Figure 1: Wordle Tag Cloud                             Page 2 of 82
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                        Dissertation in a Tag CloudDissertation in a Tag CloudThis...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                  AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements[edited]                           Page 4 of 82
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                                            AbstractAbstractSocial media has chang...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                                                                  Table of Content...
4.5 Training / Consultants ...................................................................................... 47Chapte...
9.2 Final Thoughts..................................................................................................... 76...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                                                                  List of FiguresL...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                          Chapter 1 - IntroductionChapter 1 - Introduction1.1 Scop...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                          Chapter 1 - Introduction1.3 Chapter Overview      Chapt...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?2.1 ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Rather than look at Social CRM as a...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Figure 4: Three elements of CRM2.1....
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                 Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?This example is used time and time...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                  Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Is talking about social media as ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                             Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?In short, social media equals profit w...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                           Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Chapter 3 - Why is Social CRM i...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                         Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?participation                   i...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?For example on a personal Facebook...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?If I‟m interested in football, the...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                           Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?One good example of crowd sourc...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?It can be a forum, a series of vide...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 6: Micks Garage Facebook St...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?itself on these occasions is equall...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                      Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?If a business has all of these conne...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                      Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 9: McCormacks Pub Facebook Co...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Mobile Geo location services are th...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                          Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Another creative way of enticing...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?At a recent football match, I note...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Influence according to analytics e...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 12: PeerIndex ScreenshotKlou...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                     Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 13: Klout Influence ScoresIf I...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?This data shows in an instant how „...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?3.3 DrawbacksThe benefits of socia...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                        Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?This is another example of how soc...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                           Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?It‟s lack of control like this ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                       Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Social media takes time, it takes p...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                              Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Chapter 4 - Social CRM in Ireland4...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                              Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Microsoft concluded that “a clear ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                 Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?with customers. 23% use twitter...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                               Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?In relation to social media, ther...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                               Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?4.3 Different Types of Social Med...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Communities can also develop thr...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                               Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?4.4 Irish Social Media Statistics...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?TwitterTwitter do not disclose s...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                               Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?YouTubeYouTube is the second larg...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                               Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?SimplyZesty also specialise in vi...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                 Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Growth Media‟ provide training ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                    Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareChapter 5 – Tools & Software5.1 On...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                    Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 16: Google Alerts5.1.2 Twee...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                  Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 17: Tweetdeck Desktop App5.1....
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                        Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareOnce such site is openfacebook...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                    Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 20: Advanced Twitter Search...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                     Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFinding that potential lead took ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                      Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 22: SocialMention.com Scr...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                     Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 23: Trackur.com Screenshot...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                    Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThe standard version of cotweet is...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                  Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThere is a standard version which is...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                      Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareIn order to choose the right sof...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                   Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 26: SugarCRM Screenshot5.2.2...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                      Chapter 5 – Tools & Softwaresubmit ideas and feedback which ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                   Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThis module allows businesses to di...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                  Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareIn relation to Social Media, Ritter ...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                 Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentChapter 6 – Facebook Experiment6.1...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                 Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentFigure 30: List of Irish SMEs (edi...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs                                  Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentFigure 31: Facebook Profile (edit...
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
Social CRM in Irish SMEs
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Social CRM in Irish SMEs

  1. 1. Figure 1: Wordle Tag Cloud Page 2 of 82
  2. 2. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Dissertation in a Tag CloudDissertation in a Tag CloudThis dissertation contains over 80 pages and 16,000 words. Upon completion, all textwas inserted in to a tag cloud generator using wordle.net [1]. The most popular / mostmentioned keywords are larger and bolder in appearance, so the tag cloud below sumsup in a series of words what has been covered in this dissertation.One of several tag clouds created for this dissertation were uploaded to social photosharing site flickr.com, licenced under a creative commons licence and published onmashable.com in an article titled „Why Sales Is Still Missing From Social CRM‟ [2],written by Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView which is a sales intelligence / social crmprovider [3].Mashable.com have a following of over 2.2 million on twitter and 460,000 fans on theirFacebook page. This is a perfect example of how social media can extend anindividual‟s or a business‟ reach beyond imagination, in quite literally seconds.A „worthless‟ image which happened to be uploaded online to a photo sharing site, bychance, was found through social media and published on one of the world‟s largesttechnology news websites. Page 3 of 82
  3. 3. Social CRM in Irish SMEs AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements[edited] Page 4 of 82
  4. 4. Social CRM in Irish SMEs AbstractAbstractSocial media has changed the way we communicate and today over half of the Irishpopulation now has a Facebook profile. Facebook didn‟t exist eight years ago.Irish businesses are beginning to realise they must follow in their customer‟s footstepsand not only monitor online conversation but take part in it.As customers, businesses know we‟re no longer looking up phone directories to contactthem or hand writing letters of complaint… we‟re searching for information online andpublishing our thoughts to the world through social media.If businesses aren‟t online or aren‟t participating in conversation, it‟s their loss. If theydon‟t want to respond to customers, get feedback, generate new leads and increasecustomer loyalty, that‟s their decision.Few business however, have the luxury of being able to ignore social media and stillsurvive, compete and monitor what all their customers are saying about them.Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) as the name suggests, is allabout managing relationships with customers through the use of social media. It‟s abusiness strategy and by using Social CRM tools and technology, businesses can storeinformation about their customers, analyse it, perhaps discover patterns or trends and tryto make strategic business decisions based on that information. Page 5 of 82
