Big news recently from Facebook: companies can now link their customer data, including phone numbers and email addresses to those provided by people on Facebook.

It mightn’t seem like much, but this move, initially for ad targeting only, could be huge.

The move provides, say, an insurance company to match your email address with one on Facebook’s database to enhance its consumer profiling and targeting.

In CRM terms, it will give them the opportunity to access social behavioural data to enhance their single customer view.  Facebook is already claiming a successful case study from an (unnamed) financial services company that doubled its fanbase in two weeks, and for a much reduced CPA.

What this also means is that social media, starting with Facebook, can (finally and properly) begin to be integrated with traditional CRM systems. It’s not a silver bullet to solve the social CRM conundrum, but it’s a start.

At the moment, when everyone talks about ‘Social CRM’, they are often talking about segmenting a pool of customers on social channels – not about merging social data into the powerful CRM systems that good brands rely on to market to their customers more profitably.

This move means that, once properly permissioned, brands can combine behavioural and attitudinal information to help to differentiate two people who might live next door to each other, be the same age, but like and behave completely differently.

Expect a backlash from Facebook users when community activists play the privacy card, but very few people are actually driven to complain formally as to how their social behavioural data is being accessed and used by brands.

People might care, but not really that much. Indeed 36% of people actually expect brands to use their social profile to target their messaging with more relevance. So Facebook will need to tread carefully. To users, Facebook needs to maintain its market leadership as the place for online social interaction – with no strings.  And to its shareholders, Facebook needs to prove its irresistibility to advertisers to meet its aggressive revenue targets.

It’s an enticing prospect for brands, and something Yomego has spoken about before at Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing Conference – and one that will continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future.