Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Twitter+CRM, or how corporations engage with social media

ReadWriteWeb discusses how corporations are engaging social media through their customer service, using "social listening technology" (i.e., blog search + analytics) and CRM databases to detect and head off issues. Seems pretty tame to me, since most social media conversations are public and easily mineable and since corporations have a vested interest in keeping customers happy. But the author recoils:

It's kind of a modern day horror story, isn't it? Web 2.0's potential benefit for humanity tragically sold short by social media because it fell under a fog of marketing software. Would-be short-form conversationalists jumping in with CRM-tinted glasses secured to their faces. One of my co-workers says that within minutes of his wife Tweeting about her art studio last night, she was friended by scads of art companies and salespeople. Who wants to have a conversation in that context?

The author originally went farther by pointing out that such systems give a lot of information to the "emotionally twisted" people who go into sales; in the current version of the story, that phrase has been edited out.