Many business leaders are still concerned about interacting with customers or prospects in Twitter (and other social utilities) because they are unsure whether the social utilities will survive long enough to justify the investment required, and they don’t want to build a bunch of interaction data that could evaporate when Twitter (or other social utilities) go away (potentially). That concern is a mistake, and here’s why.
Whether Twitter survives or not, it is a rich source of permission-based customer data that you should be gathering and incorporating into your CRM system and customer records today. If Twitter dies, and something else evolves, it won’t matter as long as you have your own permission-based data.
If you fail to store the interaction data in your own CRM system, then, yes, that would be a big mistake. But if you get all of the interaction data into your CRM system, then you will build a valuable asset that you can leverage beyond Twitter or any other social utility — whether they survive or not.
If your social media team is cutting and pasting between social media tools, then you’re leaving all that data for someone else to own, and your ability to flex as this highly dynamic environment changes will be severely handicapped.
The trick, of course, is finding a way to automate integration between the social utilities and your CRM system. For tips on making that happen, please see my earlier posts here and here where I list technologies and vendors that can help you.