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Sat Oct 6 2012 23:28:31

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

By: Brian Cohen

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I decided to look at the Twitter accounts of the two largest online marketplaces to see how they stacked up in terms of user engagement and popularity.

"Twitter connects businesses to customers in real time - and businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers. From brand lift to CRM to direct sales."
-Twitter

"We are in the midst of the greatest cultural shift of our time."
eBay On Location Keynote Speaker Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media (Twitter and YouTube). There was, ironically, an underwhelming response (reTweet) rate. Below I will discuss some of the possible reasons for the lackluster response (not to knock Gary, his speech was great).

@eBay
eBay is The World's Online Marketplace®, enabling local, national and international trade. We offer an online platform where millions of items are traded daily. San Jose, CA · http://www.ebay.com
vs.
@Amazon
The Official Amazon.com Twitter Feed. Seattle, Washington · http://www.amazon.com



eBay has five times as many Tweets - about 225 Tweets (original content) or about 195 Tweets excluding reTweets (non-original content) in the month of September alone.

Amazon had only 7 Tweets for the month of September, or 1 Tweet excluding 6 reTweets

@eBayDailyDeals
Deal Hunters: Save money on eBay with Daily Deals. Check back every day for great deals, deep discounts, and, as always, Free Shipping. Deals up to 80% off! San Jose, CA · http://deals.ebay.com
vs.
@amazondeals
Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day. Officially supported by Amazon.com. Seattle, Washington · http://www.amazon.com/goldbox



Amazon has almost ten time as many followers than eBay in its Amazon Deals Channel. Amazon appears to break the Twitter myth that following leads to followers. Apparently Amazon is not a disciple of Reciprocal Altruism? Amazon may actually be following users stealthily but would rather not broadcast (like eBay) who they are following.

A philosophy of "less is more" seems apropos here. @Amazon's restraint in sending out tweets may result in the acquisition of more followers (or perhaps less folks unfollowing their tweets?) than @eBay whose numerous tweets may be some to be considered disruptive (spam?).

reTweet (RT) Engagement
@Amazon doesn't directly engage its community like @eBay who "favorites" received Tweets.

For the month of September @eBay obtained 7,300 reTweets from Twitter users. However, excluding 3,945 Retweets from single outlier Alzheimer Association Donation Drive Tweet, eBay obtained a mere 3,350 reTweets.

Excluding the aforementioned outlier, the average number of Twitter users reTweets for an @eBay Tweet is 17. This number also excludes Tweets by @eBay that had zero retweets by Twitter users. There were very few Tweets that did not obtain a reTweet.

One Tweet that was lost in the onslaught of @eBay Tweets was eBay's birthday; 72 reTweets is lacking community spirit:


 
The Second most popular Tweet was a "Retweet promotion" where @eBay obtained 441 reTweets



Reviewing the promotion it appears that the promo was a failure because it didn't reach 500 reTweets. However, because eBay is sending out so many Tweets I believe they sent out an additional Tweet for the same promotion.


I suppose that 441 + 123 > 500 but I'm not so sure this promotion was executed properly. The discount was delivered, but I think one could argue the truth was stretched a bit here. This was not the only Tweet that eBay sent a second Tweet out for the same promotion. In fact the popular Alzheimer promotion was originally sent out. Perhaps the frequency and number of Tweets eBay is sending out is causing some Tweets to get "lost"?

A comparison of the Daily Deals may show that Amazon (with ten times as many followers ) has better quality deals then eBay because under their daily deal accounts Amazon and eBay have about the same number of Tweets as one another. Though I have not sorted through the Tweets to verify this.

