Tuesday May 14, 2013

Can Social Marketing Really Get You the Growth You Want?

big benAre the changes social and mobile are bringing to business a disruption or opportunity? Oracle Social Sr. Director Richard Beattie discussed at CloudWorld London how it’s both, but the end result is a better understanding of the customer, which in turn leads to the up arrows businesses love to see on charts. Below are Richard’s thoughts:

Welcome to business in the age of the empowered consumer. Always connected, always on the go, always informed. It’s every company’s new reality.

The rise of social (and increasingly mobile) has fundamentally changed the “customer.” Today, they live in a multichannel, multi-device digitally connected world where they can interact across multiple touch points globally and in real-time. They’re using social to connect, engage, learn, share and communicate like never before. And their expectations of businesses and the customer experience are higher. They know you have a wealth of data about them, so they expect you to use it for better overall experiences.

Social has been transformational. It’s made us view the force of “word-of-mouth” in a new and powerful light. At any moment, millions of social conversations are happening worldwide, many of those about your business.

Consider:

  • Nielsen found Americans spend 121 billion minutes per month on social networks.
  • 91% of online adults use social regularly (Experian 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark & Trend Report).
  • One fifth of all online time is spent on social, the #1 online activity (eMarketer).
  • 40% spend more time socializing online than they do face-to-face (AllTwitter).
  • 250 million photos are uploaded per day on Facebook.
  • Almost 40% of consumers have tweeted about a brand.
  • 58% have Liked a brand, 41% have shared content about a brand.
  • 38% of online consumers follow retailers through one or more social sites. 

Social lets businesses have relationships with customers at scale. But being able to realize the full potential of that promise hinges on having the right technology partner. Social is the “killer app” for service, commerce, etc. due to its relevance with how customers want to interact with brands. An integrated technology platform must be in place to truly transform the customer experience.

Social can hurt or help your business, amplifying both positive and negative experiences. The key to making sure those experiences are positive is integrating systems and strategies across the enterprise. Because social is complex and ever evolving, your tech partner should be uniquely qualified to deploy social as a seamless add-on to existing enterprise applications, with the ability to grow and adapt when and as needed.

Knowing the customer, parsing all of the holistic data that’s available, using that to quickly respond and improve the overall experience, those are the steps that lead to brand advocates and loyalists that seed real and measurable growth.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

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