Deep dive: Analysing a year in the social stream — Australia’s most influential CRM voices revealed

Welcome to Which-50’s first Deepdive Report — a joint initiative between KINSHIP digital and Which-50 in which we track the social chatter on major trends in the digital marketplace to reveal the key voices driving industry debate.

CRM and associated systems such as data analytics and marketing technology are growing in importance and visibility as customer relationships become increasingly digitised.

Accelerating mergers and acquisitions activity, and the ever larger paydays experienced by companies selling out to market leaders like Oracle and Salesforce.com, are further evidence of the trend. However, for all the talk of social media monitoring and the need to initiate and engage customers through all the available social channels, when you actually monitor and investigate the social chatter, you find some the biggest proponents of CRM are actually missing from the conversation.

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(Australia’s three most influential CRM Tweeters)

In partnership with KINSHIP digital, Which-50 analysed a year’s worth of public data flows from sources such as Twitter, blogs, forums and news services, to identify the key influencers and amplifiers in the market. The period covered was mid-October 2012 to mid-October 2013.

We discovered that there is a large CRM-based conversation happening across social media in Australia, but that the main vendors are not participating in it — nor even particularly featuring in discussions — with one exception: Microsoft.

Over a twelve-month period we uncovered 140,000 declared Australian mentions of the CRM-related search terms which we estimate represent about 60 to 80 per cent of the total conversation.

Where’s the chatter?

Not surprisingly, Twitter is the largest contributor to the conversation, accounting for 69 per cent of the 140,000 mentions we found. News sites came second with 25 per cent of the mentions, while blogs and forums picked up four and three percent respectively.

While it’s not technically right to say that any one Tweeter is more influential than any particular blogger based on these data (it’s a matter of apples and oranges) we can certainly identify the key CRM voices in each channel.

For instance, the five Twitter accounts with the highest authority in our CRM-related survey are (in descending order):

  • @thedrum — the Twitter account of a media and marketing magazine of the same name;
  • @ZDNet — likewise a specialist publication account;
  • @JeffBullas — an individual blogger;
  • @iggypintado — another individual;
  • and finally @Sourcebottle — a site that links journalists and bloggers to sources.

The first three recorded authority scores of 10 out of 10. (@Internetsummit7 also scored highly but as that account has been suspended in Twitter we have removed it from the list.) It’s also worth noting that only Bullas and Pintado are exclusively Australian voices — the rest range across several geographies.

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(Image: CRM social chatter word cloud. Source: KINSHIP digital)

Authority is not simply a matter of number of followers, either. For example, @thedrum has half as many followers as @ZDnet and @JeffBullas, but it is catapulted into first place by the authority of its followers.

Another way to slice the data is to base it on Twitter bios. In other words, when you marry a Twitter user’s authority to how they have self-disclosed on their profile (in this case, do they include CRM-related terms), you identify five more people who might be worth inviting to your next CRM round table.

The top five influencers based on Twitter bio and authority are:

Unlike the first list, these are all authentic Australian-based sources commenting on CRM.

Bloggers and news sites

Blogs are rated on a few attributes, including (obviously) the topic, but also the number of links in and out of the blog, along with the number of posts both in aggregation and on topic, and of course the amount of traffic to the site. The results are not necessarily what you might anticipate, which of course is where the fun begins.

Australia’s most influential CRM bloggers and sites in the last 12 months were:

99 Designs originally made the list but was excluded based on an analysis of the content — most CRM references were for companies who sold CRM services and gave testimonials in 99Designs’s customer blog.

Jeff Bullas gets a second gong. Not only is he one of the most influential Tweeters on the topic, but his blog is eighth in the top ten, just ahead of tech site itnews.com.au.

Vendors

Across blogs, forums, news sites and Twitter, Microsoft is the most-discussed vendor. Oracle tends to do relatively better on news sites, while Salesforce.com is more popular with the bloggers. But on forums and on Twitter neither Oracle nor Salesforce.com rates highly enough to make an impression on Microsoft’s lead, while all the rest of the CRM vendor community is lost in the statistical white noise.

About the authors: Mike Green is the CEO of KINSHIP digital. Andrew Birmingham is the editor and publisher of Which-50

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