Social Media is not Social CRM

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Patrick Dorsey
Patrick Dorsey

Social CRM is not about followers or “likes,” but how many followers buy your products or subscribe to your services. In the words of social media strategist Jay Baer, “The goal is not to be good at social media, but to be good at business because of social media.” Or, as management consultant Peter Drucker wrote, “There is only one valid purpose for a business and that is to create a customer.”

Despite all of the social hype and the recklessness with which social is slapped on existing business models, many industry pundits acknowledge the emergence of a new social customer. The social customer is redefining the way individuals interact with brands and corporations. The social customer readily shares opinions and experiences (good and bad). The social customer increasingly makes buying decisions based on trusted networks spread across a growing landscape of both public and private platforms and trusted peer communities. 

Acknowledging the evolution of the traditional customer to a more social customer is a step toward paving the road for the emergence and acceptance of Social CRM. With Social CRM, organizations can listen to conversations in real-time to develop a clearer sense of customer preferences, sentiment and opinions. By leveraging Social CRM, brands can engage with customers on the customers' terms to develop more personalized experiences. Brands can also build off of an existing customer's trusted peer network to create new business opportunities.

While a lot of organizations are using social media, very few are practicing Social CRM.

Social CRM is a philosophy and a business strategy. Social CRM is how organizations work, solve problems, identify, serve and retain customers. Social CRM allows organizations to connect with the social customer on the customer's terms, with more relevant and contextual interactions across the customer's preferred channels of communication.

Social CRM is supported by the technology that enable brands to apply their philosophy and business strategy to social media. But Social CRM is less about the tools than the people using the tools. Above all else, Social CRM is a new way of thinking and doing in response to the emergence of the social customer.

Patrick Dorsey is the VP of marketing at Avectra. He can be reached at

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