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SOCIAL What’s Oracle’s view on how social media is changing enterprise business?

Here’s a lesson CMOs and CIOs should take to heart: yesterday’s enterprise social strategy won’t work today, and today’s won’t work tomorrow. Why? Well, let’s examine a few core principles of the social environment.

Richard Beattie EMEA Applications Senior Director, Marketing Cloud & Social Cloud

Social is global. It’s important to realise that at least 75% of the traffic on Facebook and Twitter comes from outside the United States. To borrow a phrase, the world is flat. It’s a global marketplace, thanks in part to social networking, and brands are launching globally. No matter what type it is or where it’s located, a company today needs to have a presence that scales globally. That’s where social marketing can play an important role. Social takes marketing global - but only if the capability is built in. That capability includes, for example, support for multiple languages, including idioms and slang, and for multiple social platforms, such as Renren, the Chinese version of Facebook. Social is ubiquitous. At work, employees want to use the same tools, and have the same online experiences they have in their personal lives: content sharing, newsfeeds, messaging, etc. Similarly, customers want to interact with their vendors the same way they interact with their friends. Today’s consumers don’t buy products; they invest in brands. And they don’t want to interact with a department; they want to do business with a peer. In terms of enterprise strategy, social entered by way of the marketing department but is rapidly extending its reach across organisations’ various divisions. For example, human resource managers have realised that they can use social capability to help retain their best employees as well as to seek out the best new prospects.

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Social is real-time. Twitter upped the ante in terms of the time element involved in social networking. In the Twitter-sphere, conversations begin, explode and trail off in what seems like the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, the damage to a company’s reputation incurred from a negative Twitter blast can last a very long time. So, I ask organisations everywhere: How well have you kept up? If you created your enterprise social strategy more than a year ago, chances are you weren’t factoring in at least some of these trends and capabilities. For instance, is your strategy truly global? Does it extend internally across your organisation? Is Twitter a part of that strategy? And is the lesson of Twitter - listening closely and reacting in real time - a critical element?

How is social affecting modern marketing? If you’re a marketing leader, you often need to think like an artist. Using the right tone and pitch in your Facebook messages; crafting the storyboard for your 25-second YouTube video; evoking an emotional response with one simple tweet–these things require intuition, a sense of taste, and the courage to act without precedent. At the same time, marketing executives must understand hard science. If you’re looking to derive customer insights from social data and big data, you need tools that will allow you to be uncompromisingly objective. That’s why marketing technologies are increasingly appropriating methods from behavioural economics,

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Africa Outlook Issue 19  

Essential reading for those who want to keep up to date with African business.

Africa Outlook Issue 19  

Essential reading for those who want to keep up to date with African business.