Social Media Monitoring (SMM) with CRM in Symantec
Lixi Yin
Leshan Normal University, Leshan, China.
DOI: 10.4236/ojbm.2018.62030   PDF    HTML   XML   1,043 Downloads   2,454 Views   Citations


This paper aims to identify social media monitoring job of software companies, focus on the case of Symantec, and identify the extent to which it is affected Customer Relationship Management by Social Media Monitoring (SMM).

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Yin, L. (2018) Social Media Monitoring (SMM) with CRM in Symantec. Open Journal of Business and Management, 6, 412-427. doi: 10.4236/ojbm.2018.62030.

1. Introduction

In this information era, with the worldwide tremendous usage of internet, social networks and online review platforms becoming increasingly mature, consumers from recipients of information become active communicators; statistics show that social networking site (SNS) has 82% of the internet users worldwide above 15 years old to share ideas and opinions about brands or products [1]; and it is ubiquitous that organizations connect social media with business and have its homepages on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere [2] . Thus, there is great potential for companies to approach customers offering assessment of firms’ products or services as well as keeping track on consumers’ sentiments and predicting future business values.

As Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a trending method for organizations to understand customers’ value, gaining the greatest value from customers by establishing long term relationship promotes consumers loyalty leads to the increase of sales and profitability [3]; furthermore, in the particular environment of social media, it is imperative to establish social CRM strategy by monitoring social media as [1] ascertained “the failure to monitor social media means the end of the company”.

Basically, [1] monitoring is defined as a process of keeping track and in return organization gives responses to online customer reviews, requests, and related information about companies, brands, and results. While online security becomes more crucial for companies commerce and communications, over the past few decades, computer viruses pose the biggest threat to individuals and companies just like an easily spread disease. Since the characters of viruses are regular and unexpected, it is worth learning with models of worldwide main security software companies, such as Symantec, Macfee, and IBM, etc., to some certain degree, these companies have achieved some results due to they recognize social media as a tool to engage with customers, evaluate their own or competitors’ products, and even the whole competitive market structure; specifically they use social media monitoring tools to work as a logical workflow in order to follow online comments and requests, and give responses in return [1] .

Due to few studies has described the social media monitoring job and not fully explained social CRM monitoring of security software companies, in this report, firstly, the main purposes are to explore the existing recognition and process of worldwide software companies SMM jobs with tools or platforms, specifically exemplify with the successful case of Symantec to explain the process and impact of monitoring job on CRM and the overall effectiveness of marketing strategies adopted with social platforms; next, identify the effects of SMM and positive for the most part; and make suggestions and implications for further academic and marketers to improve CRM with monitoring jobs.

In particular, case of Symantec is used in this report to exemplify the process of social media monitoring as a methodology, as a result that Symantec has gained a certain degree of success among the security software companies, and the case is directly associated with companies’ social CRM plan and monitoring job outcomes; moreover it provides researchers to have diverse viewpoints and managerial experience to others.

2. Critical Desk Research

It has shown that there are numerous theoretical perspectives and models on the relative marketing, CRM magazines and online resources. For the purposes of the report proposal the review will concentrate on just two aspects of CRM and social media monitoring.

On the one hand, from the academic view, core text books have little enlightenment on me which offers just basic theory of social media and less practices, so online literatures are searched mainly focus on theoretical papers to prove the necessity of social media listening and explain the relations between social media and CRM, namely social CRM, and it worth mentioning that relevant topic is new. This report is carried out with the literature review mainly in the past ten years due to an increasing amount of literature on social media monitoring (SMM) combined with CRM has been published in recent years, so I have the chance to make a valuable contribution to it.

Especially, one comprehensive article has maintained the importance of social CRM by [3] , and fully described social CRM and use a multi-agent framework to manage customer relationship. Indeed, people’s satisfaction of product may range from different product, and the study of [4] lays the foundation of exploring the contribution of responsiveness to social media online helpfulness that people actually have high expectation on companies’ performance of the trusted brand. The result is varied by the type of and amount of helpfulness but the result is unbelievable that people recommend a product without actual experience.

