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Social CRM is growing for businesses looking to improve customer relations

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Social customer relationship management (CRM) uses social media to engage with customers and keep up positive relationships. Now that many companies boast social media presences, social CRM is being applied to client service strategies by business executives everywhere.

According to BostonInno's State of Social Marketing Report 2012, the most prominent finding was the expected growth of social CRMs. It is expected that these systems will be used by marketers in an increasing capacity to gain ultimate integration through the combining of social data with traditional marketing.

 

The majority of the 450 marketers that responded to the survey are not currently using social CRM systems. Only 37 percent either use social CRM or expect to in 2012.

 

Use of social CRM is also expected to grow because of changes in social media platforms. Facebook's recent announcement that business users will now be able to link customer data through email addresses is likely to change social CRM, according to Econsultancy. Although it doesn't seem like a dramatic change, the ability for companies to access social data will help when profiling consumers.

 

According to Econsultancy, it's possible that Facebook users will be upset enough to issue complaints when they find out how their personal information is being used, but this is unlikely.

 

Even without bursting innovations from social media platforms, companies are finding ways to adopt social CRM systems. A digital consultancy for wine brands, VinTank, has become one of the biggest social CRM companies for wine brands, all because of ideas from Paul Mabray, the company's CEO and chief strategy officer, according to Forbes.

 

Mabray saw that there was potential to merge the age of the customer with the age of technology, causing VinTank to acquire Cruvee.com, a social media monitoring company, spurring social CRM growth immediately.

 

"Social listening to a 'dialect,' or vertical, rather than just a brand, captures customers who have strong signal for their interest graph, allowing for key profiling for customer acquisition and customer understanding," Mabray told Forbes.

 

According to Forbes, the wine industry has a particularly difficult market to profile, which is why VinTank's initiative is so impressive.

 

But social CRM is not just for markets that are hard to profile. "Our method of social listening plus SCRM can be extended to other experiential categories like restaurants, travel, entertainment, and so on," Mabray said.

 

Surveys, changes in social media platforms and industry evidence have shown that use of social CRM is on the rise and many businesses expect to reap the benefits.