Tuesday Mar 18, 2014

Oracle Social and Chevrolet #IdeaRally Tapped Into YOUR Brilliance

On March 10 in Austin, concurrent with SXSW Interactive, Oracle Social and Chevrolet teamed up to harvest ideas both from those in attendance at the Oracle Discovery Lounge and those in the Twitterverse on possible innovations around 4G connected cars, in-dash applications and overall automotive technology.


As event hosts Rahim Fazal of Oracle and Richard Choi of Chevrolet quickly discovered, followers of @oraclesocial and @Chevrolet are quite the brainstormers. Search #IdeaRally and you’ll get just a small idea of how the car experience is going to be significantly changing in the very near future.


What are your favorite possible applications? Parental controls that let you know if your kid is speeding? Reminders you need something from a store you’re driving near? Directions read by celebrity voices? Immediate alerts car maintenance is needed? Feel free to continue contributing your own ideas to the hashtag. Meanwhile, here’s a speedy infographic powered by Oracle Social’s Listen functionality with stats from the rally.

IdeaRally Infographic

@mikestiles


Friday Feb 14, 2014

What You Should Look for in a Social Listening Tool

Today’s guest post is from Oracle VP eCommerce and Social, CX Applications Business Group Bill Hobbib, offering up some clarity in a space increasingly crowded with vendors, both large and small, about what features and functions you should look for when shopping for a social listening tool. Beware of incomplete solutions.


Social ListeningFrom time to time, you’ll see analyst rundowns of enterprise listening platforms, each using their own criteria, definitions and methodology. In the midst of these varied approaches, yielding varied results, how can a listening platform best be evaluated?


Buyers now require broader capabilities from their social solutions that extend beyond a single department or group within a large enterprise to address the needs of organizations that want to leverage social, such as Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Commerce. Enterprises want solutions that support the integration of social data across the business to understand customers at a transactional and an intention & lifestyle level. They are looking for not just listening alone, but listening integrated with engaging, publishing, and analytics.


When considering listening and sentiment technologies, it’s important to note that all are not equal. For example, while different automated approaches to sentiment analysis may yield similar results from an identical dataset, for sentiment analysis to be accurate, the initial data must be clean of irrelevant results.


Cutting through the noise to get the best social data for analysis is challenging. This is where different listening technologies make a difference. And this is why many customers have moved from keyword/Boolean listening technology to more sophisticated latent semantic analysis (LSA) - to avoid the noise, errors, and time to separate signal from noise associated with the keyword/Boolean approach.

social listening table


The best solution is to blend all of the above for optimum results. Important considerations with social listening are: the amount of time it takes to onboard and build dictionaries, the effort to remove irrelevant content, and the automatic pulling of common words. Of what value is social data for business analysis if it takes excessive manual effort to find the signal through the noise, or if the data is noisy or just plain wrong?


Another consideration for a listening platform is out-of-the-box availability of indicators that can capture and filter conversations based on intentions (e.g. purchase, switching, sale/coupon), activities & interests, product attributes like price/quality/customer service, and brand health measures. These get you beyond tracking buzz to actionable insights, such as a customer service rep engaging with an unhappy customer, passing competitive or product insights to a product development organization, or using the insights gleaned from customers to create more compelling content the customers can engage with on social media. Also, given the importance of selling and marketing on a global level, support for listening in multiple languages should be considered, especially for enterprise businesses.


Further considerations important to many customers are the amount of time a listening tool has been available and proven in the market, the amount of time the vendor has been in business, and the financial stability of the vendor.


One last aspect: Altimeter Group looked at innovations in the social space and has written about the trend of integrating social with other customer engagement channels for the best data, targeting, and context. “The result: a technology suite that goes beyond just social, designed to entice CMOs with one-stop shopping convenience.” Altimeter sees further consolidation as tech keeps coming together in larger suites and consolidation occurs as the market evolves.


Over time, the market won’t be able to support so many smaller players. Several social vendors have already ceased operation. Altimeter observes, “This left their customers high and dry and needing to start the search for vital tools all over again. That has been another reason why some companies are looking to the big players.”