On the other hand, practical literatures are mostly searched from online resources, although limited number of articles cannot fully explain specific company’s performance on social media monitoring probably because of the confidential information of business, the process of social media monitoring has been described by the case of Symantec success story is published by [5] on Forrester blog, however, the search revealed limited number of literature on specific company’s performance on social media monitoring probably because of the confidential information of business.

At last, it is notable that social media cannot replace other methods but just offer one more to marketers [6] . Suggestions for further social media monitoring practice are made for marketers to improve social CRM and choose social media monitoring tools.

3. Literature Review

3.1. Social Media Marketing

With the soaring online communications under the influence of internet, dramatically increasing consumers are logging in social networking sites (SNS) to share their likes and dislikes as a result that consumers pursue production of content or experiential goals. The causes of consumers’ participation in social media have been widely investigated. In view of [7] , public and companies are attracted by social media due to its wide range of coverage; furthermore, social media offers people the opportunities to create and share different kinds of content, as well as contact with the person who has same interests and opinions; not to say, it also provides opportunities for customers to be active participants to communicate directly with companies and influence sales strategies and public opinions, which means customers have impact on the products or services planning and designing with sharing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction during the use [3] .

Data from multiple studies has indicated significant numbers of social networking sites users: By 2010, almost 500 million active users on Facebook, Twitter has 140 million people of active users all over the world, and sent more than 10 billion tweets and messages, and up to 240.3 million visitors from the Asia-Pacific region visited social media site; in March, Linkedin claimed it had over 160 million users with two newcomers participating in every second [6] [8] [9] [10] .

According to [7] , mass media has rapidly transited to social media, which has brought huge changes to organizations with the view and assessment of online marketing analytic as well as the narrow of demographic segments; to conclude, social media has emerged while traditional mass media declined in the last two decades. Specifically, about 50 percent of network television viewership has been declined during ten years since 2002 while the adult users of social media in the United States raised by about 800 percent over the past decade; also, a multiplicity of electronic devices such as mobile platforms, tablets, etc are used by people to access information at any time, technology experts especially maintain a growing number of people use tablets and mobile phones to get Internet.

Generally speaking, social media marketing is a hot issue in today’s market, which draws attention of users through social media sites and encourage them to share their social networks with creating media content, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, etc. Firstly, social media marketing shapes people’s opinion and actions in the communities and they search social media content at sites in order to find something; Organizations and marketers analyze consumers’ behavior and social profile of specific groups use social media as a platform in the market competitions to get higher effectiveness, brand awareness added, community relations development with consumers, and customer service improvement as well as offer a platform to institutions to poll and publicity information [7]; also, social media offers a cost-effective way and user-friendly platform to connect with customers, provide quick, timely information-sharing and build brand awareness and customers loyalty [11]; what is more, [10] conducted four studies to prove the positive effect on the brand evaluations and purchase intentions of target customers, and referred a term “mere virtual presence” (MVP) as customers join online brand communities, which means brand supporters have passive social media experience. Although there are a lot of forms taken by MVP, such as profile picture display in Facebook brand pages by brand supporters, and companies encourage consumers to post pictures of using brands in all kinds of social media networks, the practice outcome of companies are unsatisfactory.

Whereas, the feasibility of automation of social media monitoring tools is questioned by managers or marketers, and researchers argue that it is unfair for some companies with limited budget and resources [6] .

3.2. Overview of Marketplace

In this report, based on the current security software market, software companies has provided customer services mainly solve technical support issues over the past few years, with the presence of social media, the successful and active social CRM adoption of software companies results in a high level of customers satisfaction in the high-tech industry [12] .

As one of the social media campaigns, most of worldwide well-known software companies have invested social media monitoring tools to measure and analyze the information, that is, companies use contact center technology to monitor and alert with social networks tracking and responding to customer comments and issues; while consumers are interact with business with evaluation and comment on the products or services of the company [9] .

