The explosive growth of social media has a huge impact on how we find, interact with and treat customers, partners and even employees. How does this affect MDM and how do systems and processes incorporate or influence social media into their MDM processes?
There are two widely opposing schools of thought.
One believes that social media is a purely private matter and should be completely kept out of the corporate world and the other sees social media as fair game and tries to leverage social media for unsolicited marketing efforts. There is somewhere between the way social media should and should be used as leverage.
First, it’s not completely private and only covers “news” like what you had for dinner or the fact that you “like” Justin Bieber. It is also a medium used for opinions, news, professional and business development. It is another form of communication like email address, blog, phone and postal mail and can be used for purely professional, business and private matters. Viewed purely as a marketing opportunity, 2011 should see social media as a way to connect with customers, potential customers, suppliers or other collaborative partners.
A challenge for many MDM applications is to classify the different roles played by different social media participants or groups, such as Google Circles or LinkedIn Groups. The ability to track such groups, participants and how to use those groups should be re-identified as social MDM. Different participants are looking for different information and not everything a company publishes. Organizations must not only manage, categorize and brand external entities and identities, but also their social media participants.
Just as individuals and organizations have a shared official mail ID (firstname.lastname@example.org), corporate email IDs, individual and organizations have social media identities. Different participants have different motives and roles. An appropriate social MDM strategy revolves around managing both internal identities/roles as well as external identities. The problem with the current state of social media is that filtering/categorizing messages is of limited use due to the different needs of different participants.
If you buy or use a particular product,
You may be interested in product updates, more training materials, etc. If you’re looking to rate different vendors for a product or service, you might be looking for feature descriptions. On the other hand, if you are a shareholder, you are looking for important news or updates on financial results. Companies should therefore improve internal role differentiation (ie separate Twitter accounts based on purpose) to better target social media participants. It’s nice to be able to filter Twitter by what kind of news you’re interested in (maybe this will come in the future). Existing information overload, especially if you follow or friend a lot of people, can feel unwanted and make it easy to lose track of certain things you really care about.
If you are trying to send out spam to sell more products you will fail your social media strategy.
If you can differentiate between your participants and what they are really looking for, you can be successful with your social media strategy.
How does all this affect MDM? Social MDM is still in its infancy and how to incorporate it into your MDM strategy is still an ongoing and trial-and-failure process, but here are some key components to making Social MDM successful:
(1) Used for sentiment analysis – not critical for MDM-based meta-management.
(ii) Include mechanisms to capture participants in social media/your partners’ role relationships (customers, stakeholders, suppliers, competitors).
(3) precise, unambiguous identification methods for each participating group (existing customers, supplier customers, potential customers, suppliers, potential employees, friends/followers of those relationships);
and (iv) track interests and attitudes within social groups and include these groups as entities in your MDM activities and ensure appropriate communication is used when contacting such groups.
(5) Be open and clear about your intent regarding the information you wish to communicate.
(6) Avoid at all costs aggressive marketing techniques that can quickly repel and alienate new potential customers as well as existing customers.
(vii) Leverage identity management processes and subscription strategies rather than extensive analytics tools to connect to your MDM systems because these processes are often unreliable and