New marketing demystified for Indian SMEs

Social media mesh with conventional CRM- Part 1

Why the obvious path may not be optimum

Just a quick overview of the social media and the key platforms before we dive into it.
There is Facebook: for mainly social networking but increasingly finding uses in professional networking too. And then, there is Linkedin, the most well-known site for professional networking, job-seekers and head-hunters. Lately, there is also Twitter, providing a unique microblogging platform.
Also, think of your own blogs, which help to flesh out your profile both professionally as well as personally. My current business partner blogs, more regularly than I do. When we met for the first time to sound each other out, this was a common ground and it helped me, as I came back from the meeting to “reconnect” with internet, to go through his blog, understand his persona and feel happy about my instinctive gut-feel decision to enter into “holy matrimony”.
Whether you blog as yourself, or on behalf of your employer, you leave a part of you open to your reader. You share, you solicit and you learn. But, others learn too; sometimes as much about you as about the subject you are blogging about.

How much do you know about your key business contacts beyond what is printed on their visiting card? Do you make an effort to connect with them on forums which are not sponsored by your company or his? Is it all business, especially all driven by deals?
How many of your key customer contacts are your Linkedin contacts or Facebook friends? How many of them have signed up for your Twitterfeed?
You are on FB and LI, aren’t you? And Twitter? If you are, good. It’s an important first step. Next step is to invite your key business contacts into your space.
They will come, first because you requested them. But, they will stay if you have interesting things to say about things that interest them, if you point them to internet resources that enrich their knowledge, if you come across as someone who is not always looking to make money off them and has expertise to share and perspectives to offer on a range of interesting subjects. And, the reverse is true as well. If nothing else, it helps to know the person before you meet him, even if “virtually”.
It’s like courtship. Even if all parties know the actual objective, does it pay to singularly focus on just the objective and even talk about it? Or, should you first prepare the ground, by establishing your credentials? Remember our first dates were rarely one-to-one; we always met among many people because it was non-threatening.
And, social media is great too if you want to deepen engagement and provide reasons for your existing customer to continue to like you. It tells him, you are working hard at continuing to be in business and earn his future business.
I can see you asking, “How do you capture all these in your neat CRM universe, though?” and “How do you measure the results against your efforts?”
Loaded questions. Let’s cover the answers in the next post.


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7 thoughts on “Social media mesh with conventional CRM- Part 1

  1. Very interesting post. Social media nowadays are changing the way how the internet goes and uprised the level of what it’s phase had become.

  2. Social media has come a long way but it has been abused by marketeers. When I log on Twitter all I see is desperate tweets promoting the products nothing wrong in that but there has to be a fine line on what constitutes a meaningful message and marketing propaganda.

    • anindyac on said:

      Totally agree. In fact I sent out a twit, only half in jest couple of days back which said, “Is there anyone who does not want to sell anything on twitter? be my guest”
      I am not against using social media to sell; far from it. What I do not like, and I think you are alluding to, is marketers are jumping in, too fast, too early in the engagement cycle.
      In real life, you would not do that. “Hello Sir, my name is xyz and I am from abc company. I would like you to buy our latest computer system with 16GB memory, 3GHz…” you get the picture. Why we don’t carry our lessons from “real” to “virtual” life, is incomprehensible.

  3. Have you looked at the presentation at the bottom of this post? It does show how to integrate Social Media with traditional CRM.

    By the way, since you are on Twitter, why don’t you join us at the #scrm stream? 🙂

    Prem [@prem_k]

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