There were other Twitter accounts run by eBay and Amazon that I would like to compare but they were unique and both did not have a counterpart:

Unique eBayAccounts
eBay Customer Support - @AskeBay - Kudos for eBay for being more customer friendly than Amazon on Twitter. (Though I have not read through interactions here - have any of you Tweeted with @AskeBay and what was your experience?) I suppose this is a place for Buyers and Sellers. Below you will see that Amazon concentrates on Sellers and leaves buyers out of the loop.

eBay Social - @eBaySocial - eBay explains how to sell via social on Twitter.

eBay Ink Blog

Unique Amazon Accounts
Selling on Amazon - Amazon Seller Support
Amazon Marketplace

Note that the above is not a comprehensive listing of all eBay and Amazon Twitter accounts.

Social Klout
There is also a service called Klout that is an indicator if Amazon or eBay is more Influential in Social. "Klout measures your influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks. We crunch your social data to give you insight into how influential you are and what you are influential about"

eBay Klout Score: 82

Amazon Klout Score: 93

Vertical Accounts
Perhaps eBay should be setting up "Twitter Verticals" based on eBay Categories (Subject Matters) so that its Tweets are more relevant to the users that receive them? Amazon does have such channels including an MP3 Channel, Video Games, Movie & TV.

Two verticals I would like to see eBay create are:

Shipping Channel
Wouldn't it be cool if eBay sent out this Youtube Video as a Tweet? (Excuse the sound quality.) Its great to see someone so excited about being an eBay seller. This video has character!

Haul & Unboxing Channel
People love to brag about their great finds at a great price. Wouldn't Twitter be a great place to boast?

It's hard to believe that eBay, which clearly has a Social Media Strategy, doesn't have as many Twitter followers as Amazon who has taken a much more laid back approach to Twitter. Can we crown Amazon as the King of Social Media? I'm not quite sure.




Comments (8) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

by: Duke This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 7 05:57:39 2012

The engaged, passionate audience of the eBay of 5-10 years ago would have blown Amazon away on social media.  Maybe the diamond powersellers will start retweeting eBay, hmmmm?

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 7 07:26:28 2012

To much useless information.

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

by: JB This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 7 09:06:48 2012

To many weeds kill the plant.

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Sun Oct 7 11:11:59 2012

You can buy Twitter followers on eBay. It's like $5 for a couple thousand phony followers.  eBay cheats at everything else, I'm shocked they don't boost their social image with fake followers.

Not much value but it makes the numbers look good...

hmmm.... ''makes the numbers look good'' .... sound familiar?  

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Oct 7 12:00:46 2012

Oh dear! This is all rather amusing. :-D

Is eBay incompetent in this realm?... or are these just amateurish growing-pains?

The desperation of the ''re-retweet'' conditional call-to-action reveals much more about eBay than they probably intended it to.

I'm not a tweeter (twitterer?), but I think I get the overall concept of the thing... and it seems to me that ASKING for re-tweets, and making a sale price conditional on re-tweets (not to mention the lackluster response each time) is big ''tell'' with regard to eBay's ability to succeed in this realm.

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Oct 7 13:07:18 2012

What is "Twitter"? Methinks that twitterers are simply twits with nothing better to do with their time; then, I put facebook in the same category. No twits for me, thank you, I have enough trouble with junk email ...

“not to knock Gary, his speech was great”—Seriously?

I can tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being deceptive—their lips are moving ...

Gee, next, some people will be believing that they can really get something for next to nothing …

With respect to eBay twittering or whatever, all I can smell is putrefaction ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 7 15:10:26 2012

Here's the thing, eBay, in it's arrogance, still thinks they need no help or integration from anyone else on the "outside". They, also in their short-sightedness, think that they are the online mecca they once were, 10 years ago. They remind me of the middle aged woman who thinks, acts, and dresses like it is still her senior year in high school.

eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup   eBay vs. Amazon on Twitter - Social Media Roundup

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Oct 9 18:30:11 2012

Yawn. Tell me something relevant, Gary. Social revolution, indeed.

NOT, I think.

Anybody with enough time on their hands or interest in following the self serving propaganda and c corrupt business practices of either one of these anti small business empires is to be pitied.

Tweet your lives away in the 21st century Great Social Revolution.

BOR-ing.



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