Friday Jun 20, 2014

Your Paid Social Marketing is Feeling Lonely

There was a time not long ago when a lot of thought leadership articles talked about the need for the cooperation and integration amongst departments in the enterprise (not happening at breakneck speed by the way).  Now, apparently a call is also needed for paid marketing efforts, including paid social marketing, to also not be walled off from each other.

I suppose wherever there are limited dollars and multiple paid options, there will be little tugs-of-war to see where the money lands. But just as CMO’s and CIO’s have benefits to reap from working in tandem, so too do paid ad options.

Here at Oracle Social, we have several inaugural paid social platforms integrated into the Oracle SRM, one of them being Kenshoo. They wondered how adding Facebook ads to paid search campaigns would affect performance and cost. So they ran a campaign with Experian to foster online applications for their credit reports.

After a couple of weeks of exposing different US audiences to different Facebook ads spending totals, they saw a 19% average jump in total conversions for those that saw the Facebook ads vs. those that only saw the paid search ads. For those who did see Facebook ads, average cost-per-acquisition was down 10%. Why? Our friend conversions!

In fact, conversions kept going up as Facebook ad spend went up. Naturally, they eventually found a “sweet spot” at which the most benefit was being harvested for the least expense. But the point is that any belief one paid marketing tactic has no affect on the others, that multiple types can’t leverage each other toward the same goal, is wrong.

Adweek has commented that we are in the "paid" chapter of social’s evolution. All that means is the social networks need revenue, so paying-to-play to the audiences we brands spent years and dollars amassing is the order of the day. The good news is, it works.

Social brings reach, targeting, retargeting, user sharing, social big data, location…all kinds of things that drive critical relevancy to ad messaging. These abilities in social ad products will only continue to grow. Using paid social to give your content a fighting chance to win organic validation and thus, benefit search results, is becoming standard practice. Such worthy content is even being called “the new SEO.”

So if that’s the case, Kenshoo’s findings shouldn’t startle us very much. Kenshoo’s Chris Costello points out, “There are only so many people searching for things. Running Facebook ads can not only get more people to search, but they can make the search ads work better by instilling brand preference in searchers and driving them to convert at higher rates.”

A Visu survey shows marketers are increasingly “getting it,” orchestrating paid social with not just search, but with their entire menu of digital and traditional media choices. Putting paid social marketing in its own box presupposes customers are only exposed to one paid media choice during a purchasing journey. Kenshoo’s Aaron Goldman says nope, they don’t distinguish between channels, and this study proves brands that think like customers and don’t force paid social to go it alone will see cross-channel rewards.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial

Friday Mar 14, 2014

Friday Mar 07, 2014

Oracle Social Giving Customers Choices with Paid Social Media Partnership Program

social media choicesPaid social media is becoming increasingly crucial as marketers seek to amplify content for greater reach, higher engagement and better concentration of resources on the most likely of targets.

To better facilitate the integration of paid media with other social relationship management functions, Oracle Social Cloud is announcing an open API-based paid media solution bringing customers vendor choice, flexibility, and expertise. Our inaugural partners in this endeavor are social ad platform leaders Kenshoo, Nanigans, and SHIFT.

What this means is customers already on their way to becoming social enabled enterprises with the Oracle SRM can capitalize on the top ad technologies available, connecting content creation & management in SRM to promotion of that content with the paid social partners’ platforms.

-- See the demos of how these paid partners work hand in hand with the Oracle SRM--

Without question, our inaugural partners represent the best in the field, chosen based on criteria including platform capabilities, technology innovation, strategic partnerships with major social networks, customer base and scale capabilities.

Oracle Social Cloud Group VP Meg Bear says, “This strategic approach signals our belief in the power of an open API strategy, and we believe this is the best solution to meet our customers’ needs to leverage performance-based, targeted advertising at scale.”

