From Facebook to Oracle – The Future of Social Media is Data-Focused, Far-Reaching and Highly Intelligent

jvaishnav    November 19, 2015

Organization Name: Oracle Corporation

Industry: Software

Name of contacts: Greg Robinson, Solutions Consultant Manager

Web references: – 5 Predictions For the Future of Social Media – What is the Future of Social Media Marketing? video – The Future of Social Media? video – The Future of Social Media Intelligence – An Interview with Greg Robinson – The Future of Social Media: 25 Experts Share Their 2015 Predictions – Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook

Social media will forge a new frontier

In the near future, all businesses will devote as much time and energy into social media as they previously devoted to email marketing. But with social media, it won’t only be about “marketing”.  Social media is a communication vehicle that all companies will need to appreciate and participate in, across all customer-facing functions – from Sales to Support.

“There will be no ‘social media marketing’ because social networks are simply new communications channels that existing marcom activities can use. Publicists will use social media do to publicity. Customer service representatives will use social media to do customer service. Advertisers will run ad campaigns on social media. ‘Social media marketing’ as a function unto itself will disappear because people will naturally incorporate social media channels into their existing jobs and functions. After all, it’s easier to teach a customer support person how to use Twitter than to teach your average Twitter user how to do customer support well.” – Samuel Scott, Director of Marketing & Communications at, quoted in “What is the future of social media marketing?

The idea that social media will be completely integrated into all functions and facets of our lives is supported by the FW: Thinking video, “The Future of Social Media”, when Jonathan Strickland goes so far as to say “…we shouldn’t even call it social media anymore. This is next generation social life.”

The future is in the data

Businesses have to-date, valued social media for engagement with existing and prospective customers. In the years ahead, the greater value for businesses will be in the data.

Chris Marentis gives 5 Predictions for the Future of Social Media, with his first prediction being that “Social media makes big data even bigger”.  Marentis suggests that by combining “proximity data” with search history and purchase history and social media data from comments and discussions, “we might be able to orchestrate addressable messaging to drive a prospect into a store or click and call without being ‘interruptive’ to that customer. It’s the ultimate marketing paradigm where we are able to message as an ongoing discussion, in a personal way.”

The ability to create these “robust data-driven marketing interactions in real-time” will be dependent on our ability to mashup data from a variety of systems, such as an organization’s CRM platform, with data from search and social media platforms.  In today’s siloed business environment, this is difficult, but the future presents new opportunities. Marentis’ article finds that data will become more open, and it cites research from author and social media writer Mark Schaefer, indicating that “data will increase 600 percent, 75 percent of which will be created by customers, not businesses. “

In the article “What is the future of social media marketing”, Quincy Smith of Uplift ROI indicates, “The future of social media will be hyper-personalized and location based.” Smith predicts that, “personalization will continue to be perfected as companies collect more information on users and devices continue to be integrated. Amazon is already prompting shoppers based on past buying habits and I think we will see more companies leverage big data to better tailor their marketing messages to individual user groups.”

Big data is driven by social media intelligence

To achieve technology mashups that will help deliver these real-time, highly targeted customer interactions, organizations will need to invest in social media intelligence platforms. The ability for these SMI platforms to integrate with systems storing customer data, like ERP and CRM systems, will be critical in the future.  In the near-term, the analytics derived from SMI should be compared to and integrated with web analytics to create a more complete picture of traffic and engagement patterns online.

In the following video, Greg Robinson, Solutions Consultant Manager at Oracle, discusses the past and the future for social media and social media intelligence platforms.

Facebook – the Goliath of big data

Facebook has become a part of our culture and our everyday lives. But is it vulnerable?

In the podcast, “The Future of Facebook Feature” there is speculation that Facebook is not invincible, however, Mark Zuckerberg is likely not too worried as his platform has surpassed 1 billion users.

Not only has the social media giant passed a mega user-milestone, it has set its sights on capturing the 4 billion+ people that don’t even have access to the internet.

FastCompany reports:

Zuckerberg is betting his company’s future on three major technology initiatives. One is developing advanced artificial intelligence that can help Facebook understand what matters to users. The second is virtual reality, in the form of Oculus VR, the groundbreaking company that Facebook acquired in March 2014 for $2 billion, which Zuckerberg believes will be the next major technology we use to interact with each other. And the third is bringing the Internet, including Facebook, of course, to the 4 billion–plus humans who aren’t yet connected, even if it requires flying a drone over a village and beaming data down via laser.”

With Facebook’s mission to “give everyone in the world the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” the amount of information and data will grow exponentionally.  But even before Facebook finds a way to connect the entire world, the company is making movements to secure its space in what FastCompany refers to as “the big data spectrum”.

Erin Mulrooney, Digital Media Supervisor at ab+c Creative Intelligence, was one of 25 experts who shared their 2015 predictions for the future of social media. Mulrooney focused his prediction on Facebook:

“One of the biggest things to watch out for in social in 2015 is the rollout of Facebook’s advertising triforce. Start with Atlas, the Microsoft online ad measurement suite that Facebook purchased last year, combine it with LiveRail, a mobile video network purchased earlier this year, and add both to the massive audience platform Facebook maintains. With over 1 billion users, Facebook is setting themselves up to dominate with data, measurement and engaged ad delivery.”

Lessons for others

For organizations that have wondered whether they really need to establish a presence on Facebook or Twitter, thinking that these social media channels may be a passing fad – the answer is clear: yes you do – and hurry!

Takeaway #1 – Businesses not only need to have a presence on social media, but they need to be fully engaged.

In the very near future, all businesses are going to be competing based on the customer experience they deliver. That customer experience is not going to be limited to phone and email touch-points. Customers will expect a consistent user experience across every communication channel.  More importantly, they will expect responsiveness. Waiting several minutes by phone or several hours on social media for a response, will not be tolerated by the average consumer.

Takeaway #2 – B2B organizations that have kept their Tech Support teams isolated and only responsive to web form requests and direct phone calls will need to change their thinking within the next 12 months, or they will risk falling behind the competition in the area of customer service. Service and Support teams need to be actively engaged in social media to handle support and service issues. These teams will be rewarded with a low cost engagement mechanism, and customers will be delighted with a high level of transparency.

The businesses that are able to derive critical insights from their data will be the organizations that innovate most quickly and have the best chances for success.

Takeaway #3 – Organizations need to be planning for social media intelligence platforms as part of their corporate infrastructures. These platforms should provide multiple departments with access to the data. For larger organizations, SMI platforms that include response management will be critical in managing the workflows for responses to social media inquiries.  As Greg Robinson from Oracle commented, we can expect a “consolidation in the industry”. Organizations will need to carefully evaluate the longevity of the solutions they choose.  Look for solutions from well-established organizations that can prove continual investment in their platforms and a healthy balance sheet, to ensure you have a long-term partner. Also, be sure that your SMI platform can integrate or share data with your CRM, ERP and other necessary systems to fuel your future data-driven marketing efforts.

Submitted by: Julie Vaishnav

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