As it turns out, it is rather difficult to overstate the pervasiveness of social media. After all, it is undeniable that the way in which we interact online with each other and within our community has transformed enormously over the past five years. From to , from to - social media is fast becoming a substantial part of our everyday lives. The statistics, too, are quite telling.
- More than .
- Half of the over 500 million active Facebook users .
- Australian consumers spend more hours, per capita, using social media .
Businesses, it seems, have taken notice of this disruptive trend.
After , we learned that CIOs recognise this trend as an opportunity to engage more dynamically with their customers as well as with their communities. Most acknowledge that social media may provide the means, yet it is the end wherein the real value proposition lies - as a CIO, who was interviewed in the study, had echoed:
“We think we have something to gain from social networks, but we’re not mature enough yet to know what and how.”
Every organisation wants to know their customer. Using the web and its plethora of social media tools is one way of creating new channels to your customer, as discussed in great detail in the recent . On the other hand, incorporating the use of social media and the data that can be captured from it into an enterprise strategy enables market growth and differentiation. discusses this aspect as a component of the CIO’s ‘’, one of four mandates that emerged from the .
Combining existing channels with social media to provide a single view of the customer and of their community is where we begin to make the leap ‘from social media to Social CRM’. The corresponding IBM Institute of Business Value is, quite appropriately, eponymously titled.
Summarised by , part 1 of this two part-part series focuses on “What customers want”. This study outlines the perception gap between how businesses and customers view social media channels and what sort of business initiatives will enable more dynamic interaction between them.
In the recently published part 2 of this series, “”, we will look more closely into Social CRM strategies, challenges to realising them and how they can be embedded into existing customer relationship strategies. Changing business perceptions from social media towards Social CRM is the first step to turning a reactive customer relationship management strategy into a predictive one. Watch this space as more developments continue to emerge from this two-part study.