In summary, buyers considering social listening solutions must assess several factors. The vendors’ offering should be evaluated for a proven track record with the deepest listening technology to quickly, easily, accurately separate signal from noise and categorize conversations based on intentions. The product or solution strategy should include integration of social with other customer engagement channels. And the vendors’ market presence and financial stability should be assessed on multiple dimensions to ensure they have the customer traction and financial resources to be there for you over the long haul.


Happy shopping.

Photo: imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Friday Jan 31, 2014

Oracle Social Cloud Stars Showcase Their Fave Product Features

starsOracle’s Larry Ellison (whom I think we can all agree has been moderately successful) just told us the keys to future corporate success.  Want to know what they are? In his keynote at CloudWorld SF, Ellison revealed it’s happy, talented employees and customer experience, saying, “What is Oracle? It’s a bunch of people with great ideas building product.”


We have the privilege of watching those people in action every day and never cease to be amazed. So we wanted to catch our Senior Product Managers in between their screens and the snack room and have them share what they like best about the various components of Oracle’s Social Relationship Management platform.


Kim Wolfe - Publish


Since we’re all human, I love that the SRM Publish tool offers several error handling solutions.


First, you can delete posts from a social network without being an admin on the page. Let’s say you accidentally publish a post and want to remove it. Doing so natively requires you be signed in to the page as an admin. If you’re not one but do have publishing access in the SRM, you can get rid of it right away without native admin access and without having to ask someone else to do it (thus revealing to all you goofed up).

Publish

Second, you can change the published destination link of a post without deleting & starting all over or changing the short link. When you post with a destination link using SRM, the destination link is converted into a short link, which is published. So what if the destination link (say a campaign landing page) changes? Just choose “Quick Edit” from the dashboard and change the destination link. When you save the post, the short link stays the same while the destination link takes people to the right landing page.


Lisa Black - Analytics


I’ve got 3 favorite things about Oracle Social Analytics, but I’ll try to make them short.


1. You can view public & private data in one platform. When you put these together you’ve got something really transformative for the enterprise. As a software provider with deep enterprise analytics experience, Oracle is uniquely positioned to change the landscape of social analytics.


2. You can compare social media performance across the different social networks. Which network is doing best, and how, and when? As our platform moves towards more configurable reporting, it’s getting easier and easier to contrast and compare multiple social networks in a single view.


3. Aggregate analysis for multiple social media properties. Unlike other “solutions,” SRM delivers out-of-the-box KPIs that aggregate information for multiple social media properties. For example, if you have multiple Facebook pages (some companies have hundreds!) you can view aggregate KPIs for the entire organization AND for configurable subsets. You can define custom groupings of properties.


Larry Stewart – Workflow & Automation, Content & Apps


The thing I like most about Workflow & Automation is…it feels like NASA's Central Command Center (come on, who doesn't want to have control of a command center?) To get campaigns and users ready for launch, you set up bundles, users & teams, social properties & channels, automations & plugins, or our newest addition - a Workflow template. It’s all run through a Central Command Center, and you don't have to fly to Cape Canaveral or go through astronaut training to experience it.


The greatest thing about Content & Apps is that if you have even a little bit of CSS knowledge, you can deliver a really impressive Facebook page in minutes. The game below is an example of the kind of flexibility and variety that can be delivered. Whether it's Shopping, Games, or embedding social content from Pinterest, YouTube, Spotify, etc. on your Facebook page, Content & Apps delivers.

Content & Apps


Christie Sultemeier – Engage


What do I like most about Engage? It would have to be our message categorization functionality, labels. You can filter by label in Engage to quickly and easily navigate to the most important messages at any given time, whether it’s hot customer service issues or potential sales opportunities.


Messages in Engage can be labeled in 3 different ways.

  • Manually: A user can open a message in Engage and add a label on-the-fly, like maybe "Spring Campaign."
  • Automatically by Keyword: Let’s say you want to setup a "Bad Word" auto-label for any time "shoot" or "darn" appear in a message or comment. You can do that with the auto-label functionality.
  • Automatically by Indicators: This is advanced, and really cool. Powered by latent semantic analysis, messages in Engage are automatically labeled things like "Purchase Language" or "Customer Service," telling you what the message is about without you having to read every word. This lets you act on customer intent and interest more efficiently.