In order to facilitate company influence and brand perception, statistics from Symantec poll show that IT companies has recognized the vital role of social media in business with spending an average of $4.3 million on social media in 2010 and 82% of organizations are working with business information via social networking sites (SNS) [13] . However, in the highly competitive security software market, security products including consumer security software, endpoint protection and secure email gateway, RuggeroContu, research director at Gartner argues the growth speed as “slower-than-average” as a result of mature and saturated technology market [14] .

3.3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Social CRM

During the past decade, since consumers have become important resources for companies and relations with customers are regarded as a valuable asset and investment, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the prevalent issues in managing approaches [3] .

Basically [8] , defined CRM strategy is to manage customer relationships by extracting the greatest value from customers over the lifetime in the way of processes or technologies. While in the environment of social platform [3] , state that Social CRM is a new marketing approach which is the traditional CRM extension, it allows companies to have real-time and two-way conversation with customers, encourage them to participate in the communication and monitor their content; furthermore, what makes social CRM different form traditional CRM is the main task of including customers in the activities of the organization instead of managing them.

In terms of building effective social CRM, increasing marketers and organizations have recognized the significance like McCann, the advertising and communications firm, has encouraged staffs to connect with customers on social media [15]; besides, [16] maintains that communication contains listening is the key to good customer relationship; and a top priority for CEOs and social CRM strategy is getting closer to customers in order to understand what customers want; Value in finds that companies still lack of stability and certainty in the competitive market, a few executives feel intense pressure about the worldwide social media trend [8] .

Noting that social media has become the cornerstone of most companies’ marketing and customer relationship programs [17] . As [15] maintains that marketing and customer service departments of every company need to work together in social media, which monitors company’s brand and protect reputation, as well as establish and promote brand’s image in social media in order to connect with more potential customers in every posts and reviews. Hence, numerous studies have attempted to explain the advantages of companies to identify, build, and maintain customer relationship with social CRM development [3] . In a way, social media helps businesses communicate with their customers and users influence the others’ decisions [7]; the study of [4] also ascertains that it is beneficial for the brand to help customers on microblogs to resolve problems; and in view of [3] , establishing long term relationship with customers leads to the increase of customer loyalty, profitability and sales, companies create and deliver tangible value in return for customers, and Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO of Live World, states that considering customers’ viewpoints generates more loyalty and sales [6]; in addition, social media provide financial benefit to organizations due to that Gartner demonstrate the cost of companies will be reduced 50 percent by 2014 [12]; Last but not the least, companies develop new product lines according to customer feedback from social networks [6] .

From the customers’ view, social online community provides peer-to-peer support or professional help of the products even in their local languages [18]; as [4] are trying to figure out the influence of perceived helpfulness when consumers seeking for solutions or purchase intentions in microblog, people actually have high expectation on companies’ performance of the trusted brand. The result is varied by the type of and amount of helpfulness, that is, stronger perceptions of company trustworthiness and greater attitudes towards the brand when many problem-solving responses.

As a result, certain effects are gained by some brands in retail industry like Burberry, which has improved customer relationship by integrating CRM with social networking [19] , nevertheless, this successful experience is not limited to retail, and it also applies to security software companies market as Symantec has stayed its leading position of customer satisfaction increase by 2.6 percent in the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index [12] .

3.4. Social Media Monitoring

In this so-called “Big data” era, owing to the rise of social media numerous amounts of digital data has been generated on social networking sites by people’s phones, computers, and other digital devices [6]; instead of pursuing traditional customer service channels, growing number of consumers are seeking real-time help from companies to post their questions or issues on social media networking sites with the support of immediate solutions [9]; while companies of all sizes have more opportunities to take part in the social media marketing campaigns and pay more attention to hear from customers [7] .

