Oracle has connected its Social Relationship Management cloud to LinkedIn, making it possible for marketers to publish content and engage with users of the business-oriented social network.

The LinkedIn support announced July 16 provides SRM customers with access to the network's 300 million users, who have made the site an important marketing platform for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Oracle provides a variety of online marketing software that targets a growing problem of creating and managing campaigns across social media, websites, mobile devices and email.

With SRM, a component of the Oracle Social Cloud, marketers can publish updates of a LinkedIn Company and Showcase page.

The software's targeting capabilities makes it possible to tailor page updates to geographic location, company size, language preference and industry.

Consider a cloud-based marketing platform for unifying customer data spread across on-premise applications and for launching more effective online campaigns.

Marketers and customer support staff can engage directly with LinkedIn members through SRM's respond feature for likes and comments posted on company pages.

The cloud-based application also provides some analytics through reporting on the number of likes and comments on a LinkedIn update.

Oracle adds LinkedIn support to social marketing cloud

SRM also provides a feature called "Dynamic Link Tracking" that is used to track people's interaction with a company page.

Social media have become an important channel for B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies hoping to reach potential customers.

The sites have also become a tool for connecting with customers and monitoring their opinions on products and services based on comments and likes.

"Successful social strategies are about listening and learning in the right places to engage your audiences with personalized messages and relevant content that provide education and value at the right time," Jacques Bégin, research analyst for SiriusDecisions, said in a statement published by Oracle.

Oracle also introduced a "look-alike" modeling feature in its BlueKai data management platform, which is part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The new tool makes it possible to build a model out of the common attributes of customers in order to search for, and market to, people or businesses that share the same characteristics.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud comprises services obtained through a string of acquisitions over the last couple of years, including BlueKai, Eloqua and Responsys. Integrating the services of the acquisitions is an ongoing project at Oracle.