Social Engagement with CRM

12 January 2017


If it were a country, Facebook would now be the second-largest in the world in terms of population, with more users than India has inhabitants. And these people are talking all the time amongst themselves, sometimes about you and your organisation. People will talk about you whether you want it or not, and whatever they say, good or bad, will affect you.

It is impossible for anyone to constantly monitor what is being said online. The conversation never stops, and most of the time it doesn’t include you, meaning that people are not actually commenting on your Facebook page or tweeting to your account. Most of that conversation happens in random corners of the internet, where you would never think of looking.

With such a large amount of information, organisations often feel they’re fighting a losing battle, so they prefer to bury their collective head in the sand, pretend the conversation is not happening and go about their business as usual. But fortunately technologies are now being introduced to monitor social media; these technologies are being referred to as ‘social listening’.

Social listening can go through three stages, each corresponding to a level of maturity reached by the organisation:

Listening: the organisation monitors social media for aggregate information about its overall visibility and share of voice, about its competitors’ level of activity, or about general customer sentiment. The information collected is usually not linked to specific people or organisations and does not necessarily lead to action being taken beyond informing a marketing strategy.

Measuring: going one step further, the organisation attempts to link specific posts, comments or tweets to specific contacts or organisations, thereby individualising the monitoring of customer sentiment. This stage is about analytics, which involves tracking conversations and combining them with more traditional data.

Engaging: the organisation reacts to the conversation and engages with customers, prospects and stakeholders through social media

Social media monitoring has been around for some time and utilises tools such as TweetDeck to provide analytics about what is happening on social media. This can of course inform marketing and branding efforts but does not allow the organisation to react in real time to what is being said. Although a degree of drilldown is possible, with the identification of specific social media accounts that can then be interacted with, this remains essentially a reactive approach, answering questions or reacting to complaints. The goal of social monitoring is not to improve customer engagement but to provide information.

Effective social listening, whether passive or active, means being able to track social media activity against specific customer, prospect or stakeholder records, who can then be interacted with in a much more fine-tuned manner. This requires the integration of “Social Engagement” with Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

These are some of the functionalities now available through the “Social Engagement” capabilities of leading CRM products:

Customer sentiment monitoring: provides a deep understanding of customers, prospects and shareholders across social media. media for sales, marketing or customer service purposes.

Share of voice: allows for the tracking of a company, brand or product across social media and for the identification of key influencers.

Competitive intelligence: gives an overview of how a company, brand or product is performing against its competitors.

Proactive response to issues: marketers can gain an early insight on potential problems and get notified when posts and publications differ from statistical expectations.

Alerts: Notifications on specific key words, hashtags, accounts, industries or topics.


Patrick Rousseau, CEO of Nerea New Zealand

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