Amazon has added a great new feature for Associates that integrates an associates ID with links to books on Twitter. Users can now post links to books right from the Amazon home page, much like posting from a news site.
This is a great way to utilize Twitter in both making book recommendations and providing an extra revenue stream. This will not be for everyone, but for those engaged in recommending books, products, or in sharing expertise in a particular field, I see some potential for growth.
After using Amazon Associates for a good two to three years on my blog and e-mail newsletter, I personally haven’t seen too much of a need for it in those mediums. For the most part this is tied to my blog’s topic (Christian theology), the number of readers I draw, and the income generated per sale doesn’t make it worth the effort to embed my associates ID with every book.
To make it worth my while I would need a wider audience and more marketable products to sell. An economic recovery wouldn’t hurt either. If I blogged on politics, technology, marketing, or online commerce, I could very well see the value in generating revenue from an associates account on book and other product purchases.
Nevertheless, from time to time I recommend books, mark some for my wish list, or save others in my del.icio.us bookmarks. Using this Twitter feature is yet another way to share content with friends. The potential to earn even a quarter adds a little incentive to do something I would consider doing without the promise of revenue.
The e-mail notice I received from Amazon said the following:
By clicking on the Share on Twitter button in the Site Stripe, a new window will open and an Amazon-generated message is pre populated in the ‘What are you doing?’ text area of your Twitter account (you may be asked to log in to your Twitter account). That message will include a shortened URL that already includes your Associates ID. You’ll have the option to edit this message or simply hit the ‘Update’ button to post to your Twitter account. When Twitter users click on the link in your post and make a qualifying sale, you’ll earn referral fees.
With the immediacy, large number of potential readers, and ability to share that Twitter provides, I think this is a great idea. Though I’ve given up on using Amazon Associates on my web site, I think I’ll give this Share on Twitter feature a shot.