Cover Story: Are You a Social CRM Native?
"I think it varies by degree, but all … social media platforms have benefits," says Schultz. "It depends on what your goals are. If you're trying to reach the B-to-B market, for example, your best bet is LinkedIn. But it all depends on factors like your goals, what your business is, your internal resources, target audience, etc. Facebook is still the granddaddy because of reach and penetration, but we are seeing Facebook usage fall within the youth demographic, as the youth market migrates to Instagram and Tumblr."
5. What's most likely to change about social media and CRM in the next couple of years?
Answer: d. All of the above
Social media is changing so quickly that the hot social media platform of the future may not even exist today—but it could a week from now. And more than that, users will figure out new ways to use social media that no one ever anticipated. Companies must be prepared to switch gears and meet their audiences on new ground. Plus, advances in technology are providing new venues and opportunities for social media to expand.
"What's coming [are] things like Google Glasses and augmented reality," says Nick Fugaro, founder and CEO of New York-based business event social media platform Vivastream. "The glasses see profiles of those you interact with. Plus, in the events industry, we'll see more connection using the ability of your phone to know where you are and to connect you to people around you who have similar interests—indoor location-based connectivity of people you should meet. It's coming."
"Moving forward, we will begin to see companies apply the data they've been gathering via social in a way that will reinvent the relationships they have with their customers," says Carter. "By gaining deeper insights into customer needs, market trends and sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions."