Insights 12 – what needs to be on your digital agenda in 2012? Seven of 10 – Social CRM

If social media has anything going for it, it is metrics. Whether you are tracking awareness, driving traffic or looking at influencers, the number of metrics available to marketers is immense. One of the biggest problems though, is identifying which metrics meet which objective.

Criticisms of ROI-aside, it’s fair to say that whilst there has been some standardisation of social media metrics in the last 18 months, 2012 will take things a whole league further by integrating social media metrics into conventional CRM (customer relationship management) systems thereby closing a significant loop, or missing piece of the social media ROI jigsaw.

Whilst referral traffic from social networks provides some evidence of the influence of social networking channel interactions on purchasing decisions, we will begin to see this year, the ability to integrate these brand interactions with actual purchaser behaviour which will present untold conversion modelling and customer journey insights. Whilst cookies are great (within the allowance of the European Privacy Directive) , the one thing they do not show is the influence that social interactions have.

The number of times a customer tweets us, likes a status, checks-in or leaves a comment or brand/product mention will soon be able to sit alongside their purchasing habits so we can begin to see exactly how frequently we need to interact, the nature of the social interactions they interact with and the kinds of topics they are interested in are all clues as to what it takes to get them to the page and convert into a sale.

Add in the power of dynamic personalisation and in 2012, I think we will see the introduction of some really, really smart technology

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