  5. 5. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Table of ContentsContentsDissertation in a Tag Cloud ............................................................................................. 3Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... 4Abstract ........................................................................................................................... 5List of Figures.................................................................................................................. 9Chapter 1 - Introduction................................................................................................. 10 1.1 Scope .................................................................................................................. 10 1.2 Objectives ........................................................................................................... 10 1.3 Chapter Overview ................................................................................................ 11Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM? ................................................................................. 12 2.1 What is Social CRM? ........................................................................................... 12 2.1.1 What is CRM? .............................................................................................. 13 2.1.2 What is Social Media? .................................................................................. 14 2.1.3 What is an SME? .......................................................................................... 14 2.1.4 Why only Irish SMEs? .................................................................................. 14 2.2 Why is Social CRM the future of business? ......................................................... 15Chapter 3 - Why is Social CRM important? ................................................................... 18 3.1 The 1% theory ................................................................................................. 18 3.2 Opportunities ....................................................................................................... 19 3.2.1 Crowd Sourcing ............................................................................................ 21 3.2.2 Improved Customer Support ......................................................................... 22 3.2.3 Lead Generation ........................................................................................... 23 3.2.4 Feedback ...................................................................................................... 24 3.2.5 Collaboration / Innovation ............................................................................. 25 3.2.6 Mobile / Geolocation ..................................................................................... 27 3.2.7 Influence Mining ........................................................................................... 30 3.3 Drawbacks........................................................................................................... 35 3.3.1 Staff Not Trained........................................................................................... 35 3.3.2 Time Consuming........................................................................................... 36 3.3.3 Lack of Control ............................................................................................. 36 3.3.4 Measuring ROI ............................................................................................. 37Chapter 4 - Social CRM in Ireland ................................................................................. 39 4.1 The growth of CRM and Social CRM in Ireland from 2005 - present ................ 39 4.2 Irish SMEs using social media ......................................................................... 41 4.3 Different Types of Social Media ....................................................................... 43 4.4 Irish Social Media Statistics ............................................................................. 45 Page 6 of 82
  6. 6. 4.5 Training / Consultants ...................................................................................... 47Chapter 5 – Tools & Software ....................................................................................... 50 5.1 Online Monitoring Tools ....................................................................................... 50 5.1.1 Google Alerts ................................................................................................ 50 5.1.2 Tweetdeck .................................................................................................... 51 5.1.3 Facebook Search.......................................................................................... 52 5.1.4 Twitter Search .............................................................................................. 53 5.1.5 Social Mention .............................................................................................. 55 5.1.6 Trackur ......................................................................................................... 56 5.1.7 Cotweet ........................................................................................................ 57 5.1.8 Hootsuite ...................................................................................................... 58 5.2 CRM Software ..................................................................................................... 59 5.2.1 Sugar CRM ................................................................................................... 60 5.2.2 Salesforce..................................................................................................... 61 5.2.3 Microsoft Dynamics CRM ............................................................................. 62 5.2.4 Sage ............................................................................................................. 63Chapter 6 – Facebook Experiment ................................................................................ 65 6.1 Why? ............................................................................................................... 65 6.2 Aims & Objectives ........................................................................................... 65 6.3 When? ............................................................................................................. 65 6.4 How? ............................................................................................................... 65 6.5 Results ............................................................................................................ 68 6.6 Conclusions ..................................................................................................... 68 6.7 Weaknesses .................................................................................................... 68Chapter 7 - Best Practices Social CRM Strategy ........................................................... 69 7.1 Is having no strategy a strategy? ......................................................................... 69 7.2 The Five 5 M‟s ..................................................................................................... 70 7.2.1 Monitoring ..................................................................................................... 70 7.2.2 Mapping ........................................................................................................ 70 7.2.3 Management................................................................................................. 71 7.2.4 Middleware ................................................................................................... 71 7.2.5 Measurement................................................................................................ 71 7.3 Social Media Website Best Practices................................................................... 72Chapter 8 – Case Study ................................................................................................ 73Chapter 9 - Conclusion.................................................................................................. 74 9.1 Objectives Met? ................................................................................................... 74 Page 7 of 82
  7. 7. 9.2 Final Thoughts..................................................................................................... 76Bibliography .................................................................................................................. 77 Page 8 of 82
  8. 8. Social CRM in Irish SMEs List of FiguresList of FiguresFigure 1: Wordle Tag Cloud ............................................................................................ 2Figure 2: Evolution of Social CRM by Chess Media Group ............................................ 12Figure 3: Fusion of CRM & Social Media ....................................................................... 13Figure 4: Three elements of CRM ................................................................................. 14Figure 5: 1% Theory Diagram ....................................................................................... 18Figure 6: Micks Garage Facebook Status 1 ................................................................... 24Figure 7: Micks Garage Facebook Status 2 ................................................................... 24Figure 8: Dromoland Castle Facebook Comment .......................................................... 25Figure 9: McCormacks Pub Facebook Comment.......................................................... 27Figure 10: Brubakers on Foursquare ............................................................................. 28Figure 11: Witherspoons on Foursquare ....................................................................... 29Figure 12: PeerIndex Screenshot .................................................................................. 32Figure 13: Klout Influence Scores.................................................................................. 33Figure 14: Klout Profile .................................................................................................. 33Figure 15: Social Platforms & Popular Sites .................................................................. 45Figure 16: Google Alerts ............................................................................................... 51Figure 17: Tweetdeck Desktop App............................................................................... 52Figure 18: Facebook Search ......................................................................................... 52Figure 19: Open Facebook Search................................................................................ 53Figure 20: Advanced Twitter Search ............................................................................. 54Figure 21: Twitter Status Update ................................................................................... 54Figure 22: SocialMention.com Screenshot .................................................................... 56Figure 23: Trackur.com Screenshot .............................................................................. 57Figure 24: CoTweet Screenshot .................................................................................... 58Figure 25: Hootsuite Screenshot ................................................................................... 59Figure 26: SugarCRM Screenshot................................................................................. 61Figure 27: Salesforce Screenshot ................................................................................. 62Figure 28: Microsoft Dynamics Screenshot ................................................................... 63Figure 29: SageCRM Screenshot .................................................................................. 64 Page 9 of 82
