There has been much talk about Social CRM in the last few months. Facebook is bursting at the seams with the number of users registered on its platform – now numbering more than 750 million users, Twitter has become mainstream, LinkedIn has had a successful IPO and crossed the 100 million user threshold.
So has the promise of Social CRM materialised?
Social CRM is still very much taking shape and so is the understanding of all these platforms and the value they can provide a business.
The biggest challenge is still maintaining one view of your customer whether they are on Facebook, Twitter or other social platform. An even bigger challenge is integrating this view with the data you currently maintain internally via CRM.
There have been a number of startups attempting to get some of most of this process right. Most recently Cloud CRM company, Salesforce purchased Radian6 (one of the leading Social Media listening and measurement platform).
I am more than certain that companies such as Salesforce have identified the shift in customer retention and acquisition strategies going forward into the future and this was most definitely a major catalyst in the purchase of Radian6. Whether they will be able to successfuly integrate existing enterprise CRM data with the social graph – time will tell.
But it is evident that social data, especially that found on individual profiles on Facebook contains probably the closest and most accurate individual profile data a marketer can hope to get hold of. But Facebook is not going to hand over that data, whatever the cost. Facebook has been slapped over and over again with privacy breaches and will want to avoid openly allowing data to personal profiles.
But what Facebook and other social media networks do give you is the ability to slice and dice demographic data such as age, gender, location etc which is already a start in roping in all this disparate data.
There are a number of tools out other (which I won’t review here as there are just too many of them) which can assist with giving marketers the output dashboards they like to work with, including profiling your fans, followers etc.
The key here is to start the process of understanding who is listening to what you have to say on these websites – this will give you valuable insights into what you should and shouldn’t be talking about.