Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wanna get Social...?

“If Facebook would be a country, it would be the 3rd largest country in the world!”… and among its inhabitants there are a lot of customers, prospects, suppliers and competitors.

The last few years a shift has taken place in the area of (marketing) communication. The user is becoming more and more the central point and with this gained a more active role in the creation, circulation and interpretation of media content. The rise of social media is a development which pushes us to take another look at the way we use of SAP CRM. Responding to ‘buzz’ and using social networks proactively is the way forward!

From Social Media…
The term Social Media is not yet included in our (Dutch) dictionary. But if it would be included, the definition would be something like this:
So-cial Me-dia the; pl Online platforms or networks where members, with or without the intervention of a professional editor, create, maintain and share content.
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are without a doubt the most known social networks. But for instance article reviews on eBay are a form of Social Media too, as well as the posts on a consumer forum. A lot of consumers share their experience with products or services here.

…to Social CRM
Geographical borders do not exist on the internet and with the emergence of Social Media finding friends, people who think alike, reviews, advice and answers only becomes easier. The opinion of, sometimes, total strangers can prevent or stimulate the purchase of a certain product. Are you looking for a specific TV and you only find negative reviews on the internet, then you probably will not buy the TV or at least get some doubt. And 15 years ago “Uncle Bob” was the man for advice on buying a new car; now the opinion of “car_lover_78” on the Top Gear forum has more value.

Traditional marketing is sender oriented where you as an organization are the sender. In the Social Media era this is where the danger is lurking, because on different online platforms people are talking about your organization, your products and services without you being involved or even being aware!

The solution is quite simple: as an organization you have to be present on Social Media proactively, so that you are aware on what is being said about your products. This “buzz”, positive or negative is all free advice! And are chances to respond to them and start the dialogue. Besides that you can check which persons are considered as influencers. Think about starting a relation with these persons! Where 15 years ago Ford would send all the information about the introduction of a new car to “Uncle Bob”, now a days it would be far more interesting to share this information with “car_lover_78”.

… to Social SAP CRM
Naturally SAP recognizes the increase in power of this communication channel as well. That is why they have developed three Social Media solutions:
  • Target Marketing via Facebook business add-on by SAP
  • Twitter Customer Service business add-on by SAP
  • Twitter Marketing Campaign business add-on by SAP

We at Acorel created a fourth one, which we call ‘LinkedIn Integration with SAP CRM’.

On Facebook you can use Target Marketing via Facebook to ask your customers to install your Facebook App (Like your fan page). They can use this app within Facebook to check e.g. their account settings and order history. You can start specific loyalty programs for your Facebook friends; the customer receives an extra discount when he or she promotes one of your products or your App to their own Facebook friends.

Imagine that people are complaining on Twitter about one of your products. With Twitter Customer Service you are able to respond to these complaints without leaving the comfort of the SAP CRM environment. And thus be able to help the customer using the same communication channel. This SAP solution makes it possible to filter Tweets on predefined sentiments and respond to these tweets by creating a tweet or direct message yourself. For a complaint you can create a service ticket within this Social Media Cockpit and this service ticket is then handled via the standard SAP service process.

Besides pulling data from Twitter, you can also use the medium to push content like a marketing campaign. So besides the traditional call center team and e-mail campaign, also a tweet is published on Twitter by using the Twitter Marketing Campaign solution. When your campaign is successful your tweet will be retweeted by your followers thus the reach of your message increases and the number of potential responders increases as well. The impact of your campaign and the comparison between the different channels can be displayed in the Social Media Cockpit.

The solutions which SAP is providing until now are only for Facebook and Twitter, but what about the third one in the “Big Three”…LinkedIn…?
LinkedIn is a real steady network especially in the Netherlands and more important the profiles on LinkedIn are maintained pretty well by its users. At Acorel we thought about where SAP CRM could meet LinkedIn in such a way that both the “company using SAP CRM” as the “people using LinkedIn” would benefit from the integration.
Our answer: making it possible for people to login with their LinkedIn credentials on a SAP CRM Web shop.
With this solution a company can provide the customer a simple way to access their products or services offered on the SAP CRM Web shop; they do not have to remember or search the specific web shop credentials anymore. And the company itself gets a ton of profile data that is probably better maintained then on the web shop itself, which can be used to target the customer even better!!

In next week’s blog we will go into more detail of this LinkedIn – SAP CRM Web shop integration. Share some of the technical challenges and show you the result.

To end this blog I just need your answer on the title question; …so, are you gonna get social…?