  9. 9. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 1 - IntroductionChapter 1 - Introduction1.1 ScopeSocial CRM is first and foremost a business „strategy‟. Therefore throughout thisdissertation, I‟m approaching this from a strategic / management perspective.Social CRM‟s definition is debatable, however the reason it‟s called „Social‟ CRM asopposed to just „CRM‟ is because of the relatively recent surge of business activitythrough social media. Businesses needed some kind of strategic approach to socialmedia in order to measure its value and so the term Social CRM was coined.Social Media (which was the catalyst for the creation of the term „Social CRM‟) is the useof web based & mobile technologies which allow us to communicate and engage inconversion.This dissertation will focus on trying to determine value of Social CRM to Irish SMEsprimarily through observational research but also through experiments andconversations with an Irish SME.1.2 ObjectivesThe objectives of this dissertation are;  To find out HOW Irish SMEs are using Social CRM.  To find out WHY Irish SMEs are / are not using Social CRM.  Review Social CRM tools and technologies that are available to Irish SMEs.  Explore the training options available in this area for SMEs.  Carry out a Facebook experiment to see social CRM in action.  Develop a best practices Social CRM strategy for Irish SMEs.  Case Study
  10. 10. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 1 - Introduction1.3 Chapter Overview  Chapter 1 – Introduction o Scope o Objectives  Chapter 2 - What is Social CRM? o Explanation of how the term came about o Overview of why it‟s needed in business  Chapter 3 - Why is Social CRM important? o Background on user / customer behaviour online o Opportunities & Challenges for businesses with Social Media  Chapter 4 - How are Irish SMEs using Social CRM? o Growth of Social CRM in Ireland over past 5 years o Analysis of SME surveys o Statistics on social media usage in Ireland  Chapter 5 - Social CRM tools & technologies o Comparison and analysis of online monitoring tools o Comparison and analysis of CRM software  Chapter 6 - Experiments o Facebook Experiment  Chapter 7 - Best practices guide for creating a Social CRM Strategy. o Analysis of reports / whitepapers on Social CRM o Explore training options available  Chapter 8 – Case Study o Apply findings from dissertation and outline implementation steps for a real Irish business.  Chapter 9 – Conclusion o Discussion of topics covered
  11. 11. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?2.1 What is Social CRM?Social CRM, according to The Gartner Research Group can be defined as;“A business strategy that mutually benefits cloud-based communities and the businessby fostering engagement while generating opportunities for sales, marketing andcustomer service.” [4]The reality is Social CRM is a very new term and there is a lot of debate amongstanalysts as to what the definition of Social CRM is however all agree that social media ischanging the way business works and adding another dimension to traditional CRM.Figure 2: Evolution of Social CRM by Chess Media GroupIn the past, if businesses had a customer service facility, it involved the customer ringingin at set times. There were no other options. Today, the business has to communicate inthe channels that customers want to communicate in i.e. social media. This is a bigcultural change for businesses and it‟s still a very new concept, hence the reason why alot of businesses are still unclear about Social CRM.
  12. 12. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Rather than look at Social CRM as another technical „buzz‟ term (like web 2.0 & web3.0), it‟s less intimidating to think of Social CRM as an extension of traditional CRM. Allbusinesses should be familiar with the concept of CRM. Social CRM is CRM brought into the 21st century; the fusion of traditional CRM and the relatively new world of socialmedia.Figure 3: Fusion of CRM & Social Media2.1.1 What is CRM?Before Social CRM can be explained, it‟s important the concept of CRM is understood.CRM is a business strategy which helps a business build valuable, long termrelationships with existing and potential customers. The goal of CRM, ultimately, is toyield results, preferably in the form of profit. In to achieve that, businesses need what iscalled a 360 degree view of a customer i.e. as much information as possible about saidcustomer.CRM is traditionally comprised of three main elements: sales, support & marketing. This„loop‟ revolves around the customer and through customer feedback and continuousrefinement of sales, support and marketing processes, the business should benefit fromincreased loyalty, reduced costs (in marketing) and ultimately more sales. Page 13 of 82
  13. 13. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Figure 4: Three elements of CRM2.1.2 What is Social Media?Social media is any online technology that allows people to share content, opinions,perspectives, experiences & media.2.1.3 What is an SME?SMEs can be divided into three categories; micro (less than 10 employees), small (lessthan 50 employees) and medium (less than 250 employees). I won‟t be focusing on aspecific category when referring to SMEs in this dissertation and to clarify I‟ll be focusingon all businesses located in Ireland that have less than 250 employees as of January2011.2.1.4 Why only Irish SMEs?Dell attributed $6.5m in sales in 2009 to twitter. Whilst that shows businesses can makemoney using twitter, Dell are a multinational in the technology industry and have theresources and expertise to implement successful social customer relationshipmanagement strategies. Page 14 of 82
  14. 14. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?This example is used time and time again in relation to business on twitter and it‟s thesame on other social networking sites… in order to „sell‟ the concept of SCRM tobusinesses, social media & PR companies tend to use extremely successful exampleslike as case studies. The reality is not every company is a Dell. Twitter may not work forall companies.$6.5m in sales (or the equivalent in euro) is not realistic and not achievable for anaverage Irish SME. It depends on products & services being offered, time available toinvest in social media, whether or not they have an overall social media strategy, cleargoals, understanding of how social media works, who their target market is etc...The reason I‟m focusing on Social CRM in an Irish context and only within Irish SMEs isbecause it helps narrow the scope of my research plus it ensures I must look beyond theheadline grabbing social media figures and statistics which tend to come from largermultinationals - Dell‟s twitter sales being a perfect example.2.2 Why is Social CRM the future of business?Social media is changing the way business works. Traditionally, we, the customer,bought products and services based on price, word of mouth recommendations andadvertisements. If we needed support, we rang helpdesks, sent letters or physically metwith employees. In the late 1990‟s and early 2000‟s, we started using email tocommunicate with businesses along with friends and family.Today, we‟re adopting a new communication medium faster than any other type ofcommunication technology in history. That communication medium is called social mediaand it‟s rapidly changing the way the world communicates.Well respect entrepreneur and marketing expert Seth Godin challenges as individualsand businesses;“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shiftsof our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy foryou to be remarkable”. [5] Page 15 of 82
  15. 15. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?Is talking about social media as some sort of revolution a slight exaggeration? Thesestatistics on our usage of social media speak volumes;  Every minute of every day, we upload 24 hours of video to YouTube. [6]  Facebook has over 600m users worldwide with the average user spending 55 minutes per day on the site. [7]Focusing specifically on Ireland, all the trends suggest social media is not only here tostay, but its use is growing amongst consumers and businesses.A report by The Irish Internet Association shows that digital advertising spend in 2010increased by just over 12% to €53.9m at a time when general ad spend decreased by5.1%. [8] Whilst the vast majority of that cash is spent on Google Adwords, in 2011users will now spend more time on Facebook than Google [9] and digital marketingresearch group „emarketer‟ predict that globally, ad spend on social media will increasedramatically in 2011 [10], denting Google‟s formidable market share of onlineadvertising.This pendulum swing in terms of where and how businesses are advertising online isdriven solely by the growth of social media. Social media is where the customer is in2011 and this is why the need for a Social CRM strategy is greater than ever before.There are various tools and technologies available (many for free) which allowbusinesses to monitor what is being said about them. Some multinationals like Dell andGatorade (sports division of Pepsi) have invested in social media „command centers‟[11] and employ people whose job it is specifically to monitor what is being said aboutthe company online and engage in conversation online on behalf of the company.In Ireland, the reality is small businesses simply don‟t have the resources to set up socialmedia command centres however many are taking the time to interact with customersonline and are reaping the benefits. As more and more customers publish details abouttheir daily lives online, its inevitable theyll talk more about businesses, products &services. Businesses cant control that, but they can monitor it and interact withcustomers to enhance the customer experience, gain trust and gain loyalty. Page 16 of 82
  16. 16. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 2 – What is Social CRM?In short, social media equals profit which is why it‟s being adopted by more and morebusinesses around the world. It‟s my intention to demonstrate in this dissertation howand why social CRM works for Irish SMEs but also to demonstrate how and why itdoesn‟t work for others. Page 17 of 82
  17. 17. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Chapter 3 - Why is Social CRM important?3.1 The 1% theoryBefore any attempt is made to value Social CRM in a business, it‟s important tounderstand that all customers have their own network of connections. Information can bespread in real time so whether it‟s negative or positive, there are plenty of eyeballsreading it even if few interact with it.In 2006, web usability expert Dr Jakob Nielsen came up with his 1% Theory. Thistheory suggests that user participation in conversation online can be divided in the ratioof 90:9:1. [12] 90% of users simply lurk in the background and read content, they dontinteract with it. 9% of users contribute and interact with content however they only dothis when it suits them or when they have nothing better to do. 1% of users participate alot in conversation online and account for the most content online. They are the drivingforces behind online communities as without this 1%, the 99% cant exist.Figure 5: 1% Theory DiagramThis is known as „participation inequality‟ and although the web has changeddramatically since this research was initially carried out, we can still see examples of Page 18 of 82
