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Big news recently from Facebook: companies can now link their customer data, including phone numbers and email addresses to those provided by people on Facebook.

It mightn’t seem like much, but this move, initially for ad targeting only, could be huge.

The move provides, say, an insurance company to match your email address with one on Facebook’s database to enhance its consumer profiling and targeting.

In CRM terms, it will give them the opportunity to access social behavioural data to enhance their single customer view.  Facebook is already claiming a successful case study from an (unnamed) financial services company that doubled its fanbase in two weeks, and for a much reduced CPA.

What this also means is that social media, starting with Facebook, can (finally and properly) begin to be integrated with traditional CRM systems. It’s not a silver bullet to solve the social CRM conundrum, but it’s a start.

At the moment, when everyone talks about ‘Social CRM’, they are often talking about segmenting a pool of customers on social channels – not about merging social data into the powerful CRM systems that good brands rely on to market to their customers more profitably.

This move means that, once properly permissioned, brands can combine behavioural and attitudinal information to help to differentiate two people who might live next door to each other, be the same age, but like and behave completely differently.

Expect a backlash from Facebook users when community activists play the privacy card, but very few people are actually driven to complain formally as to how their social behavioural data is being accessed and used by brands.

People might care, but not really that much. Indeed 36% of people actually expect brands to use their social profile to target their messaging with more relevance. So Facebook will need to tread carefully. To users, Facebook needs to maintain its market leadership as the place for online social interaction – with no strings.  And to its shareholders, Facebook needs to prove its irresistibility to advertisers to meet its aggressive revenue targets.

It’s an enticing prospect for brands, and something Yomego has spoken about before at Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing Conference – and one that will continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future.

Steve Richards

Published 19 September, 2012 by Steve Richards

Steve Richards is MD of social media agency Yomego and a contributor to Econsultancy.

31 more posts from this author

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Daniel Kim

Thank you for the information, it's greatly appreciated!
Social CRM integration has established itself as something that is going to stay. Having a business suite that allows you to log-in to one place rather than 4 different social media sites, while also collecting real time data about your customers, is crucial in today's technologically advanced market.
As a member of the GreenRope support staff, I have been able to research and witness the immense advantages offered to businesses who have adopted and utilized social CRM. If one has not embraced this facet of technology, the time has come to seriously consider social CRM adoption.

about 4 years ago

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Antonio Orlando

Agreed that putting together the latest CRM with basic social tools is great, we have settled on FreeCRM.com (http://FreeCRM.com) which lets you easily use powerful CRM with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. highly recommended.

about 4 years ago

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Mark Stonham

The challenge of communicating (listening and 'speaking') with prospects and customers via Social Networks (on top of email, phone, face-to-face) is very real for B2B as well as B2C.

New apps such as Nimble bring this all together and help sales people and business owners to focus on the customer, not on the technology or channel.

about 4 years ago

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Sam Green

CRM users, and CRM vendors, are still figuring out the best way to get value from social sites: linking to them, getting data from them, looking for leads in them.

But it is happening slowly, as the hype dies down and some sensible methodology emerges.

Today only a few specialist CRM vendors have Social functionality, but we expect most CRM systems to have at least some basic Social functionality in the next 12 months.

about 4 years ago

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Russell Loarridge

Janrain customers have been collecting social profile data to better understand their consumers in their CRM systems for several years. Social profile data is available now - the only question is whether you are using it!

Social data – real-time accurate social information - can enable brands to truly understand their customer and put each individual at the centre of his or her personalised CRM or engagement strategy.

Social login allows brands to collect permission-based profile data that can be used to create a more relevant, compelling experience on the online site.

The user can readily opt in to the service and just as easily opt out. Furthermore, this data can be integrated within the CRM system to integrate the consumers’ online and offline experiences, resulting in a better more relevant brand experience and ultimately a more engaged customer.

Russell Loarridge
European Sales Director
Janrain
@Janrain

about 4 years ago

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Matilda

I'm not surprised that Facebook are connecting the dots for e-commerce businesses.

Businesses looking for smart, faster practices are looking at social CRM to help improve business intelligence, better targeting and a better service.

about 4 years ago

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John Rash, Manager at Onsite CRM Software

With a social CRM, you should be able to decide which of your connected email and social media messages are shared with team members and which are private.

about 1 year ago

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