IT application leaders supporting customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives must understand the differences in functionality between various social applications to identify the technologies and applications that best support business goals, according to Gartner.
Gartner has identified nine types of social applications for CRM to help decision makers identify the best range of applications for achieving their business goals.
First are social publishing applications that enable organizations to coordinate messaging, campaigns and alerts and allow content to be pushed to social networks with a unified brand voice.
Second are social media engagement applications that enable a continuous dialogue between organizations and their customers.
Third are social analytics applications that are rapidly being deployed in CRM organizations.
Fourth are external community software, representing one of the more established spaces in the social for CRM sphere. It is used primarily for customer service and marketing, and occasionally for digital commerce and sales.
Fifth are internal community software that provide a place for the employees of an organization to share their insights, interests and contributions about a shared practice.
Sixth are contact enrichment applications that attempt to consolidate contact profiles and improve account management, which provides value across customer service, digital commerce, marketing and sales.
Seventh are product review applications that enable the presentation, capture and sharing of perspectives among customers and partners.
Eighth are social network selling applications that may enable transactions directly on social networks, or may direct prospective customers to landing pages or product pages.
And ninth are product or brand advocacy applications that enable personalized communication between a brand and current or prospective customers. This commonly takes place via email, live chat or on social networks.