so a good place to start would be checking out users who currently review your products as they’ll be familiar with your brand.
Social media recruiters recognize tapping into the influencer space successfully on any platform requires careful surveillance. Keep a close eye on users who seem to have a good reach in your category over time and monitor them to gauge the potential audience they can help you reach.
Build a sound content strategy
If you were to partner with influencers, how would you want them to represent your brand and promote your products?
You won’t be able to post on Spark directly as your brand so it’s important to create a solid content strategy that’s focused on the type of content you’d want influencers to share on their profiles. You can test different creatives and copy, but setting a clear understanding of the brand voice you want to establish through influencers or enthusiasts will help lay the core foundation of your overall strategy.
Plan how to measure performance and overall brand health
There most likely aren’t going to be any tools readily available to track the performance and brand health of your presence on the platform any time soon. Thus, closely monitoring Spark by following trending topics and products related to your brand can help you natively evaluate your brand health.
Amazon itself hasn’t introduced any way to monitor engagement or provide insightful data on Spark so paying attention to reviews, comments, and smiles will be important in assessing the success of your performance.