Unleashing the value of Social CRM: Where to find the biggest return

Social CRM is gaining traction quickly. I would argue it continues to gain ground at a dizzying pace. If you are new to the term, or are still getting up to speed, please check out the articles here to provide yourself with a little background.

The Social CRM community has identified 4 primary key areas where Social Media and Traditional CRM are intersecting:

1. Sales
2. Marketing
3. Service and Support
4. Public Relations

CRM magazine did a great job of building the Social Media Maturity Model which lays out where things are and where things are going in each of these functional areas. It is a work in progress to be sure, but a fantastic template that helps to visualize how to harness the power of social media across the enterprise for companies large and small.

ROI stories are beginning to emerge from some of the Service and Support vendors like Helpstream and Parature. Lithium just released their Social CRM platform which promises “untapped value through amplified word-of-mouth marketing, improved customer service, and accelerated innovation”.

Sales and marketing folks are clamoring at the possibilities of marketing to and engaging with thousands of twitter followers, and facebook fans. Coca Cola has added more than 3 million fans on facebook in less than a year, and continues to do so at the clip of a few thousand per day

Traditional Press Releases are being transformed into interactive engagement platforms by companies like Pitch Engine and PR firms and departments are beginning to invent new ways to stir up 3rd party endorsements in the Social Sphere.

Customers are beginning to harness the power of Social Media by sharing their experiences good or bad. United Airlines took a huge hit when an upset passenger created the video below. As of the time of this article, it had been viewed more than 3 million times in just over a week.

So then, the Groundswell is moving and growing. Bottom lines are being affected significantly, positively and negatively.


Here is the question I pose to you:


Where should a company start? Which department should embrace Social CRM first? More specifically, when the dust clears, which functional area do you think will be able to leverage Social Media and Social CRM the most, and provide the greatest impact to the profitability of an organization?

I have my own thoughts, but want to hear yours as well. Fire away – this is your platform! I look forward to the debate.

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