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November 21, 2012

Move Over Facebook, Here Come Amazon's Brand Pages: Just In Time for Seasonal Shopping Surge, Cyber-Giant Rolls Out Its Own Opportunities for Brands to Customize Their Social Marketing

As the holiday shopping season begins to crest, Amazon is rolling out a new service called Amazon Pages, which lets brands create their own Amazon.com pages as Facebook-like "custom destinations," complete with their own URLs, designs and social media links. The cyber-retail giant is also offering Amazon Posts for companies to market themselves across Amazon and Facebook, and Amazon Analytics to measure how well all of the above is working, TechCrunch reports.

The analytics are limited currently to how well brands' Amazon-led efforts are performing, but could soon theoretically begin offering the same kind of measurements to brands across the Web. The bigger effort around pages, meanwhile, gives Amazon a significant leg up in its positioning brands and smaller businesses that might potentially look to Amazon as a way of running their full online operation, in place of their own standalone websites, TechCrunch reports.

Amazon Pages are free to develop, and let brands, businesses and individuals create their own microsites on Amazon, customized with their own names and designs (Amazon provides three templates for companies to create their storefronts). The pages also offer buttons to Facebook and Twitter pages, and "merchandizing widgets" that allow brands to select and place links to specific products offered through Amazon, reports TechCrunch writer Ingrid Lunden.

Amazon Posts, meanwhile, is a foray into social marketing. Creators of Amazon Pages can use Posts to update their sites with new messages, and Amazon lets users cross-post those messages to Facebook pages as well. For now, Posts appear to be limited to Facebook and Amazon itself, but given that Twitter is also included in Amazon's Pages social widgets, this will likely soon be added to the mix. Where sites like Pinterest and Fancy might fit in is less clear, the article reports.

Amazon Analytics offers a dashboard for companies to monitor how well their Pages and Posts are performing, covering areas like reach, view and purchase lift, to help "demystify the impact of social marketing," according to the company. All of the services are free to use, for now, according to the report.

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