In two and a half short weeks I want to explore this topic in person, with as many of you that care to join me. SugarCRM is holding its annual customer, developer and partner conference, April 12-14, in San Francisco. The venue is the cool Palace Hotel. It is going to be a great event, with some really great presenters, panelists, as well as an awesome evening event at the California Academy of Sciences.
So, back to the question
Wait, was that a bait and switch? Did I just market to you with the pretense of being “Social”? How did you get here, to this page, to this blog? Did you follow a Tweet? A ReTweet (a pseudo recommendation from a peer)? It is a blog, does that make it Social? ( I read a blog that said blogs are social) If SugarCRM is using Google Analytics, like the rest of the technology world, where will you go from here? Is this a Social Interaction, or just you reading a blog? Let’s call a spade a spade, the first paragraph is a marketing message – no escaping it – does that make this post anti-social?
Wait, hold on, it can be Social, or pretend to be anyway
See that box at the bottom – the one that says “Leave a Reply” and “your comment”. Please leave a comment, let me know what you think. At SugarCRM we have topnotch sales folks and great partners, I promise, that your email address will not prompt a direct message <snicker>. If you leave a response, I will feel better, and since I am writing, this is all about me, right? If there is a little bit of back and forth, I can tell the powers that be that my post was a success, because I engaged and we had a conversation – maybe they will even stop by and comment. If you sign-up for SugarCon, they will like me even more.
After you leave your comment, maybe, just maybe I will be gracious and say “Hey thanks for stopping by”. Is this a social response, or just good etiquette? When I call up my bank, or insurance company they always start the call with “How are you doing today sir?” and end the call “Have a nice day?” Is that a social response, or again just etiquette? If someone writes something that is highly inappropriate, what action should I take?
Is every Interaction a Social Interaction?
The question was prompted by a question. Bob Thompson, CEO of CustomerThink asked a question on a Social CRM forum where I participate as well. The question is: “Can you do Social CRM without Social Media/Networks?”. Further on in the discussion thread, Chris Selland made the comment “the use of social tools doesn’t necessarily imply social interaction” – I agree with that comment. Mike Boysen, made a comment as well “Developing a framework to align your business to your customer takes real interaction and real relationships” – I agree with Mike too, where does that leave me?
Here is where I think it leaves me, I am almost convinced, but I do want feedback so you can tell me I am wrong. If social tools do not imply a social interaction, then traditional tools should absolutely be part of your Social CRM strategy – Quid pro quo. Professionals, from the CEO down the chain are humans. We all go to bar-b-ques, cocktail parties, birthday parties, conferences, etc… We interact with friends and peers all over the place (I will mention golf too). My point is that we have been Social since the beginning of time – Face-to-Face, Phone and dare I say, Email (taboo, I know) are important Interaction channels in your Social CRM strategy.
(BTW – your email will not be shared, I would like you to come to SugarCon, and I have no predictions for the final four)