Social media is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a must-have—to help build brands and effectively engage customers, employees, business partners and investors.
The underlying changes driving this transition are numerous. Social media capabilities have progressed from simply focusing on fans and followers to engagement and brand-building. A focus on a single social media channel has been replaced by a need to support and engage people across multiple touch points. At the same time, companies are looking for ways to move their social media programs from one-off engagements to strategically and centrally managed platforms. Rather than merely exploiting a potential social media opportunity, organizations are now focused on the ROI of all their social media programs.
THE VALUE OF INTEGRATED SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Once used only for social marketing, social media is evolving into social relationship management at the enterprise level. Social relationship management extends the power of social media technologies beyond marketing to the entire organization.
Today's organizations need to move past social marketing to socially enabling all their business processes: social selling, social commerce, social service, social HR, social recruiting and social collaboration. Data from social initiatives needs to flow seamlessly between systems and tie back to marketing sales support and service processes. The lack of enterprise social insight found in many organizations needs to change. For example, a recent survey found that while 76 percent of retailers plan to use Facebook for social commerce initiatives, 33 percent of them had difficulty determining the ROI of their social programs.
Understanding the value of social media efforts is critical. But developing that understanding requires an integrated, holistic approach to enterprise social media. While individual social media solutions are undeniably valuable for specific tasks, creating a truly effective and efficient social media-enabled organization requires a much deeper level of integration. That's where social relationship management comes in.
By integrating and instantiating social functionality across business processes, organizations can start to manage relationships in a social context and in real time. For organizations that are finished focusing simply on fans and followers, social relationship management is the next step.
An effective social relationship management strategy delivers business value in a number of ways, including:
- Generating high-quality signals to enable better business decisions;
- Delivering a holistic view of customers across traditional and social channels;
- Targeting communication to any device across all social networks;
- Providing a comprehensive view of social activities across an enterprise;
- Measuring influence, engagement and relationships across all media;
- Lowering the total cost of ownership while increasing social participation and relevance across the entire extended enterprise.
In short, organizations seeking more strategic social media solutions need to consider a social relationship management approach.
ORACLE SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Oracle's approach to social is to make it easy and natural to bring social engagement into business processes. Not only is Oracle deeply embedding social capabilities within its existing product lines, such as Oracle Fusion Applications, it's also investing in new ones. For example, its recent acquisitions of Vitrue, Collective Intellect and Involver have added to Oracle's social capabilities in social marketing and social monitoring and engagement.
Oracle's social relationship management (SRM) solutions simplify the deployment of social business applications through cloud delivery, mobile access and integration with key business applications. Oracle also delivers social integration with powerful analytics and data capabilities that drive a strong return on investment through targeted engagement with customers and better productivity through a skilled, mobile work force.
Oracle's SRM solutions include:
- Social monitoring and engagement
- Social networking
- Social marketing
Oracle offers a broad set of social solutions that enable organizations to implement individual modules for specific tasks or leverage the integrated solution to realize the full power of the social-enabled enterprise. Where there used to be guesswork, Oracle allows smart marketers to align social media technologies with their strategic marketing goals using social data. Oracle provides centralized social management across marketing, sales and service. Proactive response capabilities in the Oracle SRM suite enable engagement and brand-building. And Oracle SRM supports multiple social touch points as well as any devices in the social network.
The Top Five Social Relationship Management Mistakes
Businesses are becoming more social every day. It's not a matter of when to become a social business, but how. To accomplish this, companies need to help create engaging user experiences that integrate yesterday's enterprise applications with today's social technologies. Using social strategies that have been designed correctly, companies can solve business problems more quickly, resulting in increased innovation and greater sales.
The effective corporate use of social media, social interactions and social data can drive phenomenal competitive advantages for organizations.
But done wrong, social media strategy can damage a company's reputation and profits.
To ensure enterprise social media success, it's helpful to be aware of the top five social relationship management mistakes:
1) Focusing on individual channels. Many companies focus on only one or two social media channels; but for maximum impact, strategies need to incorporate a mix of social media touch points. In addition, a company's social media strategy should be agile and able to easily incorporate monitoring, management and content creation across today's popular social media technologies and tomorrow's still-undefined ones.
2) Doing one-off's. In today's business climate it's hard to know where to focus. In the sphere of enterprise social media, the need to do something often translates into one-off social media projects for a specific (usually short-term) need. Unfortunately, that's not the best approach. Forward-looking organizations need to move from doing one-off social media projects to an environment where they have a centralized social media strategy to handle one-off projects within a greater corporate context.
3) Building fans and followers. Organizations have frequently started their enterprise social media strategies by focusing on fans and follows. They've thought that if they increase the number of people subscribing to or following them, they'll automatically have a more engaged customer and prospect base. But social relationship management isn't just about counting the numbers of followers—it's about identifying and engaging with audiences in two-way conversations through social technologies, providing those audiences real value that ultimately engenders brand loyalty and advocacy.
4) Just keeping score. When in doubt, count—count followers and friends, tweets and messages. Effective enterprise social media isn't about collecting metrics; it's about enabling business decision-makers to take action. Instead of focusing on keeping score, organizations should focus on maximizing the effectiveness of their plays and enabling the players to not only make the right decisions, but also to take proactive action.
5) Reacting to situations. Reacting to situations is not only natural, it can be helpful; but not if that's all a company is doing. If something's going on in the market that an organization can take advantage of through social media, it absolutely should. But that social media reaction should only be one part of an effective enterprise social media strategy. Each social media project should fit into the larger picture in a coherent and practical way; and all should be tied to return on investment and clear business objectives and goals.