In last post we saw that era of social media monitoring is not yet over. It has become more intense in the form of returning value. People and practitioners are exploring new opportunities to apply the huge data / information gathered by these tools. These are real and meaningful data. It has information about people, their preferences, their conversations and sometimes their intentions as well. The next part is to channelize them, to integrate them with existing business line. And, there are quite a few dimensions emerging up.
One of such areas where it has picked up momentum is integration with CRM [Customer Relationship Management]. There are various tools in this category now. They call it Social CRM. The acquisition of Radian6 by Salesforce could be seen as one of such moves. Salesforce is a big player in traditional CRM business and by adding Radian6 to its kitty it can very well position itself into Social CRM market. Their latest move to integrate social media monitoring to CRM proves the same. Salesforce is not the only player which is eyeing this market. The other players are also interested to enter this. Lithium’s move to add CRM capabilities is another example of social media monitoring and CRM engagement. As I see, if things will move in right direction, there will be some major acquisitions in this space. This time, it could be by big CRM players like Oracle, Microsoft, Amdocs, etc. Or, even SAP can eye for a social media solution which can add more value to its existing suite. The platform is all set for big market leaders to integrate both of these products and look for a futuristic solution.
This mix and match is working well with smaller social media monitoring tools as well. They are adding CRM features with products like Sugar CRM and vtiger. This solution looks perfect for SMBs which are looking for a CRM solution with social media integration. This combined package will enable them to manage not only their brands on social media but also their customers. They won’t even mind to pay for this package which has got dual benefit.
A good number of existing social media monitoring tools are moving into Social CRM. It reduces the pain of their marketing team in terms of explaining ROI and it helps the end user to understand the connection. This new line of business has just started and it is surely going to evolve from here.