Oracle pulled Marc Benioff’s keynote from their OpenWorld schedule this morning: WSJ and NYT. He pulled off a master stroke of gorilla digital and social media efforts to drive attention to their message. Less than 24-hours before he was scheduled to appear in front of the OpenWorld crowd Benioff got a notice that he would be rescheduled to a less than desirable time frame and accuses Larry Ellison for pulling his keynote after Benioff had been critical of Oracle at their major conference.
What was amazing was his team turned around and live streamed his keynote to their Facebook site and the salesforce home page at his scheduled time from a venue across the street 19-hours after getting pulled. Most of the attendees to the live stream heard about it through social media channels. In his keynote, he talks about the social & mobile revolution that allowed his team to turn on a dime and pull off this event. The word of mouth attention they’re getting from this is much better than if he were allowed to do the keynote as planned.
With social media and mobile devices transforming politics in many countries across the globe, this event shows how corporations can use these channels to communicate with their audiences and influence their brand. It’s opportunity that we have as marketers, community managers and PR professionals to leverage social, digital and mobile in an agile way if we’re prepared for it.
Here are just a few ideas how you can use technology like this to engage your audiences:
1. Crisis management – Leverage video streaming and social media in concert to get ahead of the news cycle and engage your customers and the press. In traditional PR we might issue a press release. In Web 2.0 we would make announcements through social channels and drive a dialog with them. But by integrating streaming video you can engage your audiences and respond directly to their concerns real time. It can be more difficult to pull off than traditional methods but provides an opportunity for greater transparency.
2. Breaking news – Provide a channel for communicating all of the news coming out of your company. Instead of just posting press releases to your news site, turn it into a digital channel with regular live video content. Engage your influencers and advocates by allowing them help you break your news.
3. Executive Visibility – Provide a channel for your executives to talk about various issues and showcase your thought leadership. Don’t just talk about your products and services but provide a channel for you to talk about customer pains and industry trends. Provide opportunities for your audiences to engage with your executives and provide a human face to your company. Take the positive and negative feedback to drive innovation for your company.
4. Provide a cadence of rich content – Instead of providing an ad hoc communication schedule you could use these digital and social channels to provide a regular cadence of content to provide a dialog with your audiences.
5. Develop a community – as you develop communities – content is still king. You can use these digital and social channels to provide rich content and bring life to your community sites and build robust, dynamic communities.
What would it take to leverage these new social, digital and mobile channels to get closer to your customers?
Note: Scott Lum an employee of Microsoft. Views expressed are my own and does not reflect the view of my employer.