Cover Story: Are You a Social CRM Native?
The shift to social CRM is more than an adoption of new operational models or technologies," says Sandy Carter, vice president of social business evangelism and sales for Armonk, N.Y.-based technology firm IBM. "It is a philosophical, cultural transformation concerning customer relationships, which is still in the early stages for many. Businesses need to stay laser-focused on what their customers value in social media to reap the full potential of a successful social CRM strategy."
Because customers vent about their experiences with marketers on new platforms as they appear, direct marketers are always under pressure to keep up with new developments in the industry. And, as Carter says, one of the biggest recent changes is the role of social media in customer relationship management (CRM). Is it enough to just start a Facebook page or a Twitter account? Do you know how to behave around customers on those networks? What does it take to implement a social CRM strategy that will do more good than harm?
"I think most companies don't use [social media] for CRM, they use it for prospecting and acquisition," says Wendy Montes de Oca, author and principal of Precision Marketing and Media. "They also don't think in a strategically creative mindset and realize all the potential things that can be uploaded to Facebook, for example. There are so many free apps and tabs and templates and things that can be used to communicate with customers and promote company milestones, special offers, live or virtual events, and more."
How well do you know the best practices, advantages and risks of social media CRM? Take the quiz and see how your answers compare with those from our panel of social marketing experts.
1. What mistakes are companies making in their social media CRM strategies?