The importance of social media monitoring for business is noted by [1] that the monitoring will become “second hand nature” of organizations, and even more, the failure of social media monitoring may lead to the end of a company, hence it is necessary to take social media monitoring into routine work to protect both company and its consumers. Understanding how to monitor the mass amount of instantaneous communication in social media makes companies engage more with consumers to assess and reduce the social media risk. Monitoring social media provide companies opportunities to judge consumers’ sentiment and create fan pages or product groups [20]; also, [21] proved informational value of social tagging with managing intangible brand equity, and enhance brand performance and a firm’s financial performance, which allows marketers to categorize online content of users’ shares and thought by searching through user generated keyword. This “user-generated content” (UGC) is a vital indicator of customer brand perception to understand company value and competitive market through platforms such as user reviews, blog posts, Tweets, and social tags.

Therefore, specialized social media monitoring and analytics firms are established to help enterprises to track and analyze digital customer data in real time, due to [7] identifies only bigger organizations can manage its budget with technology expert while several social media marketing tools are developed for nonexperts [6] .

Whereas, recent evidence indicates that over 90 percent of companies suffered negative effects because of social media incident from financial data of a Symantec survey in 2011 [1]; and according to the study of New Conversation: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action in 2010, only under 23 percent of companies were using social media monitoring tools and approximately 31 percent did not measure social media effectiveness [16] . And in the next year 2011, nearly 83% of Fortune 500 companies were contacting with consumers with social media [10] , and 73% of IT professionals access information from online communities [15] . Yet, with the tendency of social media, researches illustrate that more and more companies are planning their budget on social media analytics that about 40 percent of over 500 staffs in a survey demonstrate that more than 5 percent of their budget plan in social media monitoring [6] . And Orbon, the Senior Vice President, Marketing Services Group, SourceMedia says that Radian 6 is the next plan for social media monitoring [22] .

As in June 2010, Gatorade was the first company to have its Mission Control Center with’s Radian 6 social media monitoring tool [9] . Social media command centers are established by increasing organisations, which is a department to track the brand-relevant information, answer questions, respond complaints, and has the ability to listen to communities, resolve problems, and create new opportunities [9] . As [23] concludes the effective listening of four brands in the meeting of social media listening at Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco on 30th May, in addition to logical organization of social media mentions recommended by the Director of Digital Strategy at Symantec Tristan bishop, Arra Yerganian, Chief Marketing Officer at University of Phoenix shares their listening by empower brand ambassadors to comment in a unique way; Charlie Treadwell, Social and Digital Marketing Manager for Cisco Systems has experienced a story to turn negative brand mentions to positive by monitoring the Twitter post with customer assistance; What is more, Ron Vinson, the Director of Media and Technology department for the City and County of San Francisco recognized to adjust according to the citizen’s feedback. Another example is Dell, which has launched a Social Media Listening Command Center in 2010 and trained thousands of people to engage in social media listening, its social media strategy as well as company philosophy. As a consequence, Dell not only solves customers’ problems, but also boosts its sales by tracking all the data including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, community forums and podcasts with the social media monitoring tool called Radian 6 [16] .

Next, a research of Jansen et al. (2009) shows that 20 percent of microblog postings content have brand sentiments, including 50 percent positive and 33 percent critical of a company or product, so any organizations are using microblogging platforms like Twitter as a vital marketing tool to promote products and services or even encourage customers to share promotional information [4] .

In addition to monitoring the existing social media network, companies are creating online brand forums to engage with consumers’ issues and questions. Take the successful community of Dell for instance, which has no restrictions for customers to participate in the communication of sharing ideas and feedbacks as well as offers a sense of belonging, with respective communities including general customers, small businesses, education market consumers, and largest enterprise clients [20] . Except for the monitoring, managing and responding to consumers’ posts, software companies also create internal knowledge base for customers to seek solutions online; what is more, plenty of complaint-friendly websites are created for customers to have negative views when they feel dissatisfied or frustrated with any companies or products, such as,, etc. [15] .

