Community relationship management and social media
Despite the growth in social media, managers are still unclear as to how it can be used to benefit their organisations. Part of the problem stems from confusing customers with online community members through the popularisation of the term ‘social customer relationship management’ (social CRM). This term is a misnomer because online community members are not necessarily customers of the organisation. A better term is community relationship management (that is, CoRM) because it more accurately reflects what people do in online communities – connect, converse, create and collaborate. Organisations can take advantage of these predispositions by using marketing research and public relations, nurturing opinion leaders or advocates, placing and creating advertisements, developing new products, lowering the cost-to-serve, building brand loyalty and sales, and amplifying buzz and visibility for the organisation.