For both marketing and customer service, it's important to understand the attitudes of prospects and happiness of customers. That's why sentiment analytics and social media monitoring have become such vibrant areas of social CRM. Reputation Defender, Radian6 and BuzzMetrics are just three of the more recognizable names in this field of more than 200 products, though it's worth noting that most of these products are highly specialized and not particularly well-integrated with popular CRM infrastructure.
To help reinforce the right kind of customer reverberations, community management engines help shepherd customers (typically, active community participants) and corral prospects (often, lurkers). When properly linked with your CRM nurturing campaigns, social communities can be equally important to marketing and customer support functions.
Feature: 10 Social CRM Tools to Help You Keep Tabs on Your Customers
Finally, the latest gamification and engagement systems from Bunchball, BuddyMedia, Badgeville and some other "B" companies offer a tantalizing look into the potential of social media when combined with social engineering. Expect these to have the biggest payoff with early prospects and confirmed customers, helping extend your influence outside of your "walled garden" community.
6 Realistic Social CRM Expectations
With all this, it's easy to have unrealistic expectations about what social CRM will give you. Look beyond the slick veneer of vendor presentations and demos. In truth, only six things are for sure at this point: