Facebook and Google+ Increase CRM Capabilities for Brands

December 22, 2011

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Facebook and Google+ have unveiled significant new capabilities to enhance brand-to-consumer communications and page management. Facebook's newest trial feature (trialed in Asia only) now allows brands to send and receive private messages to and from fans on their brand pages.  Facebook users must initiate contact with page administrators first, but once complete, the exchange is open to both parties. Though the development is likely to lead to improved customer service and reduction of off-topic Facebook comments, a possible downfall may be a negative effect on a page's EdgeRank if a large number of comments begin shifting from the brand page's Wall to the brand's inbox.

Meanwhile, Google+ now allows businesses to assign up to 50 named managers as administrators for a brand page.  The new feature resolves a previous Google+ limitation where only one member of a social media team could post to a brand's Google+ page.  In addition, a new notification flow streams all page activity to ensure managers are well aware of and involved in conversations on their brand page in real-time. The flow includes an aggregated count of users who have engaged with the brand page, either by +1'ing it or by adding it to a circle, providing an at-a-glance summary of page interactions.

FH Perspective: What do these developments mean for our clients? It's great to see Facebook and Google listening to feedback from the community and making improvements to communication channels between brands and their fans. In the case of Facebook, the private messaging feature will allow our clients the opportunity to connect with their customers on an individual basis and provide a positive service experience within Facebook, which in turn should reinforce customers' perceptions of the brand and build brand loyalty. The feature also offers a more private means for managing crises and customer support inquiries – a huge benefit over current features.

Google+'s introduction of the new notification flow will help Google+ administrators keep their fingers on the pulse of their page activity, conversations generated, and all of the interactions surrounding their brand page. Such features enable clients to stay abreast of consumer interactions, to more quickly respond with fresh and relevant content.

Many more enhancements are expected from both Facebook and Google+ in the coming year and we anticipate these developments will help brands create a more robust user experience to win over the “social” hearts and minds of customers.

 What are your thoughts on these developments? How do you think they will impact the future of brand-to-consumer interaction/CRM?