When does Social CRM become a form of commercial stalking?

Social connections quickly become overwhelming, if not creepy, once personal links surface too often from unexpected directions.

I was reminded today of the invisible line separating helpful social connection and frustrating personal intrusion when reading this article about the demise of Facebook popularity:

My mother made a similar comment this week, asking why Facebook persisted in asking her to “friend” people she does not know, or knows only remotely through third parties.  She asked why Facebook does not “get” these suggestions are not valued and persists in sending them to her.

My teenage daughter says her friends are also turning away from Facebook for similar reasons.

Facebook has become “in your face” and therefore an annoyance.

Digital consumers are savvy enough to realise the only reason Facebook has any value at all is because they use the site.  In that sense they are working for zero wages.

Users of free platforms like Facebook can leave far more quickly than they arrived.  As the utility of the platform decreases and frustration increases a tipping point will get crossed – after all “delete my account” is only one click away.

Social CRM in a commercial sense worries me in a similar way.  I understand the value in being informed before making a sales call, and in being genuinely interested in a customer beyond their value as a purchaser of products.  However there is a fine line between subtle preparation before a sales call and commercial stalking.

The rule defining this fine line is not written down but it is a under the control of your customers.

Once your customers say “stop stalking me” Social CRM becomes an impediment to success rather than an aid to effective selling.

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