Social CRM May Be in The Early Stages, But It’s Invaluable

Social CRM has been a contentious topic for almost three years now, with one side claiming that integrating social media into enterprise practices is not a means of success, and the other side arguing that companies neglecting social network outreach are doomed. In its fledgling stage, Social CRM’s benefits are not always simply discerned, and while many more are starting to agree about its value, Social CRM still has some kinks that need resolving.

Yesterday, Michael Krigsman, the CEO of Asuret, Inc., took to his ZDNet blog to discuss some of the information he learned at Paul Greenberg’s Social CRM seminar (a two-day event that occurred the week prior). In the post, Krigsman’s take-home point is that anti-Social CRM advocates are wrong to deny that current technologies are useful in the enterprise. Krigsman, in turn, is correct in saying this, however, his reasoning on the matter—that Social CRM dissenters are chest-thumpers taking an extreme, contrary position as a means of getting personal attention—is incorrect, and Krigsman would do better to dismantle his opponents’ actual arguments.

Krigsman does bring up a good point, however, in noting one of the reasons Social CRM is often under fire: because the technology is still in the early stages, the results (and benefits) are not patently obvious and Social CRM is therefore very easy to attack as having little merit. Furthermore, it can be tricky to implement Social CRM effectively—an influx of unsorted data is often a bad thing, and difficult and time-consuming to organize.

The best way to implement Social CRM is to have a plan. This advice may seem obvious, but there are some important things to consider. For one, companies leveraging Social CRM should have a solid method or application for structuring both the sorted and unsorted data. It’s important to have a means of tracking the incoming data from social media without wasting time with the noise, and arranging the data in such a way that it is actionable.

A recent CRM Magazine article mentioned another helpful tip: social algorithms. Each company will likely have their own goals, and Accenture is working to develop a basic algorithm to help enterprises move forward socially. Accenture’s objective is to systematize when and how companies respond to certain data. The magazine also recommends seeking consultants for social media organization, but this is sort of a no-brainer.

The advantages Social CRM offers are many—this is an irrevocable fact, even considering the existing troubles with organizing all the data in a meaningful, actionable way.

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