In spite of great values of collecting data provided by social media monitoring tools, it is notable that automation is incapable of identifying and measuring the sentiment of relevant information, it still needs workforce to do with the follow up. In general, companies get tremendous numbers of messages and followers, topics and sentiments, and staffs need to identify the issue, predict the trends, serve better with help the customer to resolve, and reach out those who are influencer and have made suggestions. If clusters of problems occurred, employees need to pass to professional teams to handle the issue before next release of product [17]; and if negative conversations are not kept up quickly enough, the bad publicity will spread like a contagion [21] .

3.5. Social Media Monitoring Tools

With overload and millions of messages on social media [6] , held that social media monitoring tool is analytics providing search and categorization service with results for marketers, it can be a mass advantage for companies to collect and categorize these data [17] . Actually, companies get opinions and suggestions about their brand from consumers, and collect customer demographic information, find out main influencer to attract public [6] . Also, in view of [17] , social media monitoring tools not only collect relevant conversations, but also have ability to recognize customers’ insights; moreover, tools protect reputation of companies and its employees with immediate responses to damaging statements posted by competitors, third parties, or employees [1] .

It has reached consensus that finding a way to effectively monitor social media has become an increasing marketing research in recent years [2] , various kinds of measurement and analytic tools are emerged on the market to provide sentiment and content analysis, and even the feature report of growing trend of social media data [6]; another reason to make companies to seek automatic processing applications is that social media monitoring is challenging and time-consuming as well as the overwhelming conversations on the social web [1] [17] . However, the valuable information is still largely left out from customer databases and analytics systems, companies are seeking appropriate tools and technologies to gather, process, analyze and monitor the relative information because previous tools and approaches cannot satisfy the booming social CRM with large amounts of information [3] [15] .

Previous studies have introduced some tools for social media monitoring, overall, almost 150 social media monitoring and analysis tools are on the market at present, a lot of these tools provide different kinds of information are free or cost-effective according to [9]; next, [20] noted tools including Radian 6, Visible Technologies, Scout Labs, and Alterian, are used by companies to monitor information on social media networking sites; then, the research of [24] states seven significant monitoring apps are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, PeopleBrowsr, Hellotxt, Google Analytics, and, among these, Google Analytics is the best free tool, PeopleBrowsr track any keyword in all social media, and, is a URL shortening app to monitor all related links. Other software like Gigya and Janrain simplify the data collection from numerous social media sites with users logging in, but company’s interfaces with its own system has to be developed by IT departments [15] . Besides, [3] introduces a multi-agent social CRM system (MASCRM), which is designed for dispersed information and uses the agent technology in various social media. It involves integration of data which extracted from social media, collect huge amount of data on the customers behaviour, their purchase preferences, etc. Later companies give quick respond to the opinions and attitudes of consumers, and assess the feasibility of their marketing decisions.

Speaking of choosing a social media tool, understanding monitoring objectives is of great significance for companies to choose a monitoring tool, and then decide the implementation strategy, such as budget, time, and self-service or outsourced; and it is worth noting that a flexible price plan product is advised by experts; also, [1] argues it is essential that monitoring tools provide functions of real-time or near real-time monitoring and immediate response with tools measuring content and the number of participants, and even the frequency, demographic and sentiment across a broad range of social media platforms, as well as a logical workflow of corresponding departments; furthermore, [22] points out that Hernandez has set up tool judgment criteria called Social Media Maturity Model including five levels of Listening, Broadcasting, Marketing, Customer Care and Proactive Engagement; while [9] identifies four progressive steps in organizations social media implementation: to begin with manually monitor and respond with free or low price tools with keywords searching name of company brand, products, or tags; next, automated monitoring and manual Routing, companies will be alerted when and how their product is mentioned on social media; Then, automated monitoring and automated routing, which routes customers’ comments to related staffs; the last stage is full integration with contact center with other tools.

