Vitrue Thinks Amazon Paid Premium for Zappos Social Buzz

Vitrue CEO Reggie Bradford tweeted earlier today that some of the premium that Amazon paid for Zappos had to do with the social buzz, showing that Zappos outscored Amazon 5300 to 2790 on their Social Media Index.

Thought I’d cross check that idea a bit using a couple other tools: Zappos is not even a blip on Facebook, with Facebook Lexicon having insufficient data to come up with a graph showing status mentions. Next, I looked at Social Mention, showing both brands had nearly identical number of mentions and a favorable rate of 5-to-1. Finally, using Radian6, you can see that between 6/23 and 7/21 that Amazon handily had more mentions combined (592,000 to 19,000) across blogs, forums, Twitter, images, videos and comments.

The Vitrue charts make it look like all of Zappos score was due to Status updates. Zappos has three core accounts, including Zappos CEO Tony Hseih’s Twitter account (currently #45 overall, crossing over 1 million followers earlier this week. In addition, 436 Zappos employees are on Twitter (25 have at least 1000 followers, and the next 25 have at least 500). But Amazon is not a complete newbie to leveraging Twitter: their MP3 Twitter account has over 800,000 followers (currently #103), and there are other feeds like @AmazonDeals, @Amazon and @AmazonGames that compare favorably in number of followers (Although as mentioned before in analyzing Tony’s Tweets, the content of Amazon tweets is mostly deal –oriented, where Zappos talked much more about the culture of the company and made the Follower feel like an insider).

Using Radian6 again to look at the breakdown of mentions by media type covering 6/23 to 7/21 (pre-acquisition announcement), it’s true that Zappos has a higher percentage of mentions in “micro-media” (or Twitter) by a margin of 62.7% to 25.6%, but Amazon still handily had more mentions (146,000 to 12,000).

Zappos Mentions by Media Type

Amazon Mentions by Media Type

So while Amazon might have paid a premium to better understand how to better engage with customers over Twitter (among several other potential synergies), Amazon appears to have quite a sizable lead in the buzz category. Also, the Vitrue SMI appears to have totally missed the impact of blogs for Zappos, which looks odd in comparison to the Radian6 numbers.

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