Over the past two years Our Social Times has hosted social CRM conferences in London, New York and Paris.

It’s a fast-growing industry with many specialist themes, but the first question the speakers always get asked is: “How does social CRM differ from traditional CRM?” 

With social CRM events in Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris looming, we’ve set out to pre-empt the “traditional vs social” question by publishing our answer in advance in infographic form (below). 

Inevitably, this is a simplistic representation of a complex issue, but it’s also a good starting point for organisations seeking to integrate social media into their customer and stakeholder management processes.

Within the four uses of social CRM we’ve highlighted, Marketing, Sales, Feedback and Service & Support, the shift in thinking and approach required to capitalise on recent developments in customer behaviour (and expectations) is marked.

That said, best practices are emerging. American Airlines has a highly developed social CRM strategy and is implementing it effectively both for marketing and customer service. I’ve also seen excellent case studies from VistaPrint, Peugeot, Everything Everywhere, Citibank and SNCF. 

Examples like these are deepening our collective knowledge and encouraging more brands to shift from traditional to social CRM. We hope the image below helps in this process and, possibly, also saves us 30 mins of pre-discussion at our next events.

Traditional CRM vs Social CRM