  18. 18. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?participation inequality online today...For example popular Irish forum boards.ie has 415,000 registered users who havecreated over 23m forum posts. However, the top five contributors on boards.ie haveaccounted for over 230,000 posts or almost 1% of the total content on boards.ie. Sothese five users skew the statistics dramatically. The average user has contributed 55posts, but these five individuals have contributed an average of 46,000 posts each!In January 2010, it was revealed that 80% of twitter accounts were inactive i.e. usershadnt posted a tweet in at least 1 month. [13] This is another great example ofparticipation inequality. Although 80% of accounts were inactive, twitter continued togrow due to the fanatical use of the service by a small number of hugely influential users(e.g. celebrities, football players, musicians).So although the 1% theory is probably more like the 0.01% theory in 2011, the sameprinciples still apply. The bottom line is that a very small percentage of users createcontent and the vast majority of users lurk or browse through content without everparticipating.This is very important to keep in mind when conducting business online. Its the reasonwhy all customers must be treated equally and with respect. One carelessly worded orrash response to a customer in public by a staff member and the chances are if thatcustomer doesn‟t react to it, somebody else lurking in the background will. That personcould be a journalist, a competitor or perhaps a potential customer.3.2 OpportunitiesSocial CRM is all about the customer. Business in general is all about the customer.Without customers, no business can survive so it makes sense to gather as muchinformation as you possibly can on customers and potential customers. If a customercontacts a business through social media or makes it known to a business they havesome kind of presence online, it‟s in the businesses best interest to act on thatinformation and do some background research on the customer. Page 19 of 82
  19. 19. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?For example on a personal Facebook account, users will typically list their date of birthand home town. You can generally tell by a name whether the user is male or female.Simply knowing sex, age and location allows a business to tailor their response to thecustomer in order to maximize the chance of a sale.The more information a business can find on a customer, the greater the chance of asale. Perhaps customers list sports or hobbies on their Facebook profile. Maybe they‟verecently commented on a controversial news item.Businesses can use this knowledge to build rapport with a customer and start or engagein conversation they know the customer will be interested in. This is much more usefulthan small talk such as “It‟s a lovely day today”.An ExampleFor example, let‟s say I‟m interested in buying a new car and I happen to come across alocal dealership on Facebook. I contact the dealer through Facebook asking if they havea particular model of car in the showroom. They do, so I agree to go in at a later date.Now let‟s look at this from the businesses point of view… they know that I‟m interested inbuying in a particular car so I‟ve immediately revealed that I‟m somewhat serious aboutbuying a car and therefore I must have some kind of financing in mind therefore I mustbe able to afford the car.Because I‟ve contacted them through Facebook, they should immediately look at myprofile and try to extract as much useful information as possible from it. Age, location,employer… this is obvious information which most Facebook users will have filled out.However a business shouldn‟t stop there. They should be looking for favourite hobbies,sports, college education, schools attended, music, movies, relationship status…anything they can use to bring up in conversation or help build rapport with me. Whyshould a business do that? Simple. It increases the chances that I‟ll bond with thesalesperson and strike a deal. Page 20 of 82
  20. 20. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?If I‟m interested in football, the salesperson could casually mention they support thesame club I support. If I‟ve listed Westlife as my favourite band, they could perhaps„accidentally‟ have a Westlife album playing in the car. If I have kids, the salespersoncould mention how the boot is big enough for buggies & shopping or highlight some childsafety features.All of this, whether I notice it or not, is helping me to visualize myself in the car with thepeople I‟m normally with or listening to the music I normally listen to. So because thesales pitch is all aimed at me and my likes, needs & wants and the salesperson appearsto have a lot in common with me, it‟s much more difficult for me to walk away. Even if Ido walk away in the end, I‟ll still leave with a very good impression of the dealership andperhaps may go back in the future or recommend it to friends.It‟s that attention to detail which can be the difference between a sale and a windowshopper and that‟s what Social CRM is all about. Understanding customers, trying tofigure out and anticipate what customers will buy, what they want, when they‟ll buy itetc…That‟s a real life example of how a business could use social media to its advantage andwhy Social CRM is important, however there are several other advantages to usingSocial CRM…3.2.1 Crowd SourcingCrowd sourcing comes from the term open source. Open source software is softwaredeveloped by a community of people out of passion and generally is not for profit.Crowd sourcing is simply utilising a community of people (a crowd) to complete tasksthat were once completed by an employee or outsourced. It differs from the idea of opensource in that the task at hand is given to the general public as opposed to created bythe general public. Businesses can use crowd sourcing to help solve problems or assistwith innovationA crowd sourcing community is typically comprised of volunteers with an interest in aparticular area. Page 21 of 82
  21. 21. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?One good example of crowd sourcing in Ireland was "your country, your call". [14] Thiscompetition involved getting people to submit ideas to revive the Irish economy. Thebest ideas would be given funding and put in to action.The response was beyond all expectations as people from all walks of life submittedtheir business ideas. All ideas were open to the public to look at and comment / vote on,so the community not only uploaded their ideas, but they also rated and debated theproblems and opportunities with all ideas.. The benefits of crowd sourcing include;  free / cheap labour  range of talent  intellectual collaboration  increased loyalty / sense of ownershipWhether it‟s a competition on Facebook that gets users to design packaging, acompetition to create the best homemade video Ad on YouTube for a product, a freegiveaway to the user with the most entertaining forum post in any given month... theseare all ways businesses can get a community to create real value and „buzz‟ throughsocial media.3.2.2 Improved Customer SupportThe reason why many businesses choose to provide an online customer support forumis because ultimately it saves the business time.Customers are much more comfortable contacting their own peers rather than formallycontacting a business. A forum is free to use and convenient in that it‟s open at all timesof day.Quite often, customers will have similar questions and problems and over time, if thosequestions and problems are answered and debated in a forum which anyone canaccess, then that means new customers can get the information they need from issueswhich have been resolved in the past. Page 22 of 82
  22. 22. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?It can be a forum, a series of video tutorials on YouTube, a dedicated twitter account forsupport queries... the more a business documents problems and solutions with productsand services online, the easier it becomes for future customers to find solutions.3.2.3 Lead GenerationBefore Facebook and Twitter and any other social media website, people were stillsharing information with businesses, however they weren‟t sharing it with their friends.An example of that would be a banner advertisement for a free holiday if a user enteredtheir email address. The business would then gather a list of email addresses and createa mailing list.Whilst mailing lists are still popular, social media offers businesses a much morelucrative method of running competitions.Whenever a user comments or „likes‟ something on Facebook, that activity is essentiallybroadcast to all of that user‟s connections. Twitter works in a similar way whereby if auser tweets something, all of that user‟s „followers‟ receive the message.Many Irish businesses are taking advantage of this and running competitions safe in theknowledge they can promote their brand and gain new leads simply by asking existingcustomers to comment on their Facebook page.Micksgarage.ie runs a competition every Friday on Facebook where their fans have theopportunity to win special prizes (stock). In order to win the prize, these fans mustpromote the competition to their friends. A typical example can be seen below... Page 23 of 82
  23. 23. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 6: Micks Garage Facebook Status 1On this particular occasion, they gained over 1000 fans in a week. That means 1000new users visited their Facebook page, took the time to read about the competition andin „liking‟ the page, they in turn helped to promote micksgarage.ie.Figure 7: Micks Garage Facebook Status 2Those 1000+ new potential customers cost just €130 worth of stock. This is much morepowerful than a mailing list because a business can only „reach‟ so far i.e. to its existingcustomers and all interested parties. By using social media, that „reach‟ is in theorynever ending. Customers promote the business to their friends who in turn promote it totheir friends...3.2.4 FeedbackMuch like lead generation, feedback through social media is a very public affair. If acustomer doesn‟t like your product or service and voices their opinion, that opinion isseen by all of his / her friends, plus it can be seen by anyone who accesses thebusinesses social media profile.That can be extremely damaging and difficult to manage for a business. It‟s theequivalent of dealing with an irate customer in a busy shop. How a business conducts Page 24 of 82
  24. 24. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?itself on these occasions is equally as important as reaching a satisfactory outcomebecause although it‟s only a single customer complaining, there could be many watchingor listening in the background and quietly forming their own opinions.This is why staff that has access to a business social media account must be properlytrained and fully aware of their responsibilities and the fact they represent the businessat all times.However feedback through social media isn‟t always negative. When customers leavepositive feedback, again all of their friends will be alerted and all users browsing thebusinesses account will see it.One such example would be that of Dromoland Castle Country Club, a Hotel in CoClare. Occasionally, guests will post comments about their stay on the Hotel‟s Facebookpage.Figure 8: Dromoland Castle Facebook CommentThis is of course the kind of feedback all businesses want. Dromoland Castle also tookthe time to reply to this users comment, address them personally and that only serves toenhance this customer‟s experience of Dromoland Castle and its staff.3.2.5 Collaboration / InnovationA social media presence is almost like a free focus group for a business. Customers andpotential customers across all demographics typically „follow‟ businesses on Twitter or„like‟ businesses on Facebook. Business to business relationships can be harnessedthrough LinkedIn. Page 25 of 82
  25. 25. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?If a business has all of these connections, it makes sense to utilize them and encouragefeedback and input from as many people as possible. Customers see things differentlyto a business, as do suppliers and partners. Quite often it‟s those unbiased, neutralpeople who can provide the most valuable feedback.Several large multinationals like Dell [15] and Starbucks [16] put a lot of emphasis onidea generation and feedback. They provide customers with a dedicated web servicewhere they seek new ideas or possible improvements from customers.These feedback websites have grown in to communities themselves where thecommunity of customers rate their favourite ideas, meaning the community not onlygenerates ideas and feedback for a business, but it manages and filters the ideas basedon a democratic voting system.Those are extreme examples of how social media can be used to assist innovation andcollaboration but smaller businesses can also benefit.In the example below, McCormack‟s Pub in Naas asks for feedback on a soon to belaunched cocktail menu... Page 26 of 82
