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?
“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.
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.
If you’re considering using social CRM to push truly engaging marketing programs, we encourage you to ask three important questions.
- How much social data will be added to our existing customer profiles?
- Will that data help us do anything from a marketing standpoint?
- 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!