Monday, June 04, 2012
In a recent study, Gartner found that half of the Fortune 1000 companies that use social customer relationship management (CRM) tools will not see a significant ROI. According to Gartner research director Adam Sarner, these unsatisfactory results are due to companies' failure to adequately measure the effectiveness of their social CRM-based efforts.
However, a number of industry experts have weighed in on the results, offering a variety of interpretations. Christopher Bucholtz, writing for ECommerce Times, for example, recently argued that a large portion of the blame should be attributed to many organizations' unwillingness to adapt based on the information gleaned via social CRM.
Recently, Midsize Insider highlighted another possible explanation for these results: a failure to successfully identify objectives and strategize.
There are many different ways to measure success when it comes to social media-based marketing and customer interaction. One obvious metric is Facebook "likes," as they offer a clear measure of how many individuals have seen and approve of a post. Another, similar measure would be retweets on Twitter.
However, as the news source points out, these metrics only account for a particular aspect of social media success for businesses: visibility. If a business is solely interested in how well its social media efforts translate into sales, then these metrics would not be particularly meaningful. Instead, the business would probably want to focus on the number of website visits that resulted from social media promotion, as well as how many of those visits turned into actual leads.
To truly benefit from social CRM, it is necessary for a business to determine precisely what its objectives are for the technology. Only this level of specificity can allow the organization to tailor its efforts and make the most of the services and information social CRM programs are capable of producing.
Once these objectives are established, a business will be in a much better position to develop a comprehensive, specific plan for maximizing its social CRM platform. As Midsize Insider notes, too many businesses attempt to mash together their traditional CRM with social CRM solutions. While related, these are two distinct tools, and need to be treated as such.
It is also crucial for businesses to consider that while social CRM is inherently useful for gathering information on current and potential customers, it is more difficult to engage with these groups. To achieve a high level of customer interaction, businesses may want to plan out an incentive-based approach to social media, in order to entice customers into engaging.