  26. 26. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 9: McCormacks Pub Facebook CommentIn this example, on the surface it appears the business is looking for feedback howeverthere are numerous other benefits to asking for feedback in public, through social media.They don‟t have enough Facebook fans to generate much feedback however simply byasking for feedback, they give customers the opportunity to speak and be heard and thatgesture alone strengthens loyalty between customer and business.The volume or quality of feedback in this case almost seems trivial however over 500Facebook users would have seen this status update and of the five users thatcommented, all of their friends would have been alerted that they‟d commented onMcCormack‟s Pub Facebook page.3.2.6 Mobile / GeolocationA survey carried out in late 2010 showed that 46% of Irish people use the internet ontheir mobile phone. [17] Almost half of the 1007 respondents had a „smartphone‟ butmany admitted they didn‟t use all of its features. Of the most used smart phone features(on a daily basis), 46% said „search‟ was top of their usage list. Email and socialnetworking came a close joint second on 39%. Page 27 of 82
  27. 27. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Mobile Geo location services are the latest trend in social media.Foursquare, founded in 2009, is currently the largest dedicated location based socialnetwork in the world with almost 7 million users globally, growing at a rate of 1m usersper month. Foursquare don‟t release country specific statistics but we know thatapproximately 40% of its user base is outside of the US. [18]Some estimates suggest the number of Irish users stands at less than 5,000 [19]however due to the rapid growth of Foursquare over recent months (last quarter 2010), Iwould guesstimate there are about 10,000 foursquare members with Ireland listed astheir location.Businesses can use Foursquare to reward loyal customers by creating what are knownas „specials‟. Customers can „check in‟ to a business premises and receive exclusivediscounts or prizes for checking in to that venue on multiple occasions. An example ofan Irish business using this would be Brubakers pub in Dundalk.Figure 10: Brubakers on FoursquareFor every 10 check-ins any user makes, users get a free drink. This encourages users tocheck in more often, and increases loyalty as the customer knows they‟ll get a free drinkif they keep coming back. Brubakers can also monitor the times users have checked inand how often they‟ve checked in. Page 28 of 82
  28. 28. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Another creative way of enticing customers to „check in‟ to your business on foursquareis to offer the mayor (the person who checks in the most often in the past 60 days) adiscount on your products or services. Witherspoon‟s Bar & Restaurant in Enniskillen,Co Fermanagh do this.Figure 11: Witherspoons on FoursquareIt‟s the 21st century version of the loyalty card. The beauty of foursquare from abusiness‟ perspective, is that‟s it‟s free to use.However the number of Irish users, as has been highlighted earlier, is extremely small.That said, because it‟s free to use and growing rapidly, it shouldn‟t be ignored.Particularly with businesses who get a lot of people through their doors.On February 4th 2011, Facebook Places launched in Ireland. [20] This is Facebook‟sanswer to Foursquare and a „hat tip‟ to the mobile / geo location services industry. Withover 1.8m Facebook users in Ireland and a significant number of them usingsmartphones, this offers businesses a great opportunity to engage with new customers. Page 29 of 82
  29. 29. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?At a recent football match, I noted that 0.03% of the match attendance had used eitherFoursquare or Facebook Places to check in to the stadium.On Foursquare, 26 people checked in to the Aviva Stadium, whilst 42 had checked in onFacebook Places.Facebook Places had been launched in Ireland less than a week earlier yet based onthis small experiment it almost 60% more users than Foursquare (which has been live inIreland for almost 2 years).Whilst the research and stats in this area can misleading (because usage is growing sorapidly), there is no doubt that services like Foursquare and Facebook Places willbecome more mainstream. They‟ll also become a form of Social CRM for businessesbecause businesses can monitor, log and interact with customers who use theseservices.3.2.7 Influence MiningJust like in group conversation in real life, certain people are more influential than othersonline. When you meet a new person or a customer face to face in the real world, theyare unknown. You can only judge them base on appearance, body language, voiceetc… online, it‟s much easier to gather information on customers through their presenceon social media websites (assuming of course they have one).Depending on how private this person is, you may be able to find out where they work,where they live, who their friends are etc… although all customers are valuable intheory, the reality is some have more power and influence than others online. Thosepeople are the ones who can drive positive or negative publicity in an instant, with asimple tweet or a status update.Influence mining tools are in their infancy as this is an area of Social CRM which is notfully understood and extremely difficult to measure as it would be wrong to simply baseinfluence on the number of friends a person has. Page 30 of 82
  30. 30. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Influence according to analytics expert, Dr Michael Wu [21], involves two entities; theinfluencer and the target.In order for the influencer to influence the target, they require (a) expertise (b) a methodof transmitting their knowledge.The target‟s likelihood of being influenced depends on four things;  Relevance – the target must need the information the influencer is providing  Timing – the target only needs information at a specific time, therefore the influencer must provide it at the right time  Alignment – in order for the target to „hear‟ the influencer, they must both be communicating on the same channel i.e. if one is only on Facebook and the other is only Twitter, neither will know about each other.  Confidence – the influencer must have the confidence of the target in order to establish trust.In simple terms, influence is not easily measured, especially in social media. It‟s almostimpossible to automate whilst providing accurate results as one businesses definition ofinfluence could change from another‟s.That said, there are „influence mining‟ tools which help to measure a user‟s influence onsocial media websites. These can provide valuable insight in to how influential acustomer may be. It may be in a business‟ best interest to pay extra attention to theseusers, particularly when dealing with complaints.PeerIndex.netPeerIndex use publicly available data from twitter.com to calculate a user‟s authority andactivity on a specific subject area. In the example below we can see Irish wine business„Curious Wines‟ tweet about primarily leisure and lifestyle activities on their twitteraccount. They have an overall PeerIndex of 32. A ranking of 40+ means a profile is inthe top 10% of the community. Page 31 of 82
  31. 31. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 12: PeerIndex ScreenshotKlout.comKlout combines data from facebook and twitter to measure a user‟s influence. It alsoallows users to search for influencers in any given area.For example, if I search for „wine‟, I‟m presented with a list of twitter users who kloutdeems to be hugely influential in the „wine‟ space. Page 32 of 82
  32. 32. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Figure 13: Klout Influence ScoresIf I click on any of those users, I can see a summary of „achievements‟ for that usersuch as the number of „retweets‟ that person has received and the number of uniquetwitter users who have responded to that person.Figure 14: Klout Profile Page 33 of 82
  33. 33. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?This data shows in an instant how „influential‟ a user can be, so if I own a wine business,these are the type of people I want talking about my business or reviewing my business. Page 34 of 82
  34. 34. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?3.3 DrawbacksThe benefits of social media are well known, hence the rapid growth in social mediausage and Social CRM by Irish businesses over the last 5 years.There are however several disadvantages or potential disadvantages when it comes tosocial media for businesses.3.3.1 Staff Not TrainedA Ryanair employee famously responded to Irish blogger „Jason Roe‟ in 2008 when hepublished a blog post revealing a small bug in the Ryanair website. A Ryanair employeeposted a comment stating Jason was „an idiot and a liar and went on to say that allbloggers were lunatics and idiots. [22]That outburst was enough to generate a huge amount of negative publicity for Ryanairand quickly found its way on to mainstream news channels and newspapers, forcingRyanair to issue an apology. This demonstrates how dangerous a loosely worded publicresponse from an employee can prove to be but it also demonstrates the power of socialmedia and how quickly stories can spread and make national news. Business must beaware of this before they engage in conversation with customers online. This is onereason why not just any employee should be allowed represent the business online.Ideally they should be trained in PR & customer service and understand the implicationstheir actions (no matter how trivial) can have on the business.More recently, a 19 year old photographer working for „The County Down Outlook‟ (alocal weekly paper) commented on her personal Facebook profile that she was “sick ofhearing” about the death of Michaela McAreavey and claimed “what goes around comesaround”. [23]Despite the fact these comments were made on her personal Facebook profile, theywere leaked by friends and were picked up by the media through social media, sparkinginternational outrage (fuelled by Facebook & twitter users) and forcing the youngwoman‟s employers to dismiss her. Threats to her own safety forced her to leave thecountry. [24] Page 35 of 82
  35. 35. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?This is another example of how social media can do serious damage both to a businessand to individuals. Despite being only 19 years of age, this young woman will forever beassociated with those comments and she‟ll be known to prospective employers for allthe wrong reasons. Despite removing all the offending material within hours of it beingpublished in the media, the damage had already been done.3.3.2 Time ConsumingIn a recent survey carried out by Marketing Institute of Ireland in attitudes towards socialmedia, it was found that 64% of Irish business agrees social media increases theirworkload [25]. Whether or not business have the time and resources to invest in socialmedia will depend on how much value they place in it, just like any other method ofcommunication.If a business advertises on radio, only with hindsight can they accurately measure thevalue of those radio ads. Based on the statistics at hand, they will then continue ordiscontinue radio ads.Social media is generally free to use, however the time needed to respond to customersand manage profiles across many websites can quickly become an issue if there are nomembers of staff whose job it is to specifically look after the businesses social mediapresence.3.3.3 Lack of ControlAny cloud based service brings with it potential security and privacy issues. The mainreason for that is because data is stored on external servers which a business doesn‟town. With social media, it‟s a similar situation. All communication carried out via socialmedia on websites like Facebook and Twitter isn‟t property of a business, its property ofFacebook and Twitter or more accurately, it‟s property of everyone involved in thecommunication.Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), has stated that when a person shares informationon Facebook, they first need to “grant Facebook a license” to use that information [26].That license is granted by signing up and agreeing to their ever changing terms andconditions. Page 36 of 82
