There are two ways to sell on social.
The first is to post like a robot. Here’s the product. Buy Buy Buy.
The second is to post like a human. Relate to your customers.
Which one do you think gets the best results?
To find out, let’s zero in on a real David and Goliath battle.
And this is one that proves that anyone who’s ever said “their audience is huge – we could never compete” is so, so wrong.
Henry Sotheran’s – a tiny bookstore in London that’s only open for 18 hours a week, has a pretty healthy 17,600 followers on Twitter.
Amazon Books, meanwhile – the enemy of bookstores, and destroyer of high streets – has a modest 358,000.
I wonder what those 358,000 followers thought of this gripping tweet?
Here are the books we recommend from October’s Amazon First Reads selections: https://t.co/4EH8Fy3nvy
— Amazon Books (@amazonbooks) October 21, 2020
Over at Sotherans, on the same day, they were having much more fun.
some days I think I’m the most childish person in this bookstore and other days I find out that someone bought into stock a 300 year old book on the nature of farting called (I kid you not) “de flatibus humanum corpus molestantibus” so the bar was just raised significantly
— Henry Sotheran Ltd (@Sotherans) October 21, 2020
And their audience loved it.
I don’t know what’s more striking – how easy Sotherans are finding it to “be human” on social, or how hard Amazon seem to find it?
On the same day that Amazon treat us all to an un-enticing link to an underwhelming blog…
What has best-selling author @wimpykid been reading this year? Check out his picks and why he chose them: https://t.co/QUhnSrRJX8 pic.twitter.com/I7FGSj8Tsh
— Amazon Books (@amazonbooks) October 27, 2020
The guys at Sotherans are building a book fort, and having the time of their lives.
I would like it known by all the adults who told me as a child that I could not live permanently in a book fort when I grew up so I needed to ‘go out’ and ‘make friends’ that a bookstore is in fact a specialized kind of book fort
— Henry Sotheran Ltd (@Sotherans) October 27, 2020
If you’re wondering whether we’ve just conveniently chosen these examples to prove our point – Sotherans had 6,500 people hit the like button in response to their last 10 tweets.
Amazon Books, meanwhile, got themselves an impressive 81 likes from their audience of almost 400,000.
Yet, if you carve up Amazon’s daily marketing budget, they probably paid more for those ten tweets than Sotherans pay their social media guy in a month – maybe a year.
In fact, I know that they do – because they were all written by an employee of the book store called Oliver.
And we agree wholeheartedly with Nicola McFadyen – that guy deserves a pay rise.
RT for visibility https://t.co/mfFnFazsuW
— Henry Sotheran Ltd (@Sotherans) October 20, 2020
Still – thanks to Amazon Books, and in spite of what they might hope, we’re having no trouble falling asleep at all.
Having trouble falling asleep? These books might help. https://t.co/S6WMqKLD2J pic.twitter.com/VRS9kKBfJ5
— Amazon Books (@amazonbooks) October 28, 2020
Whether your brand is the David, or the Goliath.
If you want to start relating to your audience.
If you want to start entertaining and engaging, instead of just selling.
You could hire Oliver.
But we hear he’s pretty happy where he is.
So you might have to settle for a hive-mind of TV’s best comedy writers instead.
For more on how we work, and why you definitely want us in your corner, check out the rest of the site.