Has the time come for enterprise CRM to tie the knot with social media?

In organizations the merging of social media data and a business’s CRM systems is something many have talked about but few really accomplish. Social Syntax recently piloted a project that attempted to join together unstructured social media data with the company’s CRM systems. Below are our overview and findings.

Problem: A loyalty services provider wanted to have a look into whether their customers loyalty participants from the CRM data they had matched with their clients significant Facebook following. In this problem was the opportunity to discover whether social media fans of the page were in the program and if these fans were buying more or less product than the rest of the loyalty database.

Approach: The loyalty services company, first got permission from their client, then provded a large sample of customer data from their CRM system, 12,000 POS records that included details such as customer name, city, state, email address, product purchase history. The names were compared with the thousands of fans on that were present on the clients company fan page. Then a software engineer Redpoint Technologies built a ruby query that took the facebook graph API (which contained the name, sex, and date of persons wall post) and compared it to the CRM systems data


Challenges: The results of this case study were hampered because of the lack of full access to the Facebook API. If there was access to a unique page ID, a bigger sampling of individuals could be compared to the CRM data. The way it was, our query was still able to give us first name, last name, picture and all the other public info that was collected. Of the thousands of Facebook page fans, only about 500 were accessible because they had posted on the page.

An added hindrance to our objective was the fact that many people using social media especially on Facebook might use their nickname or alias which is different from the CRM recorded information of the customer.

Results: Even though there was a very small sample size, we found a few matches. Nine out of the 500 users that queried showed up in the given CRM database from the loyalty program, this gave us the information that these people were engaging in the brand online and the Facebook Page as well as participating in the loyalty program. There were even exact quotes from these people that posted on Facebook that showed the customers confidence in the brand and company

Studying the loyalty services data from the CRM database showed that 6,000 of the loyalty program customers were aged 36 and older. This is interesting as the demographic of the Facebook populous is mainly towards the 13-37 age group. These two facts raise the question asking if the loyalty program appeals more to the older population and on the flip side of this the company might want to make more efforts to target and engage the younger age group on Facebook with the loyalty program.

Implications: The combining of CRM data with unstructured social media interaction (posts, comments, and likes) is littered with uncertainties of data quality, but attempting this is worth the effort. As a result of the case study, the loyalty service company suggested to its client that they could put together marketing efforts with online campaigns to fully engage customers and potential customers. The powerful voice of the customer in social media can be considered as data and can be a source of data that remains hidden from companies unless they go into the expenses of focus groups surveys and other information gathering ventures.

Is your company considering how to integrate social media data with your enterprise’s CRM? If you’re seeking guidance, contact us.