BY CLARA SHIH
Facebook Is the Future of CRM
Only social media can put the customer back into CRM
N C E A D E C A D E , a technology emerges to generate high-quality—and highly qualified—leads
that fundamentally changes the business while respecting individuals’ privacy preferences.
landscape. In every case, companies that un-
derstand the technology win out. The 1970s CUSTOMER-CENTRIC CRM
had mainframe computing, and the ’80s brought us the Thanks to social media, people are sharing more about
personal computer. In the 1990s, the Internet revolu- themselves online than ever before. Everything individ-
tionized communications. Today, social technologies are uals share about themselves on their profiles, including
rewriting all the rules. hometowns, alma maters, jobs, and hobbies, can be
Welcome to the World Wide Web of people, an era of used by marketers and sales to personalize—and even
human connectivity on a scale never before seen, and al- “hypertarget”—communications. With hypertargeting,
tering every aspect of the customer life cycle. marketers can specify which audience segments see
Marketers and salespeople need to be where custom- which ads—people with, say, “chief information offi-
ers are, and need to communicate through the chan- cer” or “marketing” in their job titles.
nels customers prefer. Social CRM applications can enable users to view so-
That means participat- cial media profiles and connections from within their
sales orce.com ing alongside the 300 mil-
lion people on Facebook
lead and contact records to learn more about prospects
and build better relationships with customers, improv-
worldwide, and the 45 million on Twitter, and recog- ing the customer centricity of their interactions.
nizing these sites as important sources of information. And just in time, too. Prospects will no longer tolerate
Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites have become a generic, product-centric sales pitch. They expect you to
CRM for individuals. They’re how a growing number of have done your homework about their company, indus-
people manage relationships across personal and profes- try, and personal preferences, and to come prepared.
sional realms. Social media is reminding us—and ven-
dors—that CRM should be about customers, not CUSTOMER-DRIVEN CRM
technology. The future of CRM will be transparent, The World Wide Web of information was content over