Just look at the advantages of such an API partner strategy:

  • Technology Expertise: SRM customers quickly benefit from years of focused development in the social paid media space by our partners.
  • Analytics: Comprehensive analytics will be available to users through SRM and partner sites, helping them understand the metrics behind paid, owned and earned content.
  • Coordination & Collaboration: Oracle SRM’s workflow functionality will enable better coordination and conversation between the community manager (owned and earned content), and the agency or media manager (paid content), facilitating greater efficiencies and effectiveness.
  • Custom Audiences: Customers will be able to take advantage of SRM’s Custom Audiences capability via SRM and Eloqua integrations.

Why put yourself in the best position to act on paid social possible? Advertising Age has noted nothing has bested TV’s reach since the early '50s. Now, Facebook alone surpasses the reach of the 4 broadcast networks 18-to-24 and 25-to-34. Meanwhile a Nielsen study shows 3/4 of respondents use Paid Advertising, with 64% looking to increase spend in 2014.

It’s a massive audience of prospects. And if you’re spending ad dollars to engage with them on social (as a growing number are), that paid social spend should be as informed as possible.

The choices, flexibility, connection and collaboration offered by Oracle Social’s Paid Media Partnership Program offer a tremendous opportunity to move social marketers much closer to the real-time, right people, right-time strategies that lead to measurable success.

Photo: Ruth Livingstone, stock.xchng

Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

New Social Media Guide for Pharma Should Make You Feel Better

social media marketing regulations“One of the most frustrating things about this industry is how we use regulations as an excuse to not participate in social media.” 

- Trish Nettleship, Global Director Social Media & Influence at UCB Pharma

“The excuse for ignoring patients on social channels just went ‘poof’.”

- Leerom Segal, CEO of Klick Health.

That “poof” sound you heard was the release of new FDA guidelines January 13 on the use of social in medical product or pharmaceutical promotion. And it was something social marketers had been waiting on for over 4 years. This was just a draft. A full report is expected this summer.

Here’s what they put out there…for now:

  • Companies can post promo messages on social without first submitting them for FDA approval. But they do have to submit all that promo content after the fact.
  • Firms are responsible for product promo communications on sites that are owned, controlled, created, influenced, or operated by, or on behalf of, the firm.
  • Under some circumstances, firms are responsible for promo on 3rd-party sites, such as if they have control or influence in the process via collaboration, editorial, preview, or review. If they’re just paying to post marketing with no say over other content, no problem.
  • A firm is responsible for the content generated by employees or agents acting on the firm’s behalf to promote the firm's product.

The guidelines have a lot to do with the realities of the social revolution and seek a workable solution for meeting regulatory requirements also being able to participate on social. What’s not workable is submitting every user comment for government approval before it can be published, stripping away the real-time nature of social.

Which is what today’s patient wants.

  • 59% of US adults have looked online for health info in past 12 months.
  • 18% have gone online to find others who share the same health concerns.
  • The average US consumer spends about 52 hours looking for health info online annually.
  • 54% of online health searches were on behalf of someone else.

People are actively engaged in their healthcare and go straight to the web and social with their questions. It falls on pharmaceutical companies and health providers in general to be present on social, empowering, educating, and building trusted relationships. These latest guidelines give firms more of a green light to do just that.

Oracle Social Cloud Director of Outbound Product Management Angela Wells suggests steps pharma companies can start taking in response:

  • Set a social policy: how can you leverage social with each stakeholder group?
  • Solidify workflow, approvals, and permissions.
  • Identify how you’ll archive info for the monthly FDA reporting (some social management platforms automate such archiving and exporting more efficiently than others).
  • Listen to your audience & create targeted content themes.
  • Tap into relevant hashtags, communities and conversations, like #hcsm, #carechat, #HITsm, #MedEd, #bigCchat, #RMchat, #DigitalPharmacist, #DrugSafety, #QualityChat

Photo: Christy Thompson, stock.xchng


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