Engage

We also let you set up Automation Rules based on labels, like auto-assign or auto-delete. If you wanted all posts labeled "Sales Lead" to get automatically assigned to a rep, or all posts labeled "Bad Words" to be automatically deleted, it can be done quickly and easily!


What these fine people and their teams have made is already great…and getting better by the day. If Larry’s right and success depends on talented people, who you choose as your social technology partner matters more than ever.


@mikestiles
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

13 Discussion Starters Around Social Listening

With most brands having social properties in place and social marketing tools for managing those properties in action (you DO have that, right?), it’s probably time to start having more discussions about social listening.


Below are some things you could say either in meetings or in the halls to get the neurons firing in your org about turning social listening insights into actionable items that directly address business objectives.


1. What are our customers and prospects saying about us on social channels, blogs, forums, etc.? Do we know?


2. Just for kicks, let’s outline all the right, optimized queries or search strings we’d put into a listening tool so that only what we really need and care about surfaces. Let’s go Boolean crazy.

3. You know, if we knew what people are saying about our competition, we could zero in on their bigger weaknesses and deliver a value prop to make their customers switch.


4. Do you guys think we’d get better data from people by listening to their honest conversations on social than we get from focus groups or our own surveys?


5. Okay, given how many conversations are constantly going on, who are the social listening vendors that can handle that big data and integrate it with things like our CRM system?


6. It sure would be cool if our customers had more input and could guide us toward improving our products and developing new ones. They’re the buyers so that makes sense, right?


7. I wonder how many of our customers don’t even reach out directly to us when they’re unhappy. They’re out there stewing about us and telling their friends, and we don’t even know we made them mad.


8. If we ever do something stupid, I’d sure like to know it sooner rather than later.


9. I know we’re listening on social, but we are a global organization, so does our tool listen in multiple languages?


10. Do you ever get the feeling that a lot of our customer research is old news by the time we get the results back? We’ve got to learn what’s going on and react faster.


11. Social listening is fine, but I’d only call the data social intelligence if it’s specific enough we can use it to take actions, make decisions or change our strategy.


12. Has anybody around here studied sentiment analysis? Can we really track if we’re winning or losing customer hearts & minds with that?


13. If we could pleasantly shock our customers by knowing what they have, what they need, when they need it & what problem they might be having…no one could touch us. We’d be swimming in ROI.


The strength and promise of social lies in communication that flows in all directions. Trying to talk to someone through the wide end of a megaphone rarely works out. Don’t be the brand holding the megaphone. Start having serious discussions about social listening.


@mikestiles
Photo: Sundeip Arora, stock.xchng


Tuesday Jan 07, 2014

Ignoring Some Countries? Social Listening & Monitoring in Multiple Languages

earthSocial media is a global shift, so for companies doing business in international markets, what sense does it make to listen to what some users are saying but not others?  This week, Oracle Social Cloud added 7 more language capabilities to the existing 4, tearing down even more language and cultural barriers.


And all the people said “Hurrah,” except in different languages.


Advanced social listening and monitoring using Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) is now available for Russian, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. These languages join the solution’s existing English, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese capabilities.


The world is only getting smaller, and more interconnected. True global enterprises must be able to listen, engage, publish and analyze in each market, tapping into the wealth of data social brings. With Oracle Social Cloud watching over 700 million messages daily across social networks, blogs, forums and news sites, clients are empowered with knowledge of the discussions taking place…about THEM.


Let’s take a quick look at the social world and how it’s expanding and evolving. By 2017, the global social audience will be 2.55 billion, giving social a 24% penetration. While the most social use is, in order, in N. America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Mid-East and Africa, emerging economies are growing at a much faster clip. The Mid-East and Africa grew 191%, while Asia grew 146%.


Makes sense to have the capabilities to do something about that, right? Capabilities like:


Global and Local Language Functionality:

Helps tear down location/language barriers for improved multinational communication.


Native Language Text Analytics:

Oracle’s unique semantic text analysis lets you find relevant messages and avoid noise.


Sentiment Analysis:

Do they love or hate you? Content analysis in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Chinese.


Native Language User Interface and Publishing:

The solution’s user interface is available in 31 languages, a dream for native community managers.


