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A blog about Oracle Social Life

How To Create An Engaging Social Strategy For Conferences

Whitney Durmick
Senior Product Manager

We knew the Modern Customer Experience Conferences in Las Vegas were going to be busy. With roles to play across marketing, commerce, and customer service, our social media game needed to be comprehensive and effective. Oracle Commerce Cloud Content Director Nathan Joynt and I knew exactly what to do: we put Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) technology to work for us.

The Week Before: Lay The Foundation

Listen

We started by creating topics to understand what people were saying about Commerce Cloud. After all, marketing begins and ends with listening. I believe in a quantity-and-quality approach, so we deployed a higher number of targeted topics (everything from event hashtags to overall brand keywords), rather than lumping everything together and parsing out the data later (because, in the words of an internet icon—ain’t nobody got time for that).

Content

With our listening in place, our focus switched to outbound content. Using SRM’s content calendar to distribute posts in balance with other marketing content, Nathan crafted a few messages to go out across Commerce Cloud’s social handles. He was able to develop content before the conference craziness set in, and scheduled it to release at key points during the event. Then he could rest easy knowing his social presence was felt even if he was busy.

Tracking

Tracking was also a big requirement; Nathan planned to create a post-mortem report to pass up the chain and let our executives know how social moved the needle during the live event. We had two mechanisms within Social Cloud to make sure Nathan had great metrics to share with the higher-ups.

First, we set up campaign tracking. Oracle Social Cloud offers a wonderfully simple way to collect quick analytics for campaigns, events, content types, or literally any ‘bucket’ we could imagine. For Modern Commerce, we built tags for specific keynote speakers like Mark Hurd and Troy Carter, which Nathan added to posts about the speakers and during the keynotes.

We made sure social didn’t live in a silo by connecting our social data with the overall web strategy through dynamic link tracking. DLT empowers content creators to pre-populate tracking values and parameters, so when posts include links, information is passed automatically to Google Analytics, Omniture, or another third party. (Using this feature feels a bit like having a superpower.)

Once we had all the bells and whistles configured in SRM for Modern Commerce, Nathan downloaded the app to his iPhone and got comfortable creating social posts and engaging with inbound conversation on social handles.

During: “Automation” Takes Over

Modern CX came and went with a flurry of keynotes highlighting Oracle’s commitment to providing the best experiences to Oracle’s customers AND our customer’s customers. Attendees heard influencers like Atom Factory’s Troy Carter extoll the virtues of humanizing brands, building audiences, and engaging authentically. In his inspiring keynote—“Community, Connection, Consumption: Create Great Experience to Build Brand, Sales and Superstardom”—Carter explained:

“People remember how you make them feel, whether you’re a celebrity or a business. You need to nurture that relationship.”

Among those inspired by this human-focused message at a tech-heavy event, Nathan used the SRM app to spread the word across social channels.

Afterwards: What We Learned

Combing the results from our pre-conference SRM session, we developed the post-mortem story Nathan could pass up the chain. Web tracking data had been sent automatically to digital, and inbound posts had been addressed or passed directly to service agents. The SRM had performed spectacularly, and now it was our turn to add the human element. Here are some main themes:

  • Unsurprisingly, the most widely discussed topics were the keynote speakers who inspired audiences to re-think how they interact with customers.
  • Influencers were key to engagement. Tweets that mentioned Mark Hurd, Troy Carter or Reggie Bradford got the most traction on Twitter.
  • People engaged more when brands were humanized. Robotic tweets slid effortlessly down the feed, while social content featuring quotes, emojis or excitement experienced higher levels of engagement.

Based on those findings, next time we’ll focus on that human element. After all, people come to events like Modern CX to learn and to be inspired; we’ll aim for authenticity in our messaging, encouraging creators to only post content they’d be compelled to share themselves, like the gem below: 

Overall, we learned that human authenticity and sophisticated technology are crucial components to delivering great experiences, and they work best together. Technology, like the holistic automation stacks Hurd endorses, helps businesses implement their CX strategy, but brands will need to evolve to embody a CX vision that engenders loyalty from customers. As a living embodiment of the concept, Nathan developed the social strategy, but leveraged technology to maximize ease of execution, and increased the amount of time he could spend actually enjoying the event.

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