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Susan DeMatei
July 16, 2012 | Social Media Marketing | Susan DeMatei


Indians...Indiana, what’s the difference?

When my husband and I were in Paris last April, there was a series of chain restaurants called Indiana Café. Friday evening, they seemed to offer the happy hour, so we decided to party like a local and check it out.

We were greeted by French girls in black tee shirts with an Indian brave logo and shown to a table where we were told that happy hour consisted of margaritas and mini nachos, burritos or tacos for 5€ each. On the walls were reproduction photographs of Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Pocahontas and Crazy Horse.

“Oh my God”, my husband said. “The French think American Indians all live in Indiana and eat Tex Mex.”

This past week at WITS I had the pleasure of meeting many of our industry’s best minds in all things nerd-like, dorky, and wonderful, and I loved every minute of it.  I was talking to a colleague on Thursday who asked how my talk went and I replied that I felt there was most interest in the Social CRM part of my presentation.

“I’m so sick hearing about Social Media. I just don’t believe your customers want to know when you’re eating a sandwich”, he replied.

Either I wasn’t clear, or he utterly missed the difference between Social Media and Social CRM.  I hope the audience didn’t.

Social CRM...Social Media, what’s the difference? 

To assume Social CRM the same thing as Social Media is like to assume all Indians are from Indiana because they have the word “Indian” in common.

Can we all agree that Social Media is media (text, images, films, music) created by society. As opposed to a company through a press release or a news story.

In our vernacular, Social Media as a noun can have several derivative meanings.  It can refer to:

  • the text, image video or music itself (e.g. your tweet, or blog post)
  • the technology that creates or shares it (e.g.Wordpress)
  • the website or platform that delivers it (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
  • the address or identification “handle” someone has (e.g. @sdematei)

Social CRM pertains to the customers’ preferences.

In this increasingly complex world, we all have our preferred methods of communication. For instance:

  • My Mom may typically responds to email because she often forgets to turn on her cell phone.
  • My mother-in-law keeps track of our large Sicilian family on Facebook.
  • My girlfriend with three teenage boys is a texter.
  • My husband eschews all technology, doesn’t have a smartphone and only answers his cell phone and has no social media addresses.

Imagine if you captured and knew these preferences for your customers.  To segment your database using Social CRM is to understand your customers’ preferences and communicate with them in that preferred channel.

And, while this is not new in other industries, this is new for the wine industry.  Consider the following stats from the 2011 State of Social Report from Econsultancy.  How do we think the wine industry fits into this?  How does your company?

Steps Toward Social CRM

Step One – Track it

This is just the beginning – but you need to determine where (and, yes, if) your customers are congregating on Social Media websites, and what they are saying about you.  As Wikipedia says:

Social CRM is often used as a synonym for Social Media Monitoring, where organisations watch services like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for relevant mentions of their product and brand and react accordingly. However, this is too narrow an interpretation, as Social CRM also includes customer communities managed by the organisation themselves.

There are several tracking systems out there.  You can choose something simple like Hootsuite, or a channel specific monitor like Social Connect or if you want to get fancy, most of the big boys use Radian6.  Any of these will give you a rough idea if your customers are choosing to communicate in these social circles, and if so what their preferences are.

Social Connect is a wine industry specific tool that will track your mentions by Social Media channel and chart trends and traffic so you can see what is popular with your customers.

Step Two – Capture It

This requires some database set up, but over the years we have all figured out how to add cell phones and email addresses, so additional data capture fields isn’t anything new to database marketing.  In fact, most of the tools that we all use have these already added and in others, it can be adapted.

An example of my profile in the Vin65 system that has spaces for Twitter and Facebook addresses. (And yes, I did blur out my birthdate!)

Step Three – Use it

What isn’t prevalent now is segmenting a database based on communication preference.  But, in three to five years from now we won’t just be sending an email that links to our Facebook page. We’ll (hopefully) have our customer list segmented, and some customers get the communication on Twitter, some on Facebook, some on email.  And, here is the fun part, this changes by message.

If you’re not to this point right now don’t stress too much as email is still the vastly preferred channel.  But, you should be moving toward this for future customer CRM needs.

Right now, email is still king…but for how long?

But Wait, there’s more…”

So this is a lot of work, but there is a silver lining.  Because the gorgeous thing about social media is that it is, above all…social.   So by talking to your customers in their preferred channel, they are not only more likely to respond to but are more likely to share messages in these social channels. That means you get more bang for your buck.

While all Social Media channels encourage sharing, Facebook is the leader in creating viral content.

Don’t be fooled by the words, just because you’re tweeting “it’s a beautiful day in the vineyard today” on Twitter you’re not perfecting Social CRM…yet. But, if you start to understand your customers’ preferences, and communicate with them on their terms, you’ll be well on your way.

For the record

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes based in Indiana today.  Most Native Americans were forced to leave Indiana during the Indian Removals of the 1800’s. These tribes, like the Shawnee, are not extinct, but except for the descendants of Indiana Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Indiana anymore. However, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, a federally recognized tribe based in Michigan, also has tribal service areas in Indiana, where some of its members live.



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