  36. 36. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?It‟s lack of control like this which businesses fear. What happens if our account getsdeleted? What happens if our account gets hacked? Can we sue individual users or sueFacebook for defamation? These are questions with no simple answers and in mostcases, it‟s up to Facebook how to answer them, a business surrenders a lot of its controlonce it signs up and starts using Facebook services.3.3.4 Measuring ROIIt‟s difficult to measure ROI in social media because social media isn‟t the same thing assales. In order to calculate the ROI of anything, we need to use the following formula; Payback – Investment * 100 InvestmentPayback or „sales‟ is extremely difficult to calculate in this case because social mediaisn‟t „sales‟. It‟s a more „marketing‟ (although it could be argued it‟s a form of customerservice or perhaps even PR). Because the definition of social media isn‟t clear andbecause it can‟t be boxed in to marketing, sales or IT departments, businesses struggleto accurately measure ROI and many don‟t even attempt to measure it. A survey carriedout by social software company mzinga.com in August 2009 found that 84% ofbusinesses worldwide don‟t measure ROI of social media programs. [27]However, because it‟s difficult to measure social media ROI doesn‟t mean it can‟t bemeasured or shouldn‟t be measured. No business should invest in social media justbecause everyone else is doing it, they must understand why they‟re spending moneyon it or allocating resources to it i.e. they must be able to justify their social mediastrategy.All businesses investing in social media should at least try to calculate ROI in order todetermine whether it has any impact at all on their business.Going back to our ROI formula earlier, we need to define „investment‟. Whilst Facebookand Twitter and many social websites and services are free to use, it would be naive tothink that they don‟t „cost‟ businesses. Page 37 of 82
  37. 37. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 3 – Why is Social CRM important?Social media takes time, it takes people and it takes technology. Those resources arenot „free‟. Businesses can (or should) already be able to put a price on their people, timeand technology.Before we can begin to monitor or calculate social media‟s ROI, we need to establish abaseline i.e. what things where like before social media. For example if sales revenuewas €100,000 in 2009 and €200,000 in 2010, then we can begin to question where thedifference has come from and whether or not it can be attributed to social media.In order to help answer these questions we need to refer to activity timelines i.e. what wedid with social media every week from 2009 to 2010. Maybe we had a competition inweek 1, a video upload on week 4, blog post in week 6 etc…Only then can we begin to associate social media activity with sales activity or numbersof new customers in a certain week or month.In summary, in order to calculate social media ROI, business need to;  Establish a baseline (before social media, after social media)  Create activity timelines (document social media activity)  Analyze sales statistics (new customers, revenue, best / worst sales months)  Look for patterns (compare to previous years, compare to social media activity timelines)  Read between lines (if sales for an item jumped 200% after we published a blog post about it, we must be able to attribute that to social media.) Page 38 of 82
  38. 38. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Chapter 4 - Social CRM in Ireland4.1 The growth of CRM and Social CRM in Ireland from 2005 - presentIn February 2006, Microsoft Ireland published a report on CRM in Ireland [47]. In thatreport, they surveyed Irish businesses and interviewed several companies who hadsuccessfully used CRM to grow their business.One of the people interviewed was Sean Fitzpatrick, the then head of Irish Anglo Bank.He was asked a series of questions in relation to CRM such as whether or not being intune with customer needs was a significant competitive advantage.Sean Fitzpatrick responded by saying Anglo Irish Bank had a hard time breaking in tothe market as a small bank and that “the only thing we could change was the way weworked with the customers”. He went on to say that “We developed an attitude that thecustomer is king and that we needed them more than they needed us”.Whilst his business and his own personal credibility have since been damaged beyondrepair, ranking the customer as „King‟ should be the goal of all CRM strategies and itworked for Anglo Irish Bank. Their CRM strategy worked and their understanding thatthe customer was king worked in that it got them more business and helped them gaintrust and loyalty. The rest of their business practices however weren‟t so successful andwithin a short space of time, their reputation was destroyed. This serves as a goodexample of how a great CRM strategy means nothing if all other elements of thebusiness are not sound.In that same report, Microsoft surveyed over 800 Irish businesses and the main findingswere as follows;  52% of business had no CRM systems in place  Most respondents thought of CRM as a technology, not as a frame of mind or business practice.  Many respondents reduced CRM to a single element of the system such as contact management or marketing campaigns. Page 39 of 82
  39. 39. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Microsoft concluded that “a clear majority of companies have no idea where theirbusiness comes from and who their best customers are” and they also said that seniorexecutives lacked the information they need to enable effective decision making.Whilst that report conveniently coincided with the launch of Microsoft‟s own CRMsoftware, it highlighted how little businesses understood about CRM, never mind SocialCRM which is a relatively new phenomenon and was only in its infancy back in 2005when this report was published.Very recently (January 2011), Microsoft published a similar report detailing the state ofCRM in Irish businesses in 2011. [47] Again this report is published at a time whenMicrosoft have conveniently launched an online CRM tool for businesses but lookingbeyond the sales pitch, the findings of the latest survey are again interesting andrelevant as 7 out of the 10 businesses Microsoft surveyed were SMEs.23% of the 400 respondents when asked the question “In the past five years, what is themain change you‟ve seen in the way you deal with customers?” responded thatcustomers now expect a quicker response.Whilst Microsoft don‟t specifically mention SCRM in their report, statistics like theseshow how much CRM has changed in recent years and that „Social‟ is now a big part ofCRM. It‟s changing the way businesses communicate with not just customers butsuppliers, competitors etc...Remarkably, 24.7% of respondents use Microsoft Excel as their CRM product or systemas opposed to dedicated CRM software. That is the most popular CRM tool, eclipsingeven dedicated CRM tools like Microsoft‟s own „Dynamics CRM‟ or another popularCRM tool called „Salesforce‟. Over the past five years, 80% of respondents haveinvested in a CRM system, again highlighting how attitudes have changed over the past5 years.On the subject of social media, 27% had no plans to use social media, whilst the resteither used social media or intended to. In terms of popularity, Facebook weighed in asthe no.1 most used social media site with 31% of businesses using it to communicate Page 40 of 82
  40. 40. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?with customers. 23% use twitter to interact with customers and 26% use the professionalnetwork „LinkedIn‟ to talk to customers and build relationships.Considering twitter didn‟t even exist five years ago, those statistics show how quicklybusinesses have adapted and are adapting to social media. Many realise that they mustadapt in order to engage with customers and particularly younger generations who arenow growing up with social media. Businesses today might be able to survive withoutsocial media or Social CRM. All that statistics and trends are suggesting that businessestomorrow won‟t.4.2 Irish SMEs using social mediaAccording to a survey of over 800 Irish SMEs across all industries by ISME (independentorganisation), 83% of Irish SMEs have a website [28]. The 17% without a website saidthat costs and lack of in house technical knowledge were the biggest concerns.The average cost to set up a business website was €4000, with €900 per year inmaintenance costs. 39% of those that use the internet said that the internet helped toreduce their business costs.Of those surveyed, 26% said they had a business social networking presence with 88%of those claiming to have Facebook accounts.Analysing those statistics, its clear Irish SMEs understand the importance of having anonline presence as the vast majority (83%) have a website. Theyre prepared to invest init and many recognise that ultimately it helps to reduce costs or increase sales.However when it comes to social media, just over 1 in 4 (26%) indicated they had anykind of social media presence. So its clear that Irish SMEs dont feel social media is asimportant or as useful to their business as a website.Of those that dont have any kind of website, they claim that costs are off putting. Its nothard to see why when the average cost of building a website is €4,000 with annual feeson top of that. For many smaller SMEs without any technical experience or interest, theysimply cant justify those costs and may struggle to justify having a website. Page 41 of 82
  41. 41. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?In relation to social media, there are no costs to entry. Setting up a facebook account ora twitter account is as simple as setting up an email account. Anyone with basiccomputer skills and who is familiar with email and web browsing will be able to create afacebook account.It would be naive however to think that social media (in relation to a business) andparticularly Social CRM is cost free for everyone.Whilst setting up and managing social media accounts is not beyond anyone with basicIT skills, there are plenty of examples of why that shouldnt be done and why, in somecases, that can have devastating consequences for a business.The reality is not all staff can deal professionally with customers or other businesses inpublic. Page 42 of 82
  42. 42. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?4.3 Different Types of Social MediaSocial Media according to Social Interactions expert Michael Wu Ph.D. can be divided into two categories [29].  social networks  social communitiesSocial NetworksThe word „network‟ suggests a connection between two or more individuals. Wu saysthat everyone has a social network, be it online or offline. A social network may consistof family, friends, classmates, work colleagues etc... In other words, a social network iscomprised of people with established relationships.Examples of popular online social networks in Ireland include;  Facebook  LinkedIn  BeboSocial CommunitiesA community, by definition is a group of people who share a common interest insomething. Relationships within communities aren‟t as personal and as close as thosewithin social networks however that‟s not to say they can‟t become personal and closeover time.Wu acknowledges the fact that social communities and networks can overlap and areoften nested within each other. One person can be a member of many communities butthey can‟t be a member of many social networks. A person only has one social network.Examples of popular social communities in Ireland include;  YouTube  Twitter  Tripadvisor  Flickr  Boards.ie Page 43 of 82
