Friday, 23 April 2010

Can social networks replace expensive in house systems?

With professional social networks such as LinkedIn growing in popularity, is there a need for an expensive in-house CRM system? Do you need to build alumni sites or could you just utilise social networking to reach your alumni?

Although the use of systems such as LinkedIn has grown, not just as a way of contacting people but with the discussion groups that really seem to work, they are still not comprehensive.

Internal systems are carefully constructed with quality and accuracy in mind, on social networks the contacts create and maintain their own data, which can mean incomplete and missing information. Plus the fact that many people will not even be on the system.

Jason Plant has started a discussion on whether LinkedIn can replace InterAction, with some interesting comments.

With relation to Alumni systems, social media can play quite a helpful part in providing benefits to alumni, but again it does not allow the organisation to add information, only the individual.

Social networks may have valuable contributions to play, but internal systems still appear to be needed; to formalise the data and gain full business benefit.

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