Amazon makes good use of Facebook

I continue to be impressed by what Amazonmp3 is doing. Someone over there really gets how to leverage technology. You wouldn’t think this would be so surprising being that Amazon was one of the first to leverage technology, but, man oh man, I’ve seen some doofus moves from companies who should know better. So, as I say, it’s been nice to see someone really doing it right.

I recently wrote about the way Amazonmp3 was using Twitter in a very effective manner, and now they’re demonstrating how to leverage Facebook.

Everyone talks about how bands, companies, whomever should be using social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to their respective advantage, but no one really says exactly how you should do this.

Truth be told, this is about the first time I’ve seen anyone do anything really smart with social networking.

So, here’s what they’re doing: Amazonmp3 set up a Facebook page – nothing too ground breaking about that. But what is well played is how they’re leveraging it to allow customers to become a part of the building process of the Amazonmp3 store. Specifically, they started a discussion topic asking members of the group what album they’d like to see on sale for a day. Simple as that. No complicated rules, legal provisions, contest, blah. Just this:

Any particular album you’d like to see on sale for a day? optional: and why?

After they got some responses, they went with The Best of Talking Heads. Certainly a righteous choice.

They made the whole thing “viral” by telling everyone who comes to the Amazonmp3 store that the selection was made via their Facebook page. Here’s what it looks like:

Doing it this way has the result of getting more people to go to the Facebook page, and making those who are using the Facebook page feel like they’re actually participating in building/defining the effort.

It’s so important for companies or musicians to not just view their customers/fans as recipients of their products/services/records, but as participants in building and defining the effort.

To be sure, only a very small handful of customers/fans will engage in these types of things, but this small percentage (the early adopters/mavens/evangelists) are the ones who pull the more casual customers/fans along for the ride.

What an effort like the one by Amazon’s does is identify the special people (early adopters/mavens/evangelists), and begins the process of building a relationship with them. Additionally, as is seen from the answers to Amazon’s question, a tremendous amount of information is derived from the customer. And, guess what, by employing this types of gambit, you get the information for free (no expensive customer surveys, etc.), and you get real information (i.e. people aren’t just filing out some questionnaire so that they can get a prize; they’re doing it because they want to and because they believe their opinion matters).

Smart. Smart. Smart.

More bands need to leverage Facebook/MySpace in this manner rather than simply using it as a barely effective communication device.

[Disclaimer: I released a wonderful record by the Tom Tom Club]

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  1. Trachelle Henneman’s avatar

    Audubon Nature Institute recently opened a new exhibit about insects called the Insectarium. Initially most people don’t understand the concept of a museum dedicated entirely to bugs and insects, but with the help of such marketing avenues as Facebook, the Insectraium has been able to reach an audience of mostly twenty-somethings that normally would not have sought information about this type of museum.
    The Insectarium’s Facebook page lists information about location and contact information. There are also pictures and videos of the animals and the museum that people can browse when deciding if they want to visit the museum. There is also a link to the Insectarium’s web page where tickets can be purchased.
    Audubon also created Facebook profiles for their mascots Antoinette and Graston. This furthers their reach in the Facebook world while adding a creative and fun flare to their marketing campaign.


  2. Elisa Escoto’s avatar

    The person I believe to have used a social community to do her bidding is:

    TILA TEQUILA!!! I know, what? Yes, Tila *flipping* Tequila was just an ordinary girl who shot up to super stardom because of myspace. MYSPACE! She started to gain attention when her friends list grew past a million. Once people began buzzing about the beauty queen online, the tv world just had to get in on it.

    The hype about Tila’s friends list was during the beginning of myspace’s popularity spike and it seemed like some sort of fantastic feat for an average joe to achieve. Tila was effectively gathering more fans than most celebrity for simply being herself?! @.@!! Also, it doesn’t hurt that she’s hot, bisexual, and looks like a celebrity.

    Thanks to Tila’s myspace fame she has a record coming out and a dating reality show on MTV: A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
    Lucky Girl.


  3. Brian Gallino’s avatar

    Any band that had a MySpace Secret Show used social networking to their advantage. Of course, fans want to know what they’re favorite band are doing, especially if they hear they are going to be their area. Next, people think being part of something thats secret makes them feel special, and most people want to feel special. Most the shows were played in smaller venues, which adds to the intimacy, and the only way you could find out or go to the show was if you were friends with that artist on MySpace. It makes that particular show much more of a big deal/event than it would of been otherwise. People who knew about it earlier liked being able to alert their friends of a secret show that only they knew about yet. I remember when Lil’ Wayne had a one at Tipitinas, my buddy finding out about it surfing the web instantly let us know and more and more people. And it was all FREE!


  4. Ana Ochoa’s avatar

    One of the more obvious people who are using the social networks to his/her full advantage is Barack Obama. One of the largest groups of democratic supporters are the college students; Obama holding a strong presence on facebook is an effective way to reach and inform the vast majority of these people. He has his own facebook profile, group, supporters page, and likely all other ways of being established on facebook. 1,114,217 young supporters isn’t that bad.


  5. George Gekas’s avatar

    I believe that bands using the website are using social networking to their advantage. The website serves as a community and informational outlet for bands in the live music scene. One band using the website especially well is Umphrey’s McGee. Once you log into the Umphrey’s section of the website, you are immediately a part of the fan obsession. The site offers a consistently updated message board, chat room, upcoming show information, a rumor section, and a band history display, which shows if anything important happened on this particular date in the bands history. Umphrey’s used this site to their advantage because they realized that their serious fan base was always on the site. So their managers opened a forum to fans through Phantasytour where they could pick and choose their favorite improvisational jam of the past year to be re-edited and master for a limited CD release. Umphrey’s saw the importance of the website to their fans, took initiative, and made lots of fans happy by allowing them to basically form their cd


  6. Eric Stone’s avatar

    i wanted to send this article your way, but lost your e-mail address. hope it finds you well!


  7. Kate Rafferty’s avatar

    Pandora Radio which is an internet phenomena in his own right has created and application to be used on Facebook. Pandora is a website that allows you to create your own radio stations based on artists you like. When you add the Facebook application your stations will be listed for your friends to see. You can sample music and best of all in terms of marketing it invites all of your friends to join.

    Pandora is a great service on its own but to connect it to a social network makes sense. A purely free service that only runs because of the advertisements being promoted on another site that exists that same way provides a great relationship.



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