Thursday, July 22, 2010

Social CRM - A Cult

Am I Becoming Vulnerable - Social CRM

The more information one puts on the net the more vulnerable he/she is becoming. Earlier crooks were playing with it illegally but now ethically people are using information pertaining to someone available on WWW to analyze, understand, and peruse the person for one’s own gain.
Does it sound weird? Actually not. That’s what Social CRM is all about. A couple of years back everybody was talking about Social CRM. The hype was much more than the promo of Yash Raj Films. At that time things were much mystified and mystical, so what exactly is Social CRM?
The traditional CRM system assists an organization by bringing together data from all areas of an organization, giving a 360-degree view of a customer for marketing and sales to make informed decisions on cross-selling and up-selling opportunities as well as to shape marketing strategies and corporate communications.
Social CRM, on the other hand, is based on your existing CRM that has the ability to leverage the social web and automate the conversion process. The social CRM can be used by marketing and sales teams to listen to conversations, craft appropriate messages, join in immediately with customer conversation, and offer them value in terms of information and solutions.
The ROI for setting up this system will be the relationships and long term loyalty that serve entrepreneurs over time.   Social CRM will help generate marketing intelligence, providing the marketing department with insight that will assist your company to source better leads and reduce customer support costs through self-helping communities.
To begin with, marketers should dedicate time to working with brand advocates, involving them in shaping the product and communications. This is how social CRM is supposed to work; through the integration of customer social networks.
One should find that their existing customers belong to social networks and openly add more information to their profile than what you have in your traditional CRM system. Therefore you should think creatively of ways to integrate your customer’s networks into your current CRM.
One can know completely about a customer from combined information of his LinkedIn, Facebook, and Orkut profiles more insight can be availed from the way the person tweets on Twitter or tracking his conversations on friend feed and Buzz.
Social networks and communities are influencing CRM; resulting in corporate sites and marketing communications being able to recognize social relationships and customers' preferences and deliver customized experiences to them in real-time. We are still some distance from this scenario; however companies such as Appirio and Salesforce are already leading the way in Social CRM.
A couple of years back, Appirio developed a Facebook application that can easily be rebranded by marketers for campaign activity. This application can be distributed at the same time sharing information, recommending information to peers, and used for other purposes such as recruiting, word of mouth, and other typical social network activities. As the information is shared, it can then be passed to a landing page where users can submit information in a web form that is stored on Salesforce.
Social CRM is both exciting and daunting, but by taking tiny steps to understanding social media, and experimenting through integrating social tools into your CRM system now, then testing and improving, you will be very well prepared.

Guess what? there used to be telemarketing, Now we have Twitter marketing.

Kinshuk Dutta

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