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March 31st, 2011

Congratulations to Radian6

On Tuesday, Salesforce.com announced that it is acquiring social media monitoring vendor, Radian6. First off, we at Voce want to say congratulations to both companies! Over the past few years many of us have worked with folks at Radian6 and the team there has built a great service with great support. Having recently gone through our own acquisition, we know what a big deal this is and are very happy for them.

I’ve heard and seen surprise from some about this acquisition. But I have to say that I’m not that surprised, relatively speaking. To me this is all about the demand for companies to incorporate social media into their existing ‘traditional’ CRM platforms and efforts. Yes, I’ve seen a number of people say this moves Salesforce further into the blossoming ‘social CRM’ space. Personally, I don’t like that term though. CRM = customer relationship management. Shouldn’t that, even in a traditional sense, be done in a social manner?… You talk to your customers, right? People tend to get a little carried away with their terms sometimes.

Sales people, and that’s sales people in both B2B and B2C spaces, are using social media tools for lead generation. As they should. LinkedIn and Facebook hold a lot of valuable information. And vehicles like Twitter and blogs are good ways to hear of potential sales opportunities. Sales people want to be able to validate the time and effort they’re spending on social media though. How do these activities support starting, building, and fostering a relationship? How do they help with tracking sales leads? And most importantly, how do they support the revenue each salesperson contributes to their company’s bottom line. That’s what I think this deal is about. It’s not about creating or joining some new market called Social CRM, it’s about social media moving deeper into the traditional, age-old business processes and operations of companies.

It’ll be interesting to hear more details of this acquisition and how the integration will happen. I’m sure it will result in another strong step in linking social media activity to sales.

About the Author
Kevin is a senior client executive at Voce working to lead, develop and execute communication programs that focus on public relations and social media. Read his previous contributions to the Voce Nation Blog and follow Kevin on twitter @kevin_york.

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Add Your Comment2 Responses to “Congratulations to Radian6”

Marcel LeBrun on April 1st, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thanks, Kevin. The Voce team was one of the first to use our platform and we appreciate the role you guys have played in terms of thought leadership in this space.

The team at Radian6 is really proud of what we accomplished in this industry and really looking forward to continuing to produce amazing products. We have some cool stuff coming our next week at our user conference, in fact (Social 2011).

Cheers, Marcel CEO, Radian6

dominique on April 1st, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Interesting article.

I also don’t like the Social CRM terms but for a different reason.

CRM, in the traditional sense has nothing to do with relation/social. Just call the ATT call center or other alike and you see that the motivation of CRM is to answer your question, spending the lowest amount of time and money. That’s why the call center, outsourcing, or even worse IVR are for.

In social media, time spent with the customer is an asset, not an expense.

To me Social Media Monitoring is a natural fit for CRM. Let’s face it, there is no ROI in engaging the dialog with everyone on the planet that mention your brand name. There is an imperative to respond. But this is not “social marketing”. This is CRM on a Social channel.

Marketing ( be it branding, product marketing, messaging)is not well served by Social Media Monitoring. Marketing starts with strategy, targeting, segmentation, choices, selection of who matters. Not listening and responding to any and every conversation about a brand or a topic. Building relations requires commitment to communicate and engage withe the same people on an ongoing basis.

So that’s why to me there is Social Marketing and Social Customer Support. Two different disciplines, with different motivations. As for Social CRM, I frankly see it as an oxymoron.