Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Real Value of Social CRM: Leverage Public Social Media and Niche Sites to Drive Traffic to Your Community

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Real Value of Social CRM: Leverage Public Social Media and Niche Sites to Drive Traffic to Your Community

Article excerpt

I'VE JUST RETURNED from this year's CRM Evolution event in New York City, where I presented a three-hour CRM executive boot camp. The event gave me additional insight into why there is still so much industry confusion surrounding social CRM. While I have written previously on this topic, it bears repeating: You cannot have social CRM without social media.

Social CRM is the process of integrating the social consumer into your current CRM efforts. That means harvesting sentimental insights from your customers' Twitter posts, Facebook comments, and activity on other social media sites and then integrating relevant information directly into your CRM customer profile. By marrying transactional data from your traditional CRM system with sentimental insights by customers from their participation on social sites, you gain a more complete understanding of your customers, which in turn helps you to improve marketing, sales, and service.

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HOW IT WORKS

Successful social CRM leverages the hub-and-spoke model (see above illustration), which pulls public social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) and niche sites (e.g., Flyertalk) to drive traffic to your own social media community. Build landing pages to meet the unique needs of identified segments, and integrate social information harvested from your community into your CRM system. Finally, leverage insights from analyzing data contained in your CRM system to push out relevant topics and threads to your community.

THE BUSINESS CASE

Is it necessary to go through the effort and expense of creating your own social media community and integrating it into your CRM system? Yes. That is largely because your organization will own the data and have more control over community content and direction. As the owner, you can more efficiently create and sustain a meaningful, two-way dialogue with your customer, which is at the core of building long-term customer loyalty.

Recently, I took part in a strategy session at a California-based customer in the wholesale, commercial, and retail energy business. While its wholesale and commercial lines of business are growing nicely, its retail business is considerably lagging the competition in growth and profitability. …

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