  43. 43. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Communities can also develop through social networks. For example I may mention Ilike Fishing to a friend who in turn puts me in contact with his friend who likes fishing andso on. From there a community develops and possibly members of that communitybecome members of my social network.It‟s important to understand the difference between a social network and socialcommunity for a business. Even though they do overlap, both must be approacheddifferently. In general, a social networking website tends to be much more informal thana community because relationships are stronger between people.In a community, the emphasis is on the common interest, not individuals. Only throughshowing that you care about the common interest will you earn the respect and trust ofother community members.An example would be Facebook compared to Boards.ie. A business may haveFacebook page where they talk with customers and promote offers they may have.That‟s acceptable because the business „owns‟ that page and in order to communicatewith the business, customers must „like‟ that page and in doing so they essentially „optin‟ to receive updates from that Business. Communities are generally not a place for selfpromotion. The focus has to be on providing value to the community which online,usually means helping people solve problems.On boards.ie, if a business was to promote offers they have, that would be met withhostility by members unless that offer is relevant to the conversation and adds value tothe community.However, if a business were to respond to complaints on boards.ie, that would beacceptable because the business is trying to help members of the community solveproblems. Page 44 of 82
  44. 44. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?4.4 Irish Social Media StatisticsFigure 15: Social Platforms & Popular SitesFacebookThere are 1,858,180 registered Facebook users in Ireland according to Facebookstatistics site „socialbakers.com‟ (as of 23rd March 2011). The Irish population is4,450,446 which means almost 39% of people have a Facebook account.  54% of those are females, 46% male.  37% are aged 25-34 (single largest age category)  Almost 10% are over the age of 45. Page 45 of 82
  45. 45. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?TwitterTwitter do not disclose statistics on a per country basis so it‟s impossible to determineaccurate numbers but research carried out in August 2010 (but based on February 2010statistics) put the number of Irish users on twitter at about 100,000. [30]Based on my own research, I would say that figure is now closer to 200,000 and here‟swhy;Google‟s Ad Planner [31] is a tool which gives accurate, but estimated traffic statistics onall sites based on sample data from Google products and services along with opt-instatistics sharing from some publishers.At the time of writing, Facebook has 1.8m Irish users. Those statistics are available fromFacebook. Google‟s Ad Planner says Facebook has 1.6 m unique visitors per month inIreland which would suggest about 88% of Irish Facebook accounts are „active‟ (havebeen accessed in the last month). According to Facebook‟s Head of US relations, 70%of Facebook accounts in the US are accessed daily and 68% of UK accounts are alsoaccessed daily, so it‟s reasonable to assume 88% of Irish accounts would be accessedin a month. [32]The Ad Planner says twitter has 200,000 unique visitors per month and recent researchfrom Ipsos-MRBI suggests 7% of the population use twitter [33], so I‟m concluding thattwitter has 200,000 Irish users. Quite possibly slightly above it because twitter.com (thewebsite) is in fact rarely used by regular twitter users. Regular users of twitter typicallyuse desktop or mobile applications to access the site and these statistics aren‟t taken into account in Google‟s Ad Planner. Page 46 of 82
  46. 46. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?YouTubeYouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. According toGoogle‟s Ad planner, it has 1.2m unique visitors per month with those users spending anaverage of 25 minutes on the site per visit. Whilst many businesses focus on searchengine optimisation of their website and try to compete for competitive keywords, manydon‟t realise that it‟s easier and perhaps more beneficial to focus on creating videos andoptimising those videos to appear for keyword searches on YouTube.LinkedInAccording to Irish market recent agency Ipsos-MRBI, the number of Irish LinkedInaccounts has grown from 4% of the population in August 2010 to 9% of the population inFebruary 2011 [34].The central statistics office says the population of Ireland in 2010 was 4,470,700 [35]which means the number of Irish LinkedIn accounts has risen from about 178,000 to402,000 in less than 8 months. This rapid growth typifies how quickly the social medialandscape can change and how flexible a business must be in its social media strategy.Five years ago, Irish businesses would have been targeting bebo but today it‟sFacebook, Twitter and now LinkedIn.4.5 Training / ConsultantsThere are an increasing number of social media consultants and companies setting up inIreland who provide training services in social media and online PR / marketing.SimplyZestySimplyZesty is an online PR and social media agency with offices in Dublin. They runregular social media training days and also provide onsite training, tailored to individualbusinesses.Their most recent training event (at the time of writing) was a Facebook Marketingtraining day which cost €300 per person. [36] Page 47 of 82
  47. 47. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?SimplyZesty also specialise in video production and social media campaignmanagement and have worked with clients like Vodafone, Nokia and Sony. Theyregularly publish social media related news on their popular blog.Mulley CommunicationsDamien Mulley is arguably the most popular blogger in Ireland and runs the Irish WebAwards amongst other networking events. His company provides training andconsultancy in social media, online PR and business blogging and often conductsresearch in those areas such as a Facebook Survey in which participant‟s eyemovements were observed and used to create a „heatmap‟ of the most popular areas ona facebook page. [37]At the time of writing, Mulley Communications offer several courses in social mediabased training. One such event on May 16th and May 17th (2011) costs €170 for one dayor €300 for both days. The schedule of events is as follows;Day 1: (May 16th) Social Media Overview  Overview of current social media trends  Search Optimisation and Website Structure  Facebook for Business  Twitter  LinkedInDay 2: (May 17th) Advanced Social Media  Blogging and Content Creation  Advanced Facebook – Facebook Pages customization  Facebook Places  Devising a Marketing PlanKrishna DeKrishna De is a digital marketing, brand engagement and social media speaker andmentor and author of several social media related books. Her social media agency „Biz Page 48 of 82
  48. 48. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 4 – Social CRM in Ireland?Growth Media‟ provide training and consultancy services and Krishna is also a lecture atthe Irish Digital Marketing Institute.Along with providing a wealth of free material on her personal blog and business blog,Krishna also runs free webinars on social media related topics (Primarily LinkedIn,Facebook) For example she is holding a webinar titled „7 Keys To Using LinkedIn ToBoost Your Online Visibility And Generate Leads‟ on March 31st 2011.According to her company website [38], you can have access to Krishna, her resourcesand her network for the day at a cost of €2,000 + VAT and travel expenses. Page 49 of 82
  49. 49. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareChapter 5 – Tools & Software5.1 Online Monitoring ToolsMonitoring social media allows a business to constantly and immediately discoverrelevant conversations. Many businesses use monitoring tools to search for theirbusiness name with a view to engaging in conversation with customers or protectingtheir brand.Monitoring social media answers questions like "Who is talking about our business andwhat are they saying?". However businesses can monitor any keywords or phrases theywant. If I own a small chocolate business, I can search for phrases like need chocolateor want chocolate.If possible I‟d also want to restrict results to Irish results only. That would help meidentify people using social media who need or want chocolate. I can then communicatewith them and try to get them to visit my website or satisfy their needs and wants.Whilst there is a constant stream of new social media monitoring tools being launched tocater for growing demand from businesses, there are some well respected free toolswhich provide just as much value as some of their newer, more expensive rivals and thisdissertation will focus primarily on those tools.5.1.1 Google AlertsGoogle Alerts is one of the simplest but most effective online monitoring tools. Googlealerts provide free email updates containing the latest Google results for your chosenkeyword or phrase.You can choose to have Google alerts email you daily, weekly or instantly any time anew result is found for your query. Page 50 of 82
  50. 50. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 16: Google Alerts5.1.2 TweetdeckTweetdeck is a free, real time desktop application that captures information from popularsocial media websites and displays it in a series of columns.Tweetdeck was originally created as a desktop application for the micro blogging sitetwitter but it now aggregates data from other large social media sites like Facebook,LinkedIn, MySpace, Google buzz and foursquare. It allows users to quickly and easilyview messages, respond to them and monitor keywords and trends.One of the major problems users and businesses face with social media is filteringinformation. Its easy to become overwhelmed when you have thousands of friends /fans /followers posting information in real time. Tweetdeck helps organise thatinformation and can be heavily customised and configured to display data whichindividual users want.More recently, Tweetdeck launched a chrome web store application which now meansTweetdeck can be used in the cloud, with the Google Chrome browser. There are alsoseveral mobile apps available for Tweetdeck, all of which import and synchronise yourTweetdeck settings. Page 51 of 82
  51. 51. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 17: Tweetdeck Desktop App5.1.3 Facebook SearchIn order to search Facebook for keywords you must be logged in as a user. Once loggedin, you can search for people, events, groups, pages or posts by everyone. Generally fora business, „posts by everyone‟ provides the most valuable information as that providesreal time updates on what people are saying about your brand or your product / services.Figure 18: Facebook SearchHowever there are a small number of sites which take advantage of Facebook API‟s andprovide Facebook search features without the need to login to the network. Page 52 of 82
  52. 52. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareOnce such site is openfacebooksearch.com and it allows users to enter a search termand get results from Facebook‟s „Posts by Everyone‟ instantly.Figure 19: Open Facebook Search5.1.4 Twitter SearchOriginally, twitter was never considered to be a search engine by users or by twitterthemselves, but that‟s what it has become today. It was becoming such a threat toGoogle‟s search monopoly that Google launched their Real-Time web search in July2009, inspired (or forced to keep up) by Twitter [39]. So Google „real time‟ does providetwitter search results however they‟re also integrated with Facebook results and others.The best way to search Twitter is to use twitters „advanced‟ search feature. [40] Fromhere, you can filter results by location, attitude (positive or negative), date etc... Page 53 of 82
  53. 53. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 20: Advanced Twitter SearchFor a small Irish SME targeting new leads in Ireland, it makes sense to filter results toIreland only, unless of course that SME can provide services further afield.Let‟s say I own a travel agency. I can do an advanced twitter search for the word„Holiday‟ and limit the location of results to within 50 miles of Dublin. Here‟s just oneresult I see which in my eyes is a potential customer.Figure 21: Twitter Status UpdateThat person states that they want a holiday. Holidays are my business. This person isIrish and they‟re based in Dublin so all I have to do now is follow up with some friendlyconversation and perhaps some of my best offers. Page 54 of 82
