WTF is Social CRM?

I admit it--I'm totally drinking the social CRM Kool-Aid. Sure, plenty of people see it as the latest in the never-ending series of buzz words or "hot topics." But as someone who has spent the last 3 years "doing" social media and buried in data, to me, social CRM means being able to provide a home for the results of the laborious process of social media listening, and for information gathered from countless interactions on Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin. It means being able to connect the dots between the way we've always done it and the way we will be able to do it in the future.

If social media is not a fad and is, indeed, something most--if not all--businesses will eventually incorporate into their communications mix in one way or another, social CRM is just as inevitable. It's one of the huge components of "what's the ROI of social media?" because one of the biggest "R"s in social media is, as far as I'm concerned, information.

Do you have no idea what I'm even talking about? Here are three resources to check out to help you understand:

  • Socialfish whitepaper--will totally help you understand what the hell social CRM means.
  • The Social Customer--once you have a basic understanding of the concept, this is a great source of more in-depth reflections on different facets of the issues around social CRM.
  • Small Act Thrive--I swear they are not paying me to write this or anything; I'm just obsessed with Small Act's Thrive software. I love it because it's a social media management system specifically for nonprofits and associations. And even if you're not ready to start plugging social data into your database, Thrive takes social media posting and listening and makes it so you can start gathering and analyzing data and making connections even if you (or your IT people) are not ready to accommodate that information in the database.