Yahoo! Ups Its Social Media Game

Yahoo!, you do remember Yahoo!, right? Well they recently made a couple of changes that are designed to make them more social media friendly. The question is will anyone care for does anyone even use Yahoo!?

I apologize to all Yahoo! loyalists for my snide remark but seriously, does anyone use Yahoo! for search purposes? 

Apparently not many... (Courtesy of Experian® Hitwise®











But... You have to give Yahoo! credit for they are doing what they can to stay relevant in the social media space as witnessed by their two most recent social media additions, if you will... 

First came their new immersive, social-sharing feature on Yahoo! News which they launched in partnership with Facebook. As they (Yahoo!) put it themselves on their appropriately-titled yadvertisingblog, this is "a new social feature that lets people automatically share the stories they’re reading with their friends via Facebook and see what stories their friends are reading. The feature marks a new phase in Yahoo!’s relationship with Facebook, where Yahoo! content is shared more frequently than on any other site except YouTube."

Yahoo! claims this new social media feature "simplifies this peer-to-peer recommendation and allows friends to guide consumers to Yahoo! content that is more relevant to them—and more relevance equals more engaged readers." Well we'll just have to see about that but I do agree with Yahoo! when they write that "Consumers are increasingly looking to their friends as expert sources on the topics, news, products and brands that interest them."

Absolutely, positively they are 1000% right. At the end of September I wrote a post titled When It Comes To Brands, Consumers Use Social Media For This More Than Anything Else where I shared research from NM Incite which revealed that the #1 reason consumers use social media as it relates to their favorite brands is to read. As in read what others are saying about their favorite brands or products or services. So yes, Yahoo! you are dead on when you write that consumers are going by peer reviews and what their friends and family are saying about a given brand.

The other new social media feature Yahoo! released was something they call the Social Sentiment Slider, "a social polling feature that will let consumers share their opinions while connecting brands to these online conversations," according to Yahoo!

In reality it's a sponsorable widget or ad that's placed directly beneath Yahoo! stories. The widget asks asks a question related to the article and lets readers register their opinions by sliding their cursors across an interactive scale. Jaguar has signed on as a launch sponsor, but three other brands will be announced soon.












The way it works from an advertiser or marketer's perspective is Yahoo! will assemble a bundle of 10 to 20 relevant articles that will accompany the Social Sentiment Slider over the course of a certain timeframe. In terms of who gets final say on the question being posed, Patrick Albano, Yahoo’s vice president of social, mobile, and innovation said marketers can provide input on the questions themselves but ultimately he said Yahoo! plans to make it an editorial-driven feature.

Albano realizes that consumer is in charge in this social media gone wild world we live in and that the key for brands is to have an open lines of communication and engagement with their brand loyalists... “What we’re really trying to do is structure a conversation between the brand and the user. Our larger strategy is all about social content and trying to make Yahoo and the content we produce a more social experience. Our larger strategy is all about social content and trying to make Yahoo and the content we produce a more social experience,” he said. “It’s all about personalizing, engaging, and making it more shareable.

If this new Social Sentiment Slider does what Yahoo! claims it will do... "offer advertisers a seamless way to increase brand awareness by linking their brand messages with the content consumers are viewing and sharing most." it could prove to be an invaluable tool for advertisers and marketers alike.

Sources: yadvertisingblog, Ad Week, Yahoo! Images