Social Networking Sites - as a CRM tool


By

Varalakshmi. T
Lecturer
Usha G Adiga
Lecturer
Don Bosco Institute of BioSciences and Management Studies
Kumbalagodu, Mysore Road, Bangalore-560074
 


Abstract

This paper provides an overview of some of the major social networking websites and how using them can create customer relationships that affect management, marketing, and sales for businesses. It explores the benefits of having accounts on the popular social networks Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook; using the peer-to-peer communication tool called Skype to interact with colleagues across the globe and hold conference calls; and establishing an online presence in order to strengthen a company's image or brand and provide superior customer service through interactive, free, fast, and effective online social networking techniques.

Introduction

Today the businesses focusing on customer relationship management (CRM) to follow the trail to social media with opportunities like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is not only finding it easier to reach them, it is also very easier to communicate with them. That communication is a key factor in creating strong customer relationships. Not only can a business connect with current customers—if leveraged the right way, it can help find new ones as well.

social media tools, are not the end all, be all solution for CRM.  In fact, social media is an important channel that provides businesses with a means to engage customers,and gather data. What has developed is social CRM, and more and more companies are recognizing the opportunities it offers every day.

What are "Social Networking Sites"?

A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, who, for example, share interests and/or activities within their individual networks.

What is "CRM"?

"Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a broad term used to describe the ways that an enterprise interacts with customers, and tracks and analyzes those interactions, in a systematic and organized fashion."

3 different kinds of Social Networking Sites.

    1. Professional oriented: website as LinkedIn, Viadeo or Xing. Their aim is to create a set of relationship and feedbacks on workers, so to help both the flexibility of employers, that can built their professional trustworthy with references and feedbacks, and the workers recruiting of companies, that can have an on line easy accessible archive of workers.

    2. Interests oriented: Flickr, aNobii, devianArt, LiveJournal. Here, users are usually linked by common interests as photography, Digital arts, writings, and we can think about the topic as the knot of the web around which discussion and interaction takes place.
    3. Socialize oriented: Facebook, MySpace, Badoo, Netlog, Friendster, Twitter. With these sites you can trace the activities of your friends, chat, have a look at their profile, share pictures with others, link music, post articles or videos and comment on people's profiles.

Advantages of Different Social Networking Sites as CRM tools

While Twitter is often hailed as a CRM darling, there are other social media tools that serve the same purpose. Facebook, YouTube, Blogs and even LinkedIn all have merit when it comes to the establishment and development of customer relationships.

  • YouTube is slowly being adopted by more and more companies as they figure out how to use it to their advantage.
  • Facebook's groups and "fan pages" features allow regular users to create pages and join in on conversations about everything from products, brands to TV shows and food. With a wide range of topics, incorporating your business or product is easier than ever.
  • Blogs help engage conversation through posts using an authentic voice, the opportunity for customers and readers to provide feedback through comments, all while developing brand loyalty.
  • LinkedIn helps representatives connect to the people in need and develop consistent and real relationships with customers, leads and fellow industry professionals. If a rep is a new user, they can instantly find people they already know by uploading e-mail contacts during the sign-up process—LinkedIn matches addresses with existing users, making the transition that much easier.

Conclusion

To conclude, we shouldn't neglect traditional customer service and relationship management tools, social media is definitely a good addition to any management system. The benefits of social CRM are becoming clearer each day. Integrating any of the above mentioned tools is a great way to monitor your brand while connecting with customers at the same time.

References:

Websites -

[1] http://www.allthingscrm.com/
[2] http://www.allthingscrm.com/social-networking-for-business
[3] http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.bankofamerica.com/docs/DOC-2597
[4] http://www.allthingscrm.com/social-networking-for-business
 


Varalakshmi. T
Lecturer
Usha G Adiga
Lecturer
Don Bosco Institute of BioSciences and Management Studies
Kumbalagodu, Mysore Road, Bangalore-560074
 

Source: E-mail February 18, 2012

          

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