Tesco’s purchase of BzzAgent, which helps brands drive word of mouth by sending samples to its community, will be key to understanding how influential social media is as an advocacy platform.
The deal means Tesco and its subsidiary Dunnhumby, which runs the Tesco Clubcard scheme, will be able to gain insights into customer loyalty and draw data from social media (nma.co.uk 26 May 2011).
Last month new media age revealed Sainsbury’s first steps into using customer data to encourage more content creation. It’s using data from Nectar about in-store purchases to contact customers and ask them to add reviews to its website (nma 12 May 2011).
The link between offline and online is already being investigated via a partnership between Nectar and Yahoo, the success of which both companies said is driving them to explore ways to expand the project, particularly into social media.
Applying social media to CRM and customer advocacy schemes is a huge opportunity for brands, but also a challenge to do it in a meaningful way. This is primarily due to the majority of social activity, and therefore data, being carried out on sites such as Facebook.
The rapid expansion of the Facebook Like button and the analytics given by Facebook is helping to remedy this, and some companies are creating decent CRM services for brands as a result. But the full potential of social CRM hasn’t yet been realised.
Although a lot of brands won’t be able to take advantage of a loyalty scheme as big as Tesco Clubcard or Nectar, there are projects worth keeping a close eye on as it’ll give a significant insight into the role social media plays in CRM.