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5 Social CRM Myths, Busted

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As we've been discussing in this column, social CRM (customer relationship management) is all about helping companies understand and work with the new "social customer."

But there are common misconceptions around social CRM and customer engagement I'd like to dispel.

Myth 1: Social Customer Engagement is All About Social Media

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Social media is simply a channel to engage customers on however customer engagement happens in multiple channels outside of just social media.

Solid customer engagement strategies also include backend systems and processes such as traditional CRM systems. Sure, it's great to talk to customers on sites such as Twitter, but we're trying to move beyond the fans and followers and approach and get to customers and advocates. That requires much more than just channels.

Social customer engagement is all about solving a specific business problem that your company is facing as it pertains to the social customer. Truth be told, when we work with companies on social strategy, we try to avoid using the term social CRM all together.

Myth 2: Social CRM is all About Technology

Most vendors today have rebranded themselves from social media software providers to social CRM software providers. Meanwhile, their product offerings have stayed exactly the same.

People are trying to capitalize on this new "term" and are simply changing their taglines. While technology can be an important piece of social CRM, as with most things, the strategy is really where the meat of success comes into play.

Social CRM is a strategy supported by a technology solution. Saying social CRM is about technology is like saying all you need to get from point A to B is a car. Well, sure you have the car but you have to know how to drive it, the rules of the road, what to do in case of an emergency, and how the car works in case it breaks down.

Myth 3: Social CRM is Brand New

Sure, the term might be a bit new to folks, but what we're really talking about is developing customer strategies that have adapted to the way that customers consume information, purchase products and services, communicate with one another, and voice their opinions. This will change again in the future and so will the strategies around it. Don't pay attention to acronyms or definitions.

Myth 4: Social CRM Has One Definition

Social CRM means different things to different people. If you're solving your business problems and meeting your business objectives around evolving customer needs and expectations, then you might call that social CRM.

There is no social CRM code or strict definition for you to follow. Everyone who focuses on definitions and semantics just needs to relax for a few minutes and go hug a puppy.

Myth 5: Social CRM Will Make All Your Other Problems Go Away

The good thing about social CRM is that it has the ability to impact virtually any department within your organization -- from HR, to marketing, to sales, to product development. All of these areas are dramatically affected by the social customer and all of these areas can be improved.

However, social CRM is just one part of your overall business. Believing that this is the panacea for all of your business problems is like believing that the Easter bunny will show up at your doorstep riding a unicorn and hand you a delicious chocolate egg that, when consumed, will make you a magical being. The point: don't lose sight of your company as a whole.

Questions, Comments?

Have anything else to add to this list? What are some of the myths you have heard floating around on the web lately? Have you seen the Easter bunny riding a unicorn?

If you have any questions around what social CRM is or how it applies to you or your company, please don't hesitate to ask!

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