Meg Bear, GM of Oracle’s Social Cloud on how to convince the C-Suite to invest in social

Oracle’s Meg Bear used a Q&A with The Hub’s senior editor Omar Akhtar at Hub Convene to encourage marketers and communicators to show C-suite executives how what they do is impacting the overall business.

Speaking at the inaugural Hub conference in San Francisco on Monday, Bear, general manager of Oracle’s Social Cloud, said that while most social investment is happening in the realms of PR & marketing, the most effective outcomes from a results point of view come in other areas.

She also noted that data from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association suggests 70% of companies expect to increase spend on social media – but sales uplift is not yet matching the investment.

Customers expect companies and brands to know them and participate with them on their journey. “They’re getting a lot more information to enable them to connect deeply,” says Bear. “It’s your job to do something purposeful with it and think how you interact with social to impact your customer. That’s a thing the C-suite cares about – it’s beyond vanity metrics.”

Social media should be demonstrating its impact in terms of real business metrics – and Bear encouraged marketers to drive KPIs that the CEO and C-suite are already driving, such as revenues, customer satisfaction, and new business. “Stop trying to make them care about you, show them how what you do is impacting their business,” she said.

Oracle client Chevy used a big event at SXSW and social media to get information from a highly connected group. It was releasing a connected car and wanted to get a sense of how that would drive their biz.

“They asked questions about what they wanted from a connected car,” says Bear. “They are listening to customers and innovators and influencers to help drive product innovation.”

Bear advised marketers not to underestimate the effect of paid social. “It is going to be top of mind,” she said. “Marketers need to be thoughtful on PESO to make sure they’re getting the balance right – paid will get a broader reach, but the other elements have to be properly integrated to demonstrate authenticity and transparency.”

According to Bear, the insights from listening and owned channels need to inform paid strategy. “You need insight into both to drive the results you’re looking for,” she concluded.

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