Social Media, Collaboration and CRM

I saw that my old firm has put out a new report on social media and the enterprise (a report led by the very capable Kathleen Reidy).

It makes some very good points – if you’re a client (and all modesty out the window – I do think the 451 is one of the most “no nonsense” analyst firms out there), check out the webcast around the report – some great slides on the findings.

One of the things I liked about the report is that it notes that collaborating with customers you already is where social media can be a good fit with the enterprise. This is a no-brainer. Allowing existing customers to interact with a company, and each other, in a meaningful “Myspace-esque” manner is a great way to engage with customers, but also learn from them. Remember, CRM 1.0 is all about learning from your interactions with customers. CRM 2.0 builds on that, using the CRM tools you have in place (with some additions) to learn from your customers’ interactions with each other as well.

I think fitting social media into a CRM effort to find new customers is a little harder. There are privacy issues, scalability of system issues, and also the simple fact that its hard to build anonymous communities.

But it is not impossible…after all the anonymous – but honest – comment from a customer can be far more valuable than a doze other saved interactions in your CRM system. The key is bringing these all together in a single place.