Taking Radian 6 for instance, which is established in 2006 and takes the technology lead in social media monitoring market, offers a holistic view of real-time social network and easy to use and suit for various business sizes, and collects mass number of data by variables including topic, sentiment, importance, etc. from social media communities like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs, etc. [9] [25] . With this app, companies’ social media conversations are listened, monitored and analyzed, and also a whole set of workflow and engagement tools, and also the engagement platforms help organizations to contact with consumers; besides, it provides four price plans including Business, Standard, Advanced, and Pro [6] . From the report [15] , large numbers of Radian 6 users are among over majority of the Fortune 100 global brands such as Dell, GE, Kodak, Pepsico, UPS, and so on, large companies like Oracle, Dell and Comcast use Radian 6 as their social media monitoring software, as the data of [9] shows that over 22,000 daily posts related to Dell are tracked by Radian 6. As Radian 6 added features with including Sales and Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter in 2011, which record employees’ respond or follow up with users’ chosen keywords, tag and route events, and this acquisition has also proved the significance of SCRM that consumers take part in preferred social media channels [25] .

In addition, another example is stated by [20] called set up in 2005, which is originally a social network shared similar interests with acquaintances, and it gradually become a transparent feedback network, which companies directly engage and encourage customers to publish product comments to get freebies or experiences.

3.6. Case Study-Symantec

Take the Symantec example as case study is mainly because the company has achieved a great success in social media monitoring of its innovation and take the trend to outclass other organizations by improving responsiveness in the market, as it is reported the customer satisfaction with Symantec software has been increased by 2.6 percent in the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index, which has its first place in security software market over the last two years, while Macfee and IBM take the second and third place respectively [12] [14] .

Generally, Symantec is well known for its counterattack and virus protection software, as the world’s fourth largest independent software company, is a global leader in providing security, storage and system management solutions to secure and manage information against risks of consumers from small to the largest organizations; and its leading position provides competitive advantage to rivals and customers [26] . Since 2008, the company has expanded to support community management, social customer relationship management and additional crowd sourcing. While in the social media communities, according to Jason Rickard, users are easier to communicate with categorization of lurker, guru and troll, which represent regular customer but not in the community; super user make contribution and spend time in the community; and individual community members [18] .

The successful social media monitoring story of Symantec has been published by [5] in his blog: in June 2011, the director of digital strategy at Symantec, Tristan Bishop, who has profound knowledge of obtain customer loyalty by creating a fantastic experience, organized a group of Symantec executives to improve the social media service to create a social media command post using’s Radian 6 technology, which provides configuration tools to filter 99% of the noise. Actually, Tristan has tested with social media technology and promote the idea while the executive team was devoted themselves to improve brand reputation and public relations for a long time before this project implementation, and from November 2011, Tristan start to hire full time staffs in different time zones to classify the listening program employee staffs in nine time zones all over the world.

On 30th May of 2013, a conference has been held at Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco between four brands of Symantec, Cisco, University of Phoenix, and the City and County of San Francisco to discuss the topic of social media listening, Tristan described the monitoring as “pulling diamond out of a big pile of dirt”, and pointed out the importance to organize social media posts logically [23] These social media posts are classified into seven categories: cases (requests for help); rants (insults brand or product); RFEs (suggestions for improvement); raves (praises); leads (purchase intention); queries (general questions); and fraud (unauthorized sales of Symantec products) [5] .

Overall, the success is owed to Tristan’s management ability to set up this social media command center, and make use of a common technology platform. To establish a widely accessible tool, which is the basis of the social listening and response program, Tristan and the social media team connect the sentiment analysis technology to the CRM system. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that collaborative effort of group is crucial to the monitoring process. In specific, cases are handled by the support and development organizations; technical employees in the development teams reply queries; leads are handed over to sales; rants are dealt with the communications team; product marketers reach out to those raving about Symantec; product developers respond to RFEs; and the legal team follows up on cases of fraud [5] . Moreover, to hire social media monitoring analysts around the world, Symantec has strict job requirement of solid understanding of security software and social media posts, excellent communication skills, and spirit of innovation.

