By now it should be old news that the strength of social media depends entirely on the connections that are established. As each day passes though, more and more companies seem to be realizing that having a good social CRM strategy can improve their bottom line too.
For a prime example of how combining your CRM and social media efforts can help make you money, all we need to do is look at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The company’s preferred guest program provides hotel guests with a plethora of goodies if they engage with the company on social platforms. Just last week they announced a social media contest that allows one lucky winner to bring five friends to free VIP LiveNation music events. Starwood goes further and also awards guests who check in with their Facebook or Foursquare accounts ‘Starpoints,’ which can be redeemed for free meals and upgrades.
These social CRM campaigns have aided in doubling the loyalty program’s membership since 2007, though, perhaps most importantly is that members have spent 60% more in that timespan as well!
Despite this, whatever your business’s goals are for social media, it’s important to remember that success does not occur overnight. In order to gauge and truly utilize the full potential of social media, organizations must be willing to embrace collective change. Change in any organization requires appropriate planning and management – particularly when implementing a new CRM platform. As with any change or new implementation, one of the biggest barriers to success is the capability of employees to accept and understand the importance of the innovation and change. In Community Roundtable’s “State of Community Management 2011” report, 28% of survey respondents said organizational culture was the greatest barrier to social technology usage.
Paul Greenberg, president of the 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light, once said “[E]nterprises are large and their cultures are well-defined. They are legacy cultures—cultures of habit. And breaking habits, when the world is changing as dramatically as it is in such a short period of time, is not easy.”