Amazon Ranking: #30,795
On June 29th, I wrote about how social media helped way less than I expected. I stand by that; most of my requests come through my email account. I wanted to expand on it though because “not helping” doesn’t explain why it doesn’t help.
The Instagram Pool of Amazon Reviewers
There aren’t a ton of people on Instagram publishing that they’re doing Amazon reviews (relative to the number of people posting pictures of their dogs and lattes). There are 6,210 posts that have ever been tagged with #AmazonReviewer (something I posted 5 hours ago is still the most recent post, so it’s not the most active hashtag).
This is where marketing agents looking to find Amazon Reviewers go on Instagram, because, where else would you go (besides #AmazonReview)? This is great because it means it’s really easy to shine if you have good photos and even a mildly engaged audience.
On the flip side, #AmazonReviewer is a pretty terrible place to troll for followers because there aren’t that many users so people aren’t jumping to follow like-minded people (and if they are, there’s just not a lot of them). You’ll have to find a different gimmick or strategy if you want you account to go viral.
Catching Sellers’ Attention
Getting people’s attention is fairly easy. My @ZoraFloraSays inbox is actually full of messages saying:
- “Are you a reviewer?”
- “Do you want to review our product?”
- “What’s the link to your amazon profile?”
- “We have a product coming out soon, do you want to try it?”
All you really need is to make sure people know your available and take good photos. What’s misleading is that despite the number of messages, few people follow through. I’ve been involved with twenty-nine successful review arrangements and only two of them originated from Instagram.
Why isn’t it Working Out?
People stop responding
When you check Instagram you’re checking likes, follows, comments, other people’s pictures, direct messages from friends, and direct messages from strangers. That’s a lot of functionality within one app; I personally also have my Instagram notifications turned off on my phone, so that’s another layer of “easy to ignore” added into the mix.
Instagram direct messages only exist on cell phones, not on your (or their) work computer.
It’s incredibly easy to forget you’re talking to someone, not see their message, see it and decide to respond later, etc. etc. etc. You can also run into a language barrier where you say “DM me” and they don’t know what that means and keep trying to ask you to Skype in the comments.
The other issue with Instagram is presence. Via email I’ve never had someone say “Okay, where are you? I’ll send you the picture when you respond” – via Instagram, however, people want to feel like you are “present” when they talk to you. This makes sense because instant messaging seems more like a real time form of communication rather than email sent every eight to twelve hours. Throw time zones into this and you’ve got yourself a frustrating situation. Many sellers are in China (or just generally across the world), meaning that they’re eating dinner as I’m waking up and they’re going to work just as I’m heading to bed.
Email, by comparison, is a dream. There’s pretty much only one set of actions when it comes to email: checking your email or responding. It’s hard to miss an email (unless you’re getting hundreds) because literally all you’re doing when you check your email is checking emails, and people generally don’t expect you to respond within five minutes or less.
I would never dissuade someone from using social media to make it easier for people to connect with potential sellers/contacts, but I wouldn’t rely on it solely to push your brand unless you’re ready to be completely obsessed with it and use it as your main channel of communication.
You can’t force people to exist where you want them to be, you have to figure out where they are first and be willing to work with them there.