Amazon: Which Topics Create Headlines for the Online Retailer?

Content Fleet 16/10/2015
Amazon: Which Topics Create Headlines for the Online Retailer?

Amazon is – by their own account – the market leader among online retailers. Yet, what do people talk about in the Internet when they talk about Amazon? New services, sales figures or staff working conditions? Content Fleet´s Big Data Analysis takes a look at the last three months.

International Presence with Customers and Publishers

Apart from its US site, Amazon has separate websites for 11 other countries. (Although Austria and Switzerland each have their own country-specific top level domains, they operate through Amazon Germany, thus not counting as separate entities). In these countries the online retailer continues to be a popular topic with online publishers, leading to a large number of articles being published between July 12th and October 12th.




US: Working Conditions in the Crossfire

In the US Amazon working conditions are the no. 1 topic. An extensive New York Times article garners around 140,000 shares, likes and comments. With 100,000 social media responses each, four CNN videos describing the retailer´s response to the New York Times article are also very successful.

Not all Amazon headlines in the US are negative. A Buzzfeed article on a 6$ bathing suit triggers around 59,000 social media responses. Several reports about the British television show “Top Gear” switching over to Amazon also manage to accrue shares, likes and comments in the low to mid five figures.


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Germany: Mixed Bag of Topics

While in the US articles on Amazon´s poor working conditions possess the highest viral potential, in Germany a mixed bag of different topics is guaranteed to generate interest. The end of the strike, new series pilots, an Amazon Fire TV offer, witty reviews and the possibility of package delivery by drone, to name just a few.


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Although controversial working conditions are a topic in Germany as well, articles dedicated to the subject fail to make it into the Top Ten of the most viral articles on the keyword Amazon. The largest number of social media responses is elicited by a working conditions article published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung – about 1,000 shares, likes and comments.

UK: “Top Gear” No.1 Topic

With approximately 20,000 to 10,000 social media responses, reports about the British TV motor show “Top Gear” switching from BBC to Amazon climb to spots 1 to 4 of the most viral articles on the keyword Amazon. Other articles generating social network buzz cover a wider variety of topics such as working conditions, Internet retailers and taxes, alternatives to Amazon and package delivery by drone, each collecting between 9,000 and 6,000 shares, likes and comments.


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International Facebook Page: Shitstorm Suppressed?

Some of the online articles on Amazon´s poor working conditions in the US accumulate six figure shares, likes and comments. Hence, it could be expected to find quite a few critical user comments on the online retailer´s Facebook profile. Wrong. As it turns out, Amazon refrains from responding to the accusations on their Facebook site. User comments on poor working conditions are far and few between. This suggests that Amazon´s PR department decided to hide or remove those statements.


On Twitter it is impossible to hide or remove answers. Not surprisingly, August 15th, the New York Times article´s publication date, sees a number of user responses to Amazon´s poor working conditions, with about half of the approximately 20 answers to the 9 am tweet on Relaxation Day referring to the deplorable situation. Of the 30 comments to the 11 am post, also about Relaxation Day, 25 pick up on the accusations. Amazon does not respond to the comments whereas normally their PR people make a point of addressing user questions. Also there are no Amazon tweets addressing the accusations.


Different countries, different topics. Whereas in the US Amazon´s poor working conditions were the topic with the highest viral potential between the middle of July and the middle of October, social network users in Germany and the UK displayed less interest. In the UK the motor show “Top Gear” is the most popular topic. In Germany a mixed bag of topics reels in high numbers of shares, likes and comments, making it impossible to single out a favorite.

Amazon refuses to address any accusations on Facebook or Twitter. This raises the suspicion that critical user comments were removed from their Facebook profile as they are practically non-existent whereas Twitter reverberates with user comments on Amazon´s poor working conditions.

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