UPDATE: Amazon has recently disabled the #AmazonCart hashtag feature. It does not work at this time.
When I logged into Author Central this morning, I saw an announcement for a new feature called AmazonCart. If you visit Author Central, you can find the announcement there.
The new AmazonCart feature works with Twitter:
- If a Twitter user receives a tweet with a link to an Amazon product, the customer can reply to the tweet adding the #AmazonCart hashtag.
- If they have connected their Twitter accounts to Amazon, replying to the tweet with the AmazonCart hashtag will add the product from the tweet to their cart at Amazon.
- At their convenience, the product will be waiting in the cart at checkout at Amazon.
The new #AmazonCart hashtag will start working Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
What do you have to do to take advantage of this?
- All you need to do is periodically tweet with a link to your book in the message.
- Customers take care of the rest.
- Authors don’t need to sign up.
- The customers do need to connect their Twitter accounts to Amazon before the #AmazonCart hashtag will work for them.
Well, you do need to do something:
- There is now an improved incentive for utilizing Twitter for authors who may be able to benefit from AmazonCart.
- You want to try to grow your following.
- It’s not just a large following that you want. You want your following to consist of your target audience.
- Tweet wisely so that your audience will be engaged and pay attention to your posts. If followers tune you out from excessive spam or get bored of your tweets, they are less likely to be active followers.
- Try to direct current readers and fans to follow you at Twitter. Show them how to sign up for AmazonCart. Then, when you release a new book, it will be easy for them to add your book to their Amazon carts. This way, AmazonCart may help to inspire initial sales when you release a new book.
- If you succeed in getting followers to add your book to the cart this way, you’ll be able to track data.
- Since customers reply to tweets with the #AmazonCart hashtag, you’ll see firsthand how many customers actually do this.
- This will help to gauge how well or poorly your tweets are engaging your fan base, and how well your promotion is working specifically through Twitter.
- Look at the announcement on Author Central. The second paragraph has an email address that you can reach out to in order to learn more about using AmazonCart with a book launch or promotion.
You can take advantage of AmazonCart. It’s easy:
- Connect your Twitter account to Amazon.
- When you receive a tweet with a link to an Amazon product, if you’d like to add this product to your cart at Amazon, reply to the tweet adding the hashtag #AmazonCart.
- Doing this does not purchase the product. It merely adds it to your cart.
- The next time you view your cart at Amazon, at your convenience, you’ll see the product in your cart.
- You can complete your purchase there, review the product more closely, or remove the product from your cart (or save it for later).
- For books, since authors will receive your reply to the tweet, this is a good way to show authors that you’re supporting their books.
- Authors will see that you’ve added their books to your Amazon cart, but they won’t know whether or not you’ve completed the purchase from seeing the Twitter reply.
Customers can learn more at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/socialmedia/amazoncart/ref=amazoncart_surl_amazoncartlp.
Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing