Facebook and Twitter seem focused on brand marketers, meanwhile Oracle and Salesforce.com have quietly bought a position in the management of social media. Are Oracle and Salesforce.com about to outmanoeuvre Facebook and Twitter by focusing on the customer’s complete user journey, rather than advertising?
Both Facebook and Twitter are encouraging brands to use more advertising to increase the visibility of individual posts to target consumers. First Facebook removed the landing tab, in favour of timeline, and then launched Promoted Posts to allow clients to bypass EdgeRank. This is understandable when less than 5% of users are going to branded pages. Facebook fears Twitter’s sponsored tweets, which are very effective to force tweets into the user’s timeline, but with a minimum spend of around £20,000 per tweet.
Facebook and Twitter are cashing in on demand from brands to reach the social audiences, which now rival traditional media in size. Not surprising therefore those media agencies, pr companies and mobile developers are all looking to re-create their existing business models on these new channels.
Why would Facebook or Twitter ignore the advertising demand?
As a specialist agency that has been in the space since 2005, we use advertising as a small part of our toolset. We try not to distinguish our campaigns by the channels and focus on defining the target audience, mapping the location of the available audiences and creating content that convinces the users to move from where they currently exist to our clients’ channels. Too much advertising plays down the genuine voice of the community and the valuable relationships that users have formed with brands over time.
To us, the £1.5bn spent on Radian6, BuddyMedia, Vitue and Collective Intellect by Oracle and Salesforce.com shows tangible evidence of the next generation of development in our space, which has been named by various strategists as Social Business.
Social Business demands that social media is stitched into the entire organisation and not just marketing or PR. This means that everybody is involved and management systems need to work across all social channels and all business functions. Social Business is really about integration and how social techniques can improve the speed of communication through the entire business, which is good for both the consumer and business efficiency. Oracle and Salesforce.com are masters of this trade.
End-to-end CRM is the new goal using social media techniques and not channels to build long-term relationships with customers. The idea has been around for a few years but perhaps is now starting to move from the status of pipe-dream to reality.
The reason this is such a huge potential development is that current social media data is typically based on aggregation of the total audience number. CRM data provides the ability for brands to peer into the social media behaviour of individual users and define how they are being influenced on paid, owned, earned and shared channels. The benefits to our industry are enormous, namely genuine business case ROI and that is something that those folks from Madison Avenue should be worried about, however entertaining their content.
Written by Dan Naylor