Although the success Symantec has achieved in social media monitoring, Tristan and the social media team still plan to expand its program with the technical support. That is, customer records in Salesforce CRM are combined the consumers’ sentiments and interactions gathered in Radian 6, and Salesforce’s Service Cloud is connected with Radian 6 to hand over cases to contact centers with phone calls [5] .

Yet, other companies’ achievement in security software market is also notable that McAfee has witnessed an 85% improvement in call deflection, together with the Symantec success, in the platform of social media, learning from experience that companies have a wise leadership, suitable monitoring tool, and industrial employees can lead to the success of understanding of social customer service by creating superior customer value [27] [28] .

4. Discussion

The prevalence of internet and social media has led to the explosion of online populations. To illustrate this point, a considerable amount of literature have reported the increase with years of social networking site (SNS) users by numbers such as over 500 million active users are on social media sites by 2010. And further describe the current marketplace for worldwide security software companies based on studies of [9] and [13] .

Speaking of managerial practice, it is of great relevance to social media and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) called social CRM. Basically, [3] has presented an idea of social CRM and introduce a multi-agent framework, which designs and develops social CRM systems based on multi-agent approach made a theoretical contribution to social CRM systems, which is possibly encourage the organizations to employ social CRM systems; as [17] argued social media has become the cornerstone of CRM, lots of researchers have demonstrated it is beneficial for organizations build, develop, and maintain social CRM to improve brand’s image, increase sales and customer loyalty, explore new product from customers’ feedback and so on. However, critically speaking, the study of [4] lays the foundation of exploring the contribution of responsiveness to social media online helpfulness, but the result is unbelievable that people recommend a product without actual experience, and it is recommended to use longitudinal research and control the credibility of microblog sources in the future research.

As companies are recognizing the importance of monitoring social media to improve customer relationships, increasing companies have budget plan to promote social media as one of their CRM projects [6] [22] . In addition to settle customers’ problems by monitoring the social media, companies may pay attention to the engagement with consumers, like sharing success stories with customers’ photos of brand’s products [6] .

Then, the article published on [17] has critically discussed the feasibility of automation of social media monitoring. Generally, it is notable that Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian 6 mentioned companies should find the balance between human touch and automation due to some companies make mistake to figure out automated monitoring tools like robots to help with the data; as Carla Hassan, Vice President of marketing of Pepsico, said that organizations should take part in the conversations in order to succeed in the social ecosystem. Next, [17] states the process of information interpretation still needs manual work although the conversation is automated to monitor and analyze. In specific, these manual work include confirm the target of brand’s top product, industry keywords, and competitors; monitor customer response with flag items; and analyze the sentiment of clients. The trend for Social CRM is promising with advanced monitoring tools despite the job is time-consuming; Furthermore, companies should have an objective and comprehensive evaluation of social media audience influence to change strategies of their own [6] .

Since many companies are seeking easier monitoring ways, a number of studies have suggested several monitoring has been used by companies including social media command centers, microblog, and online brand forums [9] [4] [20] . As [20] demonstrates the way to create brand-specific online community like Facebook or Twitter to control the rules, terms, and regulations of their own. Specifically with Twitter, monitor existing hashtags or create your own hashtags where you direct people to make comments about you [9] .

Talking about choosing a tools for companies, [6] recommend for companies have cost consideration when choose social media monitoring tools to start with free platforms like Google Alerts with basic needs, and mix free and paid tools with multiple channels to serve different needs. Although free apps provide lots of values, companies should be aware of when business grow and needs increase, the limitations and disadvantages of losing the track of new social network; beyond that, time, and self-service or outsourced is worth considering is of great importance, as Hernandez has a tool judgment criteria called Social Media Maturity Model [22] while [9] identifies four progressive steps in organizations social media implementation.

