Foundations of the Social Enterprise Suite

Guest Post by Oracle SVP Product Development Reggie Bradford

foundationWith so much discussion going around of the socially enabled enterprise, many are still perplexed over exactly what that means. More specifically, they wonder what key components comprise the foundation for such a re-imagining of the technological makeup of an organization.

Based on my own observations as a former brand marketing CMO, founder of a social management platform startup, and now SVP of a broader enterprise technology solutions company such as Oracle, the following functionalities strike me as key.

You Should Be Able To: Market on Social

Not just to be on social networks, but be able to compose, creatively enhance, schedule, and streamline the process through which teams and admins engage customers, build relationships with them, and put forth the best customer experience possible.

Your presence on social is your brand’s image and its voice, an always-on consumer touch point. Your social marketing component should be about making that voice, the content, and your interactions consistent and credible. You’re in the trust-building business.

You Should Be Able To: Engage & Monitor on Social

The public has spoken. What they want from brands more than anything else is to be heard. To hear, you have to listen. Your social suite should have a component that monitors what customers are saying, allows you to respond in the timeframe to which they’ve grown accustomed, and lets you combine the social interactions across all your channels to increase your knowledge of the customer.

They want to tell you what’s important to them. They’re eager to help make your products better. And when they reach out for help, your system should be able to route the issue to the appropriate business function so fans aren’t left wondering if you care enough to respond.

You Should Be Able To: Get and Use Social Data

When you operate without analytics, you operate in the dark. Social offers a constant flow of data riches just waiting to be mined. You’ll know your customer like never before, learn what they best respond to, gauge the effectiveness of campaigns, and adjust investments and strategies based on what the social data tells you.

Your suite should be able to aggregate data from all your active social networks, providing a holistic view of consumers that enables implementation of those superior customer experiences essential for success. Such patterns and sentiment represents high value business intelligence, provided you have the tools to surface it.

You Should Be Able To: Collaborate Internally on Social

The workplace is changing. Employees want to use the kinds of tools for business they’re used to using in their personal lives. And that means social. Grouping, sharing, uploading materials, chatting, finding answers in discussions…all represent the kind of collaboration possible via an internal social network.

Your social suite should provide such real-time virtual work environments, with secure networking and collaboration tools for the enterprise driving productivity.

You Should Be Able To: Seize the Future

All of the above pieces of the puzzle are offered in various combinations by various vendors. But to truly lay the groundwork for the socially enabled enterprise, each must have the capacity to be fully and functionally integrated not just with each other, but also with Social Sales, Social Commerce, Social HR, and other such enterprise concerns.

True integration streamlines the enterprise, increases efficiencies, empowers marketing, drives sales, enhances the customer experience, builds brands, and positions you to quickly capitalize on future rapid innovations in social (and they’re all rapid).

Without the seamless integration a single vendor can offer, you may later find yourself with cracks in your foundation.

Photo: stock.xchng 

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