2 minutes reading time (303 words)

All Sizzle, No Steak? Marketers should think twice about Social CRM

Trend:

The trend of using “Social CRM” for marketing is probably more myth than reality. People are talking about rounding out customer profiles with social data, but is anything actually happening to prove ROI? 

Social media management tools can be useful at managing outbound messages, and deferring inbound messages to customer service. Social media management tools can be useful at managing outbound messages, and deferring inbound messages to customer service. These tools are available for free (Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Gist) or via subscription (Sprout Social, Involver, Vitrue).

What’s emerging now is the belief that marketers, not customer service reps, need to capture as much publicly-available social data on their customers and dump it into their databases. But the value is still TBD. And as online privacy issues continue to take shape, thus limiting easily-accessible social data, can simply knowing that a customer is on Facebook help to effectively engage prospects in a real way?

TAKEAWAY

“Social CRM”  might be  just a case  of “all  sizzle and  no steak.”  In other  words,  marketers  have  convinced  other  marketers  they need  the stuff,  but there  isn’t much  substance.

Show us  the ROI.

Businesses  are smart to  encourage  more  collaboration  among  marketing,  sales and  customer  service  staff, but  let’s not  blur the  lines too  much –  responding  to customer  complaints  is part of  customer  service or  sometimes  public  relations.  This isn’t  marketing  because it doesn’t  drive sales.

HOW TO

If you’re  considering  using social  CRM to push  truly  engaging  marketing  programs, we  encourage  you to ask  three  important  questions. 

  1. How much  social  data  will be  added to  our  existing  customer  profiles?
  2. Will  that  data  help us  do  anything  from a  marketing  standpoint?
  3. Is our  business  large  enough  to stay  on top  of it  all –  consistently?

What are  your  thoughts?  While we're  still  undecided  we'd  appreciate  your  comments!

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