Digital marketing solutions have become increasingly collaborative and now integrate diverse channels like social media platforms and email marketing to craft bigger, better campaigns to improve customer experiences. Social cloud is the latest kid on the block. It integrates social media marketing capabilities into a digital marketing solution and syncs it with the cloud to better align your marketing, sales, and service teams.
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Social clouds enable organizations to share resources across a verified social network and provides security and quality of service, which leads to greater economies of scale. Let’s understand the model and how it works.
What Exactly Is a Social Media Cloud?
Social media cloud is a specialized marketing cloud that provides a unified interface to:
- Better understand your customers’ diverse social media platforms
- Personalize your social media marketing message
- Monitor and listen to social conversations around you and your competitor to inform your social media marketing strategy
- Respond to your customers in real-time and engage them with compelling content
- Align teams to deliver exceptional social experiences in a seamless manner
“The social cloud helps marketers give their target audience a much richer, deeper experience than ever before. Think of it as a community of information and sharing, in a social environment.”
Do You Need a Social Media Cloud?
There are two aspects to consider before we answer this question – firstly, is your business a social business? And second, do you need cloud-based solutions. Let’s tackle them one by one.
Is your business a social business?
A customer-focused, digital business can never ignore the power of social media. Social media is ubiquitous for today’s customers and hence most companies integrate social media marketing in their digital strategy. Customers turn to social for viewing or browsing a product, seeking inspiration for their latest purchase, checking reviews before they make a purchase decision, using the brand’s social pages to contact them or report issues.
Thus, most marketers consider social media as an essential part of their marketing initiatives. Raichur also went on to say, “Marketers can craft an entire narrative tracking with their audience. Now add in the power to deeply segment your outreach, through custom communities focused around the content people respond to. This, in turn, leads to a far more engaged and lasting 2-way dialog with your audience. Enabling real people to have real conversations in real communities, which is game-changing. Public content on MrOwl can also be found without having an individual website because it’s indexed and accessible to search engines, other users, and yourself, only helping to amplify your marketing reach.”
What about cloud-based solutions?
In a digital enterprise, people work in an office, on their laptops, computer systems, or from a remote location. For the success of any marketing campaign, teams need to collaborate and communicate effectively. Cloud-based solutions enable different verticals such as marketing, sales, IT, etc. to collaborate on a common platform with a simplified interface. This makes marketing campaigns and related activities impactful, effective, and streamlined.
Therefore, to answer whether your business needs a social media cloud, you could look at the following set of questions:
- Do you need a unified interface to monitor, track, and analyze social conversations of your target audience?
- How important are social insights for improving the marketing initiatives and products and services?
- Can social media analytics provide an in-depth perspective of customer journey analytics?
- Is the majority of your target audience using popular social media platforms?
- Do you have global teams or teams spread across locations?
- How do your marketing, service, and sales teams align for different campaigns? Are there any bottlenecks?
- Will integrating customer experience and social bring value to your customers?
- Is a stand-alone solution enough for all your social marketing needs?
If most of your answers are yes, a social cloud can help you solve your problems.
Let’s look at two of the most popular social media clouds to help you get started.
Popular Social Cloud Platforms in the Market
Many companies have integrated social capabilities to enhance their digital solutions. Let’s talk about two popular social clouds available in the market.
The Oracle social cloud offers a range of features:
- Marketers can create, schedule, monitor, analyze, and tweak their social marketing activities
- A unified dashboard helps you manage different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
- Seamlessly integrate with CRM applications to better align with marketing campaigns and deliver consistent brand experiences across different platforms
- Analytics dashboards integrated with Oracle social engagement and monitoring cloud services
- Centralized management and monitoring of teams across locations with an integrated dashboard
- Coding free customizable commerce experiences like driving social sales, social-exclusive deals
- Optimization for consistent brand messaging across desktop, mobile, tablets, etc.
Salesforce Social Studio is a social marketing suite that offers a range of features:
- Monitoring social trends by discovering customer conversations about your brand, products, competitors to drive your social media marketing
- Customer insights that can help run social campaigns, engage, and delight customers and connect faster with prospects
- Mobile optimization to help you execute campaigns remotely at the tap of a button – you can monitor campaigns in real-time, approve and schedule time-sensitive posts, and coordinate with teams
- Advertising Studio can help craft relevant and effective advertising with a cross-channel view of the customers (in-store, mobile, online behavior). Brands can connect with Twitter’s tailored audiences for precise segmentation.
Social clouds can help brands better monitor social trends, manage customers, provide effective and near real-time customer service, and manage a brand’s social presence seamlessly with a unified integrated interface.
Before deciding on a social media cloud, marketers must evaluate:
- The platforms it supports
- Whether it can be integrated with your existing CRM system
- Whether it provides real-time customer insights and helps in data-driven decision making
- Whether it has an easy to use interface or a simple learning curve to empower employees at different levels to coordinate their marketing activities and eliminate dependencies.
We leave you in the words of Raichur, “As a marketer, think of the power of being able to share an entire collection with your audience, instead of sharing a singular thought, image, article, etc.”