ACT! by Sage and Social Media – Social CRM

More and more businesses are starting to take advantage of various forms of “Social Media” and are looking at the advantages of integrating these with their CRM solution to provide a more complete view of their relationships.

Sage themselves have said they are looking at doing more with Social CRM and have asked users for input in what they would like in these links:

I thought I would post a few ideas on what’s possible to do now with ACT! and what I hope Sage will work on in future versions of the ACT! product.

What types of “Social Media” am I referring to:

Yes, there are a number of different types of social media in use. The ones I’m going to discuss are the ones that I’ve found most useful in business at this time:

  • Blogs – like this one.
    • A flow of information from the business or staff members to the market usually with the facility for users to comment.
    • Great for providing detailed news and updates that your target market can subscribe to
    • Easier to maintain and update than their web site “News” pages
  • Social networking sites like LinkedIN, Facebook or MySpace.
    • Includes a form of micro-blogging through their status function
  • Twitter – social media micro-blogging
    • Short (140 character) updates
    • Very fast updates
    • Allows users to update via SMS or smart phone applications
    • Similar to status functions in social networking sites like LinkedIN and Facebook
What does integrating CRM with Social Media mean?
  • Viewing recent information posted by contacts
  • Updating your CRM with updated data posted by the contacts to the social networking sites
  • Storing information within the ACT! database so it can be searched on or viewed later like history
  • Enabling the use of this information to improve business intelligence
What Social CRM is possible now with ACT!?
  • Ability to attach web pages from blogs and other URLs to Contact records
  • For ACT! 2008 and 2009, Sage has provided a free Contact Web Context Browser Control that can display LinkedIN profiles, Google maps and other information in a tab for contact. You get more information on this plug-in and download it from this link
    LinkedIN Tab in ACT! by Sage 2009
What I’d like to see Sage add to ACT!
  • Permanently link the LinkedIN profile to the ACT! contact rather than the current method of displaying a search
  • Add the same functionality for Facebook and other major social networking sites
  • Lookup for those Contacts where the social media profile and the ACT! contact have different information
  • A function to update the ACT! Contact record from the LinkedIN or Facebook profile
  • Groups that connect to LinkedIN Groups
  • Blog tab to display last 5 blog items
  • Micro blog Tab displaying last 20 social network status updates and Twitter tweets
  • Ability to Save items from the Blog and Micro blog tabs so they remain in ACT!
  • Reply to a status or Direct message a contact and save in the History for the ACT! Contact
  • Combine and view Blog and Micro blog tabs in Company and Group records
  • Keyword search to include Blog and Micro blog entries
  • Dashboard to show most recent blogs, status updates, tweets based on various search terms

Please post a comment with what you’d like to see done in this area and how it would benefit your business.