As organizations are increasingly coming to realize, social media networks have the potential to serve as extremely powerful resources. However, to gain the most from these channels, firms must have strategies in place and the tools to implement them.
For organizations that want to make a genuine effort to harness the power of social media, data management is critical. And, as CRM Buyer's Vivian Wagner recently highlighted, social customer relationship management (CRM) tools are key for organizations hoping to achieve results in this area.
Expanding the utility
Wagner spoke with Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director with SAS. He noted that social media monitoring is often seen by organizations as purely the domain of their public relations department. This, according to Raj, is an limited view of the potential utility of the medium.
"[W]ith more sophisticated social analytic tools, you can extract insights that inform a business's brand strategy, influence outreach, consumer insights, competitive intelligence, R&D efforts, customer service initiatives, marketing programs and even recruiting," he told the news source.
Raj went on to explain that taking advantage of these possibilities is important for organizations of all types, due to increasingly competitive marketplaces.
"Businesses that don't avail themselves of the hindsight, insight and foresight inherent in social media just won't be around for long," he added.
While this is most obviously true for corporations, it also applies to nonprofit organizations and associations. Such groups need to find new clients, customers and members while retaining their current ones. Leveraging the huge amounts of data available on social media networks can contribute greatly to these efforts, especially when combined with advanced association management software that integrates with existing infrastructure.
Mining the data
To accomplish all that Raj laid out requires social CRM tools that can handle the seemingly infinite amount of information that abounds on social media networks. As Wagner highlighted, every action an individual performs on a social media site is tracked and has the potential to yield valuable information. However, to sort the usable from the useless, organizations must utilize social CRM software that is capable of mining through the massive troves of data and producing valuable insight.
CRM expert Chris Bucholtz recently made a similar point. Writing for CMS Wire, Bucholtz noted that the large amount of available data is one of the biggest obstacles preventing more organizations from utilizing the medium. With data analysis tools, however, social media can become a highly valuable resource.