// Leveraging social media optimally
As an example of social media’s disruptive potential and the adaptation required to succeed, Malthouse et al. (2013) introduce the concept of the ‘social CRM house’ (Figure 1).
Malthouse et al’s (2013) consider traditional CRM to be a composite of tools and strategies related to acquisition, maintenance and termination of customers. The authors’ key insight is that firms can set the level of social media engagement with customers based on the firms’ comfort levels. Levels of engagement (item 1) can be dialled up as the firms’ comfort with the use of social media increases. The firm’s social CRM strategy (item 2) can be set based on this comfort level. Social media data and IT applications (items 3 and 4) provide the raw material and the analysis tools for strategy implementation. Equipping the company’s employees to implement the strategy (item 5) and building adequate monitoring mechanisms (item 6) complete the social CRM house.
Huotari et al. (2015) offer additional pointers on leveraging social media for B2B companies. They suggest that companies should actively differentiate between users involved in content creation on social media. The strategies for encouraging creation of desirable social media content needs to be different for internal users (those on the payroll of the firm) and external users (all others). For example, employees could be directly trained and encouraged to create desirable social media content. On the other hand, external users could be indirectly influenced to create desirable social media content through marketing activities aimed at content creation.