Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM and Social Media

Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM and Social Media

Article excerpt

Social media platforms are now commonly part of the "marketing mix" for direct marketers and advertisers. As social media use becomes more widespread, it is increasingly viewed today as yet another delivery channel. There are distinct advantages to this approach. Using social media sites as a delivery platform for your marketing messages can be significantly less expensive than advertising buys, traditional public relations (PR), and tradeshows.

However, just as with any marketing or communication strategy, social media marketing takes sound management and control to reap the greatest benefits. Whether you are already using social media to market or you are a new entrant considering using social media, there are smart ways to implement it in true CRM and real-time fashion to get greater lift in marketing response rates and profitability.

The key is making it relevant, and that begins with a sound strategy. Consider thinking of Social CRM as a business strategy rather than just another delivery medium. It benefits the business by fostering engagement, participation, and interaction among customers, prospects, and partners in the way they want to interact with your company. It has a strong sense of immediacy and, when done right, high read and response rates. It begs to be made personal. It supports sales, marketing, and customer service processes. Despite its moving boundaries, there's one absolute about Social CRM--it will be mandatory, not optional, for most businesses in the very near future. Analysts predict that analytical solutions and deeper integration with traditional CRM processes and social network services like Facebook[R] and Twitter[R] will be the focus of social CRM R&D in 2011. (1)

This brave new world demands coordination before collaboration. That's why it's important to include any social media tactics under the umbrella of CRM strategy.

WHY?

The use of social media as a marketing channel is controversial. Will it delight customers, become more annoying than dinnertime phone calls, be ignored like direct mail and e-mail, or become regulated for marketing purposes? Some predict that through 2015, 75% of marketing organizations will view social media as simply another channel, annoying customers and failing to deliver significant value to the CMO's strategy. (2) Social media marketing very well might be viewed that way, if done badly by business. But it doesn't have to be that way. Enter Social CRM.

FIVE GUIDELINES TO SOCIAL CRM

Here are five key guidelines for making sure you're prepared, so you can maximize the significant time investment in social media:

Take inventory. …

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