Multiples of skills are suggested to improve better social media monitoring and take the full advantage of tools. Specifically, to differentiate social media engagement tools with monitoring tools that the former one only assesses the performance instead of content related to the brand [6]; and search the terms not only limited to companies names, it is crucial to use the right way to search with other terms that is relevant to product and industry; next, evaluate the influence of specific customer and prioritize by the number of followers of social media networking like Facebook and Twitter; and standards of response times and type of responses should be formulated clearly by companies because a slow response has more devastating damage than any others; and private issues are tend to deal with other off-line customer service channels such as phone, email, etc.; then, [4] have made suggestions for marketers to think over the enough resources to engage with customers on microblog because the study indicates that companies need to pay attention to consumers’ stress signs instead of simple acknowledgement.

Whereas, integrating consumers’ social media data with CRM information is full of challenges for organizations. Few studies have described the social media monitoring job like [1] . As a whole, social media monitoring (SMM) is a collaborative work led by the leadership investment, in addition to hire efficient data analysts, it is cost-effective to recruit some part-time interns or summer associates; Companies have bottom lines as engagement in social media that staffs should be trained to abide by the organization’s policies, with the help of monitoring tools, which record consumers issues and guarantee the quick response [1] . Furthermore, it is imperative to combine the monitoring results and bring out some reports include sentiment content, competitor analyses [6] . It has been proved by the case of Symantec that collaborative effort of group is the key to success in social media monitoring job, in addition, the logical workflow with the innovative team leader and of industrious employees is also contributed to the high customer satisfaction of Symantec.

Several critical concerns about social media monitoring are referred by [6] as Sussin do not think the social media monitoring with CRM as a beneficial project due to the manual work, limited budget and resources of some companies; and Zach Hofer-Shall, social intelligence analyst at Forrester Research states most companies are lack of active monitoring posts happened before because of separate strategy, time, employee and technology; Also, with the publicly social media sites, advertisers are recommended to target customers by their buying behavior and preference, or use personalized offers based on social data [6]; moreover, [1] claims increasing communication on social media results in the unclear boundary between business and private conversation.

Last not the least, the overall trend has been concludes by [9] , as English takes 40% of worldwide social media posts, in the future, monitoring will extend to other languages due to increasingly non-English speaking consumers use social media as customer service, ask questions in communities and complain issues or promote products.

Overall, social media cannot replace other methods but just offer one more to marketers [6] , and companies should have comprehensive and objective attitude to judge underlying resources of the social media content [1] , as a result social CRM is not a substitute of traditional CRM, social CRM tend to improve as organization performance [29] .

5. Conclusions

The rise of social media brings about the role transformation of online customers from passive users to active participants in the businesses; it made strong connection between companies and consumers for they join online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to share information and opinions about the products or brands.

Significant impacts on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have aroused concerns for organizations such as increase loyalty, promote brand’s image, and boost sales and so on. Since social CRM is one of new marketing approaches which allows companies to have real-time and two-way conversation with customers, firms are realizing the necessity to monitoring social media to improve CRM.

Yet, fewer companies have mastered these tools well and increasing companies have monitoring plans. Therefore, marketers are finding ways to effectively monitor social media including social media command centers, microblog, and online brand forums; with the assistance of tools to collect relevant conversations and recognize customers’ insights as well as protect reputation of companies, also researchers have made recommendations that several tools with cost-effective and Hernandez’s tool judgment criteria called Social Media Maturity Model and four progressive steps in organizations social media implementation [9] .

Indeed, combining social media with CRM is challenging for organizations, implications for marketers are significant and process of social media monitoring is fully described from the successful case of Symantec, which took a lead in security software market in the past two years. With an innovative leader, industrial staffs, and logical workflow, the most important is to choose a suitable tool for companies to implement.

As a whole, social media offers one more method to get closer to customers to build, maintain and improve CRM for organizations, to keep a considerable and comprehensive attitude in the implementation of social media system, and to strive for better performance in this competitive market.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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