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Creating An Effective Brand Experience On Social Networks

The Facebook test for good content: Would you want to see it in your newsfeed? Would you click on it? Would you share it? If the answers are no, don’t publish it in the social channel!

Andy Wiedlin (@acwiedlin) is the chief revenue offer for Buzzfeed.  While you might not expect a finance guy to offer great insight on what makes content work in social networks, in fact, Andy did just that, underlying anecdote with facts and providing tips on creating spreadable content.

Sharing = earned media = credibility & it works like crazy with respect to good social advertising. @acwiedlin#istrategy
Sarah Skerik (@SarahSkerik)
October 09, 2012

The common theme of Andy’s presentation was earned media, and the credibility it generates.   The element of personal recommendation that reTweets, Likes and Shares carry makes sharing palatable.  But he noted that brands need to really think about what people want to share, and why people share content on an individual level.

Content that makes people feel good about themselves drives sharing. Example: ow.ly/ekQBg @acwiedlin#istrategy
Sarah Skerik (@SarahSkerik)
October 09, 2012

With the drivers of audience behavior firmly in mind, Andy went on to discuss developing content that works.  He noted that social media isn’t free. Creating the kind of visibility and awareness that delivers top line business impact requires discipline and resources, especially around content creation and audience cultivation.

You want a big snowball effect? You need to start with a big snowball. @acwiedlin#istrategy
Sarah Skerik (@SarahSkerik)
October 09, 2012

Smart brands create content that is interesting & not interruptive that people like and want to share. @acwiedlin#istrategy
Sarah Skerik (@SarahSkerik)
October 09, 2012

Create content that is interesting and tells a story that involves people emotionally and is not heavy handed via @acwiedlin#iStrategy
Victor Gaxiola (@VictorGaxiola)
October 09, 2012

While the struggle to connect social media to top line returns is well documented, content marketing (which is largely powered by social sharing) is a different story.  Content plays a specific role in the decision process and provides potent support to prospects who are different stages of the decision journey.

RT @SarahSkerik: Social advertising is middle-funnel – consideration, engagement, interaction. @acwiedlin#istrategy
Bruce Etzcorn (@bruceetzcorn)
October 09, 2012

In terms of connecting qualified (and interested) audience with related messaging, the value of social media is not in dispute.  In fact, for Buzzfeed, social traffic rivals that referred from search engines.

Social is on par w/ search in terms of driving traffic for @buzzfied. “Social has arrived.” @acwiedlin#istrategy
Sarah Skerik (@SarahSkerik)
October 09, 2012

The discussion reminded me of a session from Content Marketing World last month, on what Google calls the “zero moment of truth,” which is the time that elapses between a consumer’s first exposure to your brand, and their subsequent action.  The content that is available to consumers during the ZMOT ultimately has a primary role in influencing their next action.

Need help spooling up your organization’s content engines and developing a strategy for generating earned media? Our free white paper, Earning More Media through Brand Streaming, offers advice and examples to help you get started.

 

Previously published October 12, 2012 on BeyondPR by author  Sarah Skerik. She is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media, and is the author of the free ebook Unlocking Social Media for PR.

 

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