Social Media Profile Management

March 10, 2009
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Managing B2B customer information has never been easy. CRM systems are rife with bad data and an inability to manage customer and contact profiles. Add subscription management to this and database marketers are continuously plagued with targeting inaccuracies and redundancy. Enter social media and you could be adding more complexity to the mix.

In an earlier post I talked about conversational preferences, and how customers choose to interact with your brand in social media. This is really an extension of subscription management and personalization of user experience. Customers can determine what emails they want to receive, what topics they are interested in, and how they should be contacted in general. It is quite common to sign-up not only for updates (emails) but to provide their information to access premium content. Yet, how many of you are asking for Twitter accounts or linking profiles to fan pages?

Right now, the way that most customers are connecting to companies within social media venues are by finding corporate outlets on their own. Some invitations may be going out to announce the launch of fan pages and Twitter accounts. There may also be a press release or me


Managing B2B customer information has never been easy. CRM systems are rife with bad data and an inability to manage customer and contact profiles. Add subscription management to this and database marketers are continuously plagued with targeting inaccuracies and redundancy. Enter social media and you could be adding more complexity to the mix.

In an earlier post I talked about conversational preferences, and how customers choose to interact with your brand in social media. This is really an extension of subscription management and personalization of user experience. Customers can determine what emails they want to receive, what topics they are interested in, and how they should be contacted in general. It is quite common to sign-up not only for updates (emails) but to provide their information to access premium content. Yet, how many of you are asking for Twitter accounts or linking profiles to fan pages?

Right now, the way that most customers are connecting to companies within social media venues are by finding corporate outlets on their own. Some invitations may be going out to announce the launch of fan pages and Twitter accounts. There may also be a press release or message on the main website. But, overall, what I have found looking at various B2B sites is the same registration process and subscription choices. In fact, even on blogs, registration is confined to name, company, email, and phone.

If social media registration is available you see it for post comments, it is limited to name, email and a web address. Where is this going? Do you have a process to incorporate this information into your CRM system? Can you link these social media profiles to existing customer profiles in your customer databases? The beauty of social media today is that value is being delivered. However, it typically stands on its own without the ability to integrate into business practices extending value and showing a direct measurable contribution versus a qualitative/anecdotal perspective.

Why is social media linkage important?

Single View of the Customer: Customer information isn’t further fractured into another silo making it more difficult to manage the relationship.
Consistent Message and Offers: The customer experience is unified to allow for relevant information and discussion based on relationship with the company (new vs. existing, firmographics, solution usage). It is rather embarrassing to send a new customer deal to an existing customer and it is better than they have.
Connect to Internal Processes: Interactions lead into existing management processes that are measurable for ROI, support, and risk management.

For all the reasons that it is important to have a unified customer view and managed subscription practice for traditional customer relationship management, it is also important to incorporate the use of social media profiles into the mix.
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