by Nathan Egan
on July 15, 2010

Social CRM has to mean more than keeping up with the 'conversation'

While the focus of most monitoring and

CRM evaluations is “conversation” and “sentiment,” many companies may be overlooking changes in the social platforms themselves that can provide important market information.

Social brings a new element into CRM because now instead of just dealing with sales data and contact information we are dealing with conversations and relationships. These take place all over the social web, and not just from company to consumer, but also from consumer to consumer.

Keeping up with the conversations may be hard enough but are you also keeping up with the WAY your company can find this information?

All of the major social media platforms have been innovating at a breakneck pace but perhaps none has come so far, so fast as Linkedin. The company is literally releasing a new version every week. Some of the changes in each version are subtle but some can really provide some interesting opportunities for your company.

An example is the new company profile feature introduced a few months ago. That was a big change. But a little change that might have gone unnoticed is the new ability for people to “follow” your company. Here’s what that looks like:

“Keeping tabs” on which people are following your company is a BIG idea but it’s not easy to do — there is no mechanism inside of the platform that notifies you of new company followers. Yet, this is undoubtedly an important source of business intelligence. These new followers could be prospective employees, partners, customers … who knows, maybe even the competition.

If you aren’t checking them out and cataloging them as part of your social CRM intiative your organization is missing out on some huge opportunities. Remember that you not only have to monitor the conversations — you also have to monitor the dashboards themselves! That is not easy for a lot of companies to do because we tend to like to see nice neat comparisons from quarter to quarter. That’s difficult if the sources of information keep changing.

While you’re establishing social CRM as a organizational competency, don’t overlook embedding intelligence and flexibility in your system to respond to important changes in the platforms themselves!

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