Just read a nice distillation of a new Forrester report by Jessica Tsai over at destinationCRM.com.
The report plots the levels of social media’s penetration into the collective psyche of the business world.
The final stage, which we are entering into somewhat soon is called “The Era of Social Commerce.” This era is categorized thusly:
In approximately two years, social networks will be more powerful than corporate Web sites and CRM systems, as individual identities and relationships are built on this platform. Brands will serve community interests and grow based on community advocacy as users continue to drive innovation in this direction.
While I think there is some truth to this report – I am not sure that the prediction that social networks will be more powerful than CRM systems makes any sense at all. True, a lot more interaction is happening inside these social media properties compared to traditional touch points. But the value that CRM systems give businesses in the traditional sense of operations and pipeline, revenue predictability etc. cannot be met by any social network.
Now, will social media be a major tool for finding, attracting, closing and serving customers?
But in the meantime – don’t quit your CRM day job, so to speak. Continue to check out and adapt/adopt social media strategies. But these should always be an extension of your existing CRM operations, and integrate core ideas with new channels, tools etc.