Social Media Certification for Marketers / CRM Agents?

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In Social Commerce Summit, there was a discussion around Social Media Engagement. A marketing executive who was one of the panelist mentioned that they wanted people who deals with Social media coversation to follow some guidelines. In the context she mentioned about Social Media Certification, which is a good idea.

IMO Social Media Certification for CRM Experts should cover:

1. Understanding goals of the engagement

2. Lern technical tools

3. Understand profiles of customers

4. Have Education about company and product branding.

But whenever one mentions ‘certification’, the focus becomes on best practices and tech expertiese, which would kill the most important aspect of Social Media Engagement that is to be genuine personal tone. The formal certification or best practices should not kill the personal voice. Otherwise the engagement would not be effective. Rather it may backfire. So in the Social Media Engagement Certification, I would add more focus on personal tone and voice, more focus on soft skills & informal communication than the formal talks. So, more unlearning of typical sophisticated marketing  / customer care talk would be needed. [tweetmeme source=”khanderao” only_single=false]

Social Media Monitoring – Engagement would be core to CRM

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Kana announced acquisition of Overtone, Social Media Monitoring platform. This announcement is at the heels of recent announcement by Salesforce of acquisition of Radian6around 350 million. Kana has not disclosed the terms. This acquisition is another example of acquisition frenzy into the world of Social media Monitoring which would be a part of Social CRM.

Typical functionalities of Social Media Monitoring are:

1. Monitoring social media buzz across various sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as various QA sites / survyes. The monitoring covers sentiment analysis, response to product releases / campaigns / news PR, feedbacks on products, grivenance about product / people / company, competitor analysis, trends, feature requests etc.

2. Social Media Engagement: Tracking conversations from customers / partners across multiple channels and engaging into the conversations. This is expected to result into better customer / public opinions. Such conversations often take place on public sites and would eventually be monitored by investors too.

3. Social Analytics: Root cause analysis, Analysis of customer profiles, customer response, sentiment, product buzz, competitors analysis are areas where a lot of work is being done and would be done.

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Validation of Social CRM

Today Salesforce bought Radian6 at $317-340million. This is a great validation of Social CRM. With the advent of Social Web, the consumers are all over the social media sites. They discuss many things about companies, their products or experiences with using or dealing with companies. They no more call the busiesses’ call centers to express their experiences about the products or company.  so there is a dire need for companies to engage customers there and then itself where the consumers hang around. That could be Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media.  This engagement is very important for better customer service. Call it Social Customer Service.There is also a huge opportunity to analysis what is being talked about the company, its products or services. Whenever there is any new launch or a news, reaction to it can be very well measured on the social media sites. So Social analytics is important. That can also be useful further no target consumers in terms of advertisements or offers. Thats where Social Marketing comes into picture. No wonder Gartner noted Social Computing is entering into Gartner’s famous ‘hype cycle