Salesforce.com manages customer relationship information—like sales, leads, customer service, and more—for nearly 100,000 businesses. Now by acquiring social media monitoring firm Radian6 in a whopping $326 million deal, Salesforce has geared up to offer businesses the ability to listen to what you're saying on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs ... and wherever else you're having online conversations.
The next time you call a support hotline because your vacuum isn't working? Salesforce software might already know you're pissed—they'll be displaying your "THIS THING SUCKS! OR SHOULD I SAY, BLOWS!" Twitter meltdown to the person on the other end of the phone. Maybe they'll also know from your Facebook account that you have two fur-shedding dogs. And from that derogatory review you left on an Amazon page last month, they might know you're not interested in their main competition.
Brave new world, indeed.
Corporations have been working hard to figure out where social media fits in their enterprise strategies, and this move from Salesforce is an ambitious step towards merging tweets and big business.
What does it mean to integrate social media monitoring with customer information? Well, the mind boggles, really. Companies can listen to what you're saying about their brand and adjust their marketing as a result. They can join conversations and influence what you're thinking.
In an ideal scenario, they can improve products, reach out and offer service, and generally work smarter to make you a happier, more satisfied customer.
Salesforce has a software tool called Chatter that's used by sales teams to track leads and deals—sort of an internal salesperson's social media platform. The Radian6 acquisition means Chatter "will no longer just contain the activity happening within the walls of a company, but will be filled with real-time insights from fans on Facebook pages, followers on Twitter, comments on blog posts, and more."
Really interesting stuff, wouldn't you say? Another reason to think about your digital footprint, and what you're willing to have tracked. Because the truth is, the people you're talking to aren't the only ones listening.
What's your gut reaction to the Salesforce deal? Do you feel like this is a good move for consumers, or a creepy one?
Image via Flickr/dotbenjamin