Social CRM: Mainstream Practices vs. Essential Requirements

Several organizations are getting involved with social in one way or another. They start with listening, then establish some engagement strategies and community management practices, and occasionally develop some corporate website integration.

But, what about everything else?

In many cases, mainstream social customer relationship management (social CRM) practices are missing out on the essentials. Let me illustrate my point:


In a nutshell, this image shows what many organizations are doing in the social space and also which essential requirements are being missed out on.

We’ve talked about some of the differences between social media and social CRM in the past (here, here, and here). Everything in the white portion of the image is great, but it’s still really only social media.

Many organizations are touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social CRM (now hopefully the image makes more sense).

We’re still seeing a lack of processes and frameworks, integration is sparse (both from the business and technology side), and change to management and culture issues still aren’t really being addressed. Some of these essential requirements must take place for social CRM strategies to become truly effective.

Yes, it’s quite easy to tell companies that what they’re doing isn’t enough or isn’t good enough. There are also people out there who talk about how organizations are lagging behind, (as Seinfeld would say) yadda yadda yadda.

However, the truth of the matter is the way things are progressing and evolving is great. I don’t see any other way this could have happened.

Organizations had to start with something basic and simple such as a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Over time, they’ve realized (or are now beginning to realize) that they need to understand the business value of what they are doing. This is what leads them to social CRM.

It’s the idea of learning to crawl before you walk.

Now that organizations have been crawling for quite some time, it’s time to start walking.

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