  54. 54. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFinding that potential lead took me about ten seconds and this person is just one ofmany who are looking for holidays or want holidays. Of course not everyone genuinelywants a holiday and this may just be wishful thinking or simply voicing frustration after abusy day but because this is cheaper than sending out flyers or buying ads on the radioetc... It can be done when no customers are in the shop or when any staff member findsthemselves with some free time.5.1.5 Social MentionSocial Mention is a free, real time social media search engine which allows users tosearch for keywords and phrases on specific social media websites.Social Mention also allows users to create free daily email alerts similar to Google Alerts.It allows a business to easily monitor what is being said and who is saying it.It also tries to calculate sentiment (i.e. whether a message is positive or negative in tone)which can be used by a business to quickly gauge a reaction after a new product launchfor example.These results can be exported as CSV file so a business can dissect the statisticsfurther themselves or import them in to Social CRM software. Page 55 of 82
  55. 55. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 22: SocialMention.com Screenshot5.1.6 TrackurTrackur is a social media monitoring tool / search engine which offers both free and paidservices. When keywords are entered in to the search box, trackur gathers statisticsfrom social media websites about that keyword. It generates a graph of how often thatkeyword has been used over time, and displays a list of results which are sortable byinfluence, sentiment and can be filtered to specific dates.It also offers users the chance to „save‟ searches and get alerts every 30 minutes of anynew mentions for your saved keywords it discovers. The free version only allows you tosave one search, but paid plans (ranging from $18 - $377 / month) allow you to savemultiple keywords. Paid plans also differ from the free plan in that they search Facebookand forums. Page 56 of 82
  56. 56. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 23: Trackur.com Screenshot5.1.7 CotweetCotweet is a web based application which allows a team of people to manage one ormore twitter and facebook accounts. It allows users to schedule twitter updates which isunique and depending on the business could prove to be very valuable. For example ifan Irish SME is trying to connect with the US market, their target market in the US maynot be online until 7pm in the evening. That would be midnight here when staff aretucked up in their beds. The ability to schedule twitter updates could mean more peoplesee tweets or more people respond to them.Cotweet allows a business to ad a signature to every tweet which is useful if multiplepeople are managing the one twitter account. For example if three staff members allupdate the company‟s twitter account, each of them could add their own signature toevery tweet they make (typically done with an „@‟ symbol followed by a username, or aperson‟s initials).Tweets can also be „assigned‟ to certain people rather like helpdesk functionality. If thereis a question about sales, I can assign that tweet to a salesperson who in turn isresponsible for responding to it. Page 57 of 82
  57. 57. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThe standard version of cotweet is free and there is an enterprise edition which includesFacebook account management and unlimited users / staff members.Figure 24: CoTweet Screenshot5.1.8 HootsuiteHootsuite is yet another web based social media dashboard which helps manage yourFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts amongst others. It differs from the rest in that itoffers tabbed interface. Twitter updates are in one tab, Facebook updates are in anotheretc...Like Cotweet, Hootsuite allows scheduled updates and for tasks to be assigned tospecific individuals which makes it easy for multiple people to manage one account.Hootsuite also allows users to upload files (for example pictures) which are uploaded topartner services and return auto-shortened urls for users to easily share on social mediasites. Page 58 of 82
  58. 58. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThere is a standard version which is free and a pro version which costs $5.99/month.For large enterprises, the price goes up to $1499/month which includes training andadvanced analytics.Figure 25: Hootsuite Screenshot5.2 CRM SoftwareCRM or Social CRM isn‟t just software and services; it‟s a culture within a businesswhich primarily involves generating and retaining customers.Software allows a business to automate that process by gathering intelligence oncustomers and enables a business to monitoring trends, leading to better, more informeddecision making. According to computerweekly.com, good CRM software can increasesales by up to 40-50%. [41] Page 59 of 82
  59. 59. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareIn order to choose the right software, a business must first outline its goals andobjectives and ideally come up with criteria to evaluate software by means of a weightedscoring model.Only after doing that, can a business start to compare and contrast CRM software andpick a solution which can help a business achieve its objectives.Some general criteria which may be important to a business are;  Support  Training  Cost  Design / Usability  Scalability  Reporting Capabilities  Integration with existing systems  SecurityEssential „social‟ criteria in CRM software should include;  Brand monitoring  Ability to add multiple social media platforms  Social CRM analytics5.2.1 Sugar CRMSugar CRM (Community Edition) is open source which means it‟s free to use andcontinuously updated by a community of 25,000 developers. That edition provides basiclead, sales and management tools.Sugar CRM „Professional Edition‟ provides all the features of the community edition plusforecasts, reporting and dashboards. It costs $360 per user / per year.Sugar CRM „Enterprise Edition‟ costs $600 per user / per year and provides a customerself service facility like a knowledgebase and ticket system where users can createcases and upload relevant material. Page 60 of 82
  60. 60. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareFigure 26: SugarCRM Screenshot5.2.2 SalesforceSalesforce provide a wide range of CRM solutions and packages. Their CRMapplications are used by several large multinational companies like Google andStarbucks.Apart from ongoing development by Salesforce themselves, Salesforce applications canbe extended through the use of „AppExchange‟ which is essentially a collection of thirdparty plugins created by independent developers.Salesforce offer Social CRM features in the form of their „Service Cloud 2‟ packagewhich aggregates data from Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.This effectively allows businesses to use social media like a traditional help desk. Thecustomer uses social media as normal however salesforce filters and aggregates datafrom customer profiles to provide businesses with all the information they need to followup questions and reports.The salesforce service cloud also provides businesses with a customised portal websitewhere a business can upload FAQ‟s and allow users to search a knowledge base or Page 61 of 82
  61. 61. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & Softwaresubmit ideas and feedback which can be voted for and commented on by othercustomers.Cost: ranges in price from free to $250 per user, per month. Service Cloud 2 (whichfeatures Facebook & Twitter integration) costs €135 per user per month.Figure 27: Salesforce Screenshot5.2.3 Microsoft Dynamics CRMThe biggest advantage Microsoft Dynamics has over its rivals is that its interface isfamiliar. Its very similar to Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office, software which allsmall and medium size enterprises will be familiar with.Because the interface looks familiar, users will warm to it quicker, wont be afraid toexplore its features and there it could require less training / support than other solutions.Along with providing solutions for Sales Force Automation, Customer Service andMarketing (more traditional areas of CRM), Microsoft offer a free Social NetworkingAccelerator module which can be integrated with their software. Page 62 of 82
  62. 62. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareThis module allows businesses to discover and monitor relevant conversations on socialmedia along with provided analysis of those conversations through a user friendlydashboard.This dashboard also identifies influential users who may prove to be the best potentialcustomers for a business to engage with. Contact details from these users can beimported from social media sites in to Microsofts CRM software which can then be usedto monitor lead generation. Finally, businesses can measure the strength of salesthrough social media and social media marketing campaigns.Cost: $34 per user per monthFigure 28: Microsoft Dynamics Screenshot5.2.4 SageAccording to Larry Ritter, the Vice President of Sage, there are three emerging trends inCRM and three areas which Sage are focusing on enhancing; [42]  Software as a service / Cloud Computing  Interoperability  Social Media Page 63 of 82
  63. 63. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 5 – Tools & SoftwareIn relation to Social Media, Ritter says that Sage CRM customers are interested in threeareas of social media;  Networking - Building communities to share common interests.  Authoring - Sharing your opinions or publishing a profile so people can learn more about you.  Searching & Following - Tracking what customers, potential customers, competition and influencers are saying about your business in order to gain insight.Sage offers Social CRM through their „ACT!‟ platform which is a contact managementsystem that provides a social media dashboard and supports integration with manysocial networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.Cost: $69 per user per monthFigure 29: SageCRM Screenshot Page 64 of 82
  64. 64. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentChapter 6 – Facebook Experiment6.1 Why?In an effort determine whether Irish SMEs are using all the information at their disposalabout their customers on social media sites when talking to their customers & potentialcustomers, I decided to carry out an experiment.6.2 Aims & Objectives  To determine what percentage of Irish SMEs engage with customers on Facebook.  To determine what percentage of Irish SMEs use publicly available data on Facebook (on their customers) to tailor their response to customers.6.3 When?The experiment was carried out from Feb 2nd – Feb 9th.6.4 How?Over twenty Irish SMEs were identified who all had accounts on either Facebook orTwitter which had been updated at least once in 2011 (which suggested the accountsare maintained regularly and these businesses have some degree of Social CRM inplace). Page 65 of 82
  65. 65. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentFigure 30: List of Irish SMEs (edited)Ten of them were chosen at random and contacted on their official Facebook pagesthrough a Facebook account set up specifically for this experiment. Several details ofthat fictional account were open to public access including;Name: x (edited)Born: x (edited)From: Cavan, IrelandLives in: Cavan, Ireland Page 66 of 82
  66. 66. Social CRM in Irish SMEs Chapter 6 – Facebook ExperimentFigure 31: Facebook Profile (edited)The aim of the experiment was to determine how many SMEs visit Facebook accountsto gain knowledge about their customers in order to assist their customers.Ten Irish SMEs were contacted by „x‟. „x‟ asked questions such as; “Do you have any branches near me?” – which forced the business to seek more information (i.e. x‟s location). “Do you deliver to my area?” – which again forced the business to find x‟s location.These questions simply could not be answered unless a business knew where „x‟ lived.„x‟ did not tell the SMEs where he lived, however that data was on his Facebook accountand open to anyone with Facebook account. The expected result was that SMEs wouldfigure out where „x‟ lived and respond to his question without asking for furtherinformation. Page 67 of 82

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