Increasingly, CRM vendors are now providing access to various social media networks via their CRM solutions. Today, technology has shifted from a means of one-way static communication to platforms for interaction and community building. According to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey, many companies expect that social media methods and tools will eventually be the single biggest factor in changing the ways companies interact with customers or how employees interact with each other and companies.
Integration with Social Networking Websites, Blogs & Online Communities
Several CRM vendors have taken the lead in offering social media integration within their CRM applications. CRM software applications offer the ability to integrate or capture a social networking Website profile of customer/prospect (e.g., Facebook.com, LinkedIn.com, etc.) within the CRM system and/or set up a hyperlink to their profile on the external social networking Website. The CRM software applications can also provide access to external blogs and online communities.
Vendor examples include:
- CDC Pivotal CRM v. 6.6 provides users with the ability to set up integration with key social media Websites in which a user can directly access a contact or account’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account from the contact or account profile. Every social media update can be saved as a status update within the appropriate contact/account profile and rated in terms of sentiment (e.g., positive, neutral or negative). Users can also post messages and communications to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, while simultaneously tracking these communications to determine the ROI of marketing campaigns.
- NetSuite offers a SuiteApp.com partnership with TwitterSuite that provides real time Twitter feeds. Users can capture and place tweets in relevant records or escalate a tweet into a lead or a case.
- Salesforce.com now offers the Chatter social platform, which is designed to provide collaboration capabilities similar to Facebook and Twitter for users within an organization. Users of Chatter can create and access profiles, status updates, content/file sharing and real-time feeds from other Chatter users in the organization, along with setting-up meetings and groups. A Chatter newsfeed can display alerts of changes to records and new announcements.
We look forward to more CRM applications that embrace Social CRM and enhance the goals of social media – greater online collaboration and sharing.