Here are tools and best practices to help you build engagement and promote your brand
Many think that users are on social media to read less. Well, read this: 64% of online Americans shared an article through social media, according to a one-week survey in our Yahoo! Social Sentiment Slider Case Study*. Consider it another reason why brands are relying on content to market themselves through social media channels.
With stats like that, it's little wonder that our recent Yahoo! Social Symposium---a diverse panel of industry leaders ranging from George Smith, Pepsi Senior Manager of Social, to Mashable SVP Adam Ostrow---engaged in a spirited discussion on how vital content truly is to social media marketing.
Patrick Albano, Yahoo!'s VP of Sales for Social, Mobile and Innovation, moderated the symposium and says attendees are still buzzing about it. It's a topic he knows plenty about, having recently published a thought leadership piece on best practices for content marketing and social media titled, "Brands as Publishers---Finding Your Voice."
Brands can align themselves with content to build engagement and start conversations with consumers that could evolve into a sale or response, says Albano. It's a "delicate art," he continues, and success depends on establishing trust and providing value to the people that brands want to reach.
He recommends three roles that brands can choose from to begin establishing their own unique voice in social content marketing:
Content Creator: "Passion brands," or brands that inherently have beautiful content, typically excel at being content creators in the social world, as exhibited by the top brands on Pinterest.
Content Curator: If a brand lacks content that is sharable or engaging, they can curate interesting content to connect with their consumers. By partnering with the right publishers to help professionally curate content for advertisers, brands can keep consumers engaged and talking about them by promoting this content through social channels and distributing it through owned channels as well.
Content Cultivator: Brands can empower consumers to create content or engage in questions, polls, or discussions to cultivate new content in social environments. Consumers will expect to be a part of the dialogue, so empowering them to create content while controlling your brand messages will be another balancing act.
Tools to get you started
Yahoo knows content, and we continue to create social experiences around content that can help brands to connect with users in unique ways. Here are a few examples:
Yahoo! Social Bar: The number-one social reader app on Facebook with more than 80 million installs, Social Bar enables users to explore, discover and share premium content across Yahoo! and other social platforms … taking along the brand messages associated with that content.
Yahoo! Content Bundles: Connect your brand with your target consumers around their favorite types of content by using custom Content Bundles. These bundles package content from across Yahoo! properties on specific topic areas such as tech/wireless, luxury, business and other subjects relevant to your brand or campaign.
Yahoo! Social Sentiment Slider: This tool works with the sponsored articles within Content Bundles, asking users to share opinion ion issues relating to that content. Users can chose to push their answers out to the Facebook wall and feed---taking your brand name or messages with it.
Yahoo! Brand Bar: Brand Bar also works with Content Bundles and helps brands become part of the users' social content discovery experience by recommending content they're already looking for. Brand Bar is customized to combine an advertiser's sponsored Yahoo! content along with brand content such as video, pictures, polls, offers and more.
*statistics provided by Ipsos MediaCT