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This chapter is from the book

Ensuring the Impact of Social Media on Customer Relationships

Clearly there is real value in creating a Social Media community and harvesting information generated on the community for use within an organization’s Social CRM efforts. ISM helped to design Kraft Foodser-vice division’s Social Media community with the goal of creating a twoway dialogue with chefs and restaurants owners. Similar to P&G’s use of ideation tools offered within Social Media communities to generate product enhancements, Kraft’s community will be a great place to test product ideas and to gather meaningful feedback that in turn will feed into its Social CRM system to help achieve customer intimacy.

Sticking with the linkage between Social Media communities and their impact on Social CRM, some organizations leverage their Social Media communities to create customer advocates, who in turn help promote products to other potential customers both within and outside the community. Other organizations use Social Media communities to save money on the support side by allowing properly trained customers to help fellow customers, rather than spending valuable internal resources on those support efforts.

An organization embarking on a Social Media initiative must have a well-planned strategy that supports the organization’s core business goals. As information is gathered from a variety of feeds, including both public and private Social Media communities, it is important to have carefully thought through how the organization will integrate this information inside its current Social CRM system and how the organization will use this information to deepen customer relationships en route to achieving meaningful customer intimacy.

To successfully leverage Social Media to help achieve customer intimacy, here is a short list of actions an organization must include en route to achieving meaningful impact:

  • Support the organization’s business goals with Social Media.
  • Define success for the community from the outset using clear metrics.
  • Link Social Media efforts to existing Social CRM customer programs and outreach.
  • Integrate Social Media with other marketing programs.
  • Leverage existing internal organizational resources and initiatives.
  • Monitor social communities carefully.
  • Respond quickly to social community input.

The chapters that follow offer a comprehensive understanding of the current CRM, Social CRM, and Social Media marketplace and cover topics ranging from smart ways to incorporate Social Media into the enterprise to leveraging Social Media information to advance any organization’s CRM efforts. They provide insight into how other organizations have achieved specific goals via best practices in Social CRM, and they help in overcoming skepticism so that any organization can exploit the real benefits of Social CRM.

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