Global Dashboard Analytics:

See where the conversations are happening around the world so you can allocate resources accordingly.


Enhanced and Expanded Custom Indicators:

The expanded library of Indicators lets you access and categorize targeted and specialized messages.


Social expertise isn’t just about scheduling posts anymore. Who brands choose as their social technology partner is going to separate the serious players from the “noodlers.” Not just in terms of being able to listen to a global marketplace, but to then be able to integrate what you hear across applications like marketing, customer service, and sales.


@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng



Friday Jul 26, 2013

Social Listening: China’s Talking, Can You Hear Them?

ChinaHopefully, we’ve come to understand the value of social listening and social monitoring. It’s how we as brands and organizations learn what people are saying about us across the social web, and how we get to know our customers intimately, learning their values and expectations. It’s what allows us to respond in timely, relevant ways, driving new customers, referrals, loyalty, and increased sales.

Naturally, those are the kinds of benefits you’d like to apply to the largest, most socially active and fastest growing market on the planet, right? That would be China. And if you think you can’t listen to what’s being said about you there…you can.

China has the most active social media base plus the biggest Internet, mobile and social media population on the globe. 4 million additional Internet users are added per month, pushing that population to an estimated 800 million in 2015. There are 547 million estimated social users and 420 million estimated mobile web users. Much of the growth is fueled by rural and middle class users, where 97% of the Chinese middle class now owns a smartphone.

Back to the “active” part. A McKinsey report shows 91% of Internet-connected Chinese visited a social site. Compare that to 30% in Japan, 67% in the US, and 70% in South Korea. Social sharing in China went up 60% in 2012. During the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, Twitter recorded almost 10 million related mentions. But China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging network Sina Weibo recorded 119 million. Incitez found that Chinese consumers spend more time (46 minutes a day) on social sites than any other country.

So yeah, it’s big. But does that represent a legit social opportunity for brands? Socially-connected consumer behavior in China isn’t much different from what we see elsewhere. They’re more likely to think about buying a product if it’s mentioned on social, and more likely to buy if a connection recommends it. On average, 66% of Chinese social users follow brands. The averaging user follows 6.7 of them. And yes, brands are well aware; over a thousand already have a presence on Sina Weibo.

And don’t forget that “active” part. An oral care product that executed a campaign on Chinese location-based network Jiepang gained over 846,000 branded user generated posts, creating 2.54 million earned media impressions…for $60k US. Monthly sales increased 23% during the campaign. Put that in your social ROI folder.

So if the opportunities are huge, and the social users there are highly active, how will you listen across social in China to surface those opportunities? The answer is powerful social listening technology that spans global languages and social sites. Oracle's Social Engagement & Monitoring (SE&M) product, part of the overall Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform, now lets you listen in Simplified Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish, with support and planned support for Chinese social networks/sources, and Latin America's Reclame Aqui and Vostu social networks. It’s the only product you’ll find with Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) in multiple languages. LSA lets you identify messages you want to see, filer irrelevant posts, and get a clear picture of the social content you’re examining. That way, you can spot and do something about the messages that matter.

SE&M also gives you a deeper look into a conversation, like consumer interest, intent or psychographics. If you’re multinational or based in the Chinese and Latin American markets, that’s potential gold. Of course, the whole SRM offers a fully translated user interface in 31 languages, now including Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish. We’re global that way. And even more listening languages are on the way to help you mine fans and leads.

For a good first step, how about a few infographics on getting started with social relationship management? Pick a language.

English
Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
Portuguese

In her recent presentation at Oracle OpenWorld Shanghai, VP Development, Oracle Social Cloud Meg Bear pointed out how crucial it is for global brands to connect, listen, learn and engage with China, home to over half the world’s top 15 social networks. Eyes and ears are turning to digital places like Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Renren, Qzone, and fast-growing mobile messaging platform WeChat.

The volume of potential data is significant. And just like Americans, the Chinese fully expect you as brands to listen to that data, understand their needs, and deliver stellar user experiences in return.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

About

Get the latest changes and innovations to social technology platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube, and learn where social marketing trends are headed.

Connect With Us

Twitter

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
2
3
5
6
7
9
10
12
13
14
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today