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Facebook: The Greatest CRM Platform in the World?


Posted by on October 6, 2010

Ok, so it’s not exactly a fully fledged CRM system (yet) but when you compare the information you have on a client or lead in Salesforce with the information that Facebook has on the same person the difference and quality of information is mind-boggling.  Not only that but Facebook permeates across the online world like an out of control growing snowball.  Let’s also not forget the mobile dominance that Facebook has, it’s hard to find someone with a smartphone that doesn’t have the Facebook app installed.

Of course Facebook lacks many CRM features such as sales and marketing automation, workflows, pipeline management, and a lot of other things.  However, Facebook as an information source is in my opinion by far the most accurate and comprehensive personal database repository that exists and that’s probably what it’s going to stay as.  Facebook also allows for a unique customer interaction on both an individual and company level (connect with employees at Amazon or fan Amazon on their Facebook page) that also provides content and context for those interactions in a bi-directional way.  You wouldn’t be able to use Facebook instead of something such as a Salesforce but it’s always interesting to think about the “what if you could” scenario.  Imagine Facebook as it stands but built with a complete sales and marketing automation system complete with workflows, pipeline management, forecasting, and everything else a good CRM system offers you.

One of the interesting things I keep thinking about is somehow hacking the “like” button that Facebook allows you to put on any webpage and having it trigger some sort of a workflow in a CRM system when someone clicks on it.  Let’s say someone is interested in a product or service that you have to offer, or perhaps they want to join a webinar you are hosting.  I think it would be interesting if someone were able to click one button that automatically populates form fields with information from that person’s Facebook profile that then gets inputted into Salesforce (or something like it) which triggers an email confirmation for the event or perhaps emails recommended meeting times.

I don’t think it’s ever going to happen and we’re already seeing vendors integrate social data into their CRM products but hey, a guy can dream right?  I think the possibilities for Facebook as a CRM system can go on and on but I’m curious what you think about this.  Any ideas or thoughts?

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  • http://elevenfourteen.com 1114organic

    Facebook as a backend “data” database and then attaching a front end gui and workflow engine to it? Its a great idea! I don't get too deep into code but from what I understand their API's are very good so the concept isn't out of the question. Using facebook as your database and then running your code from Azure would be a very cool project and probably save a company lots of money – no data center cost, no need for high end DBAs and people just voluntarily give you data.

    We – Engage2day.com – are working on a new project to pull social media into MSCRM. To us and our client it seems like a better business app since their CSRs are already in MSCRM to have that valuable Social data in there as well.

    • http://walteradamson.com Walter Adamson

      I'm a fan of Jacob's thinking here, and also would be keen to know more about what your project is about – like your website by the way. Walter @g2m

      • http://elevenfourteen.com 1114organic

        Hey Walter, We are still early on and under NDA's etc. We will tweet, blog, facebook, tell everyone once it done. Stay tuned for the annoncement on our blog. Thank you for th ecompliment on the website. I'm a big fan of Jacob's – regular morning reading!

  • http://twitter.com/ian_goodall Ian

    Surely the biggest problem with your 'like' idea is that privacy, especially if someone accidentally checks the button. What might happen in the future is a sort of 'Facebook browser', where people view websites and browse through their Facebook login which would allow them to populate forms across websites with data from their profiles.

  • Princeejaz

    oh realy nice

  • http://www.facebook.com/dllatass Daniel Llatas Spiers

    nice post !! I realized about this today and it became into my thesis topic