social media expert interviewWelcome to Social Media Examiner TV with your host Mari Smith. In this episode, Mari examines Facebook Questions and reveals if it’s a game changer for businesses.

Plus, she looks at the Wibiya social toolbar and how it can create social buzz for your business.  Then Mari shares insights into three social CRM tools and how they can have a big impact on your business networking.

Share your feedback, see the show notes and discover how you can be part of a future show below!

Can You Get More Visibility With Facebook Questions?

You may be familiar with LinkedIn Answers and benefit from it already.  Now Facebook has joined the party.  You can ask and answer any questions using Facebook Questions (rollout may not have hit all users yet).  Facebook has integrated the Questions feature right into the publisher.

Now when you go to write on the wall, you have to literally click “Write on wall,” whether it’s a profile, group event or Fan page.  Right next to that, it says “Ask Question.”

However, there are clear downsides to using Facebook Questions.  For example, if a fan on your Facebook page clicks on “Ask Question,” and proceeds to enter a question, he or she will actually be taken away from your Fan page and over to the Facebook Question section, moving the person away from your own Fan page.  Watch the video to find out if Mari thinks Facebook Questions is a game changer for businesses and her concerns about the new feature.

Wibiya Social Toolbar

The Wibiya social toolbar is a social media enhancement that adds a little bar across the bottom of your website or blog. You can see it in action on this very page below.

The reason why you want to have Wibiya on your site is because the visitors coming to your site can interact, do all of their social media chit-chatting and posting without leaving your site. The Wibiya social toolbar integrates fully with all of the different social network sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and YouTube.

When people click on the Twitter or Facebook link on the bottom of the toolbar on your site, they can actually see your updates, interact, reply to you and see the whole stream of all of the tweets about that page or post. Watch the Wibiya social toolbar in action in the video and to discover how it might benefit your site.

Social CRM: The Secret to Building a Strong Network

Mari introduces three social customer relationship management (CRM) applications that add social media insight to your email inbox. These tools pull information from all kinds of social profiles like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, right into each of your email contacts.

Thus, you have expanded information about each of your contacts that can help you build better relationships.  The three tools Mari reviews are Rapportive, Gist and Xobni.

Check out these social CRM tools, add one to your inbox and see if it works for you. Watch the video to hear which tool is Mari’s favorite and how they differ.

Want to be on our show?

In future episodes, we plan on answering your questions. If you leave us a video response on YouTube or upload a video question to our Facebook page, we may just put your video into one of our future episodes. Go here to leave a video response on YouTube or here for our Facebook page. Alternatively you can leave a question in the comments box below.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode of Social Media Examiner TV, make sure to tweet about it (use hashtag #SMEtv), share it on Facebook or even embed this episode on your blog.

We want to hear from you! Do you use Facebook Questions, Wibiya or social CRM applications? If so, what has been your experience?  Leave us a comment below. Also let us know what you’d like to see in future episodes.

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  • Facebook Questions, Wibiya & Social CRM: Social Media Examiner TV – awesome stuff as always guys…great job @MariSmith

    Hey Mike, I could be wrong about this but I thought DisqUs Comment system had its own video-response option (tho it has to be turned on). It might be easier for people to video-respond all within SMExaminer …(versus going to another site)….just a thought 🙂

  • Hey Dino,

    They used to have a video option, now it is just a media option. Turned it on. Let me know if you see an option to do video

  • I dont see it but thats because there is a caveat (I just re-remembered 🙂 DisqUs has a partnership with Seesmic so you would have to use Seesmic to leave a video response. Not as sweet as I thought but still..its an option 🙂

  • Mari, you are always my Go-To person for whats new in Social Media! Great show! I have been wondering how to get the toolbar I see on the Social Media Examiner site for a few weeks and then miraculously you give the answer. Do you read minds? LOL
    I love your “branded” blazer as well. Was it special made or did you just luck up and find it? It really adds to the experience for me.
    Lauren McMullen

  • Also, Do you recommend the free Wibiya app OK or should we invest in one of the paid solutions?
    Lauren McMullen

  • Hi Lauren – The advantage to the pro solution is you can do custom stuff (like your logo) and more. – Mike

  • Guest

    Just experienced my first Social Media Examiner TV episode and loved it! Very informative and “snackable.” One question though, does anyone know of an application that syncs all social media profiles into the signature of your emails? I heard about this type of application once but would like to review a couple options- similar to the review Mari Smith gave regarding Social CRMs.

    Many Thanks!
    Ryan Mickley

  • I’m loving SMETV! Great concept, Mike. And, Mari does an excellent job of presenting and giving her point of view for the latest social media application. I especially loved the Wibiya tool bar and social CRM examples.

  • Great topics!

    I love the Wibiya toolbar — I just started using it with some clients and they seem to really enjoy the levels of interactivity it brings to their sites. From an analytics perspective, I’m seeing the average time on site rise considerably, as well as the FB likes, shares and new feed subscribers.

  • Glad you liked it Ryan

  • Thanks for the positive feedback Lynn

  • Hi Mari.

    Also been looking for a while to install wibia. I think you just convinced me.

    By the way Facebook Questions is not rolled out to everyone yet. So have to wait and see how it turn out. LinkedIn Answers is a great business tool.

    The CRM was really valuable info. Have to really check that out.

    Great info as usual Mari..

    Cheers.. Are

  • Isabel

    I am big fan of your site! Your site keeps me up to date with the latest in social media.

    Mari mentioned a few sites where visitors can ask questions. I am aware of Yahoo Answers, Linked In Answers, Facebook, but she mentioned two others that I am not familiar with. Can you share a few others?

  • Dina

    I’m a big fan of your site! And love your new TV series with Mari!

  • wow – you explored all my favorite things! I have the wibiya toolbar on my blog – love it – and I really enjoy Rapportive especially since we can now edit it!! And I really like how it tells me how many people have viewed it. Gist and NutshellMail seem to be the same for me – I’m trying out both to see the differences. I really like your format – keep them coming!

  • Great show. Having fun watching these! I have had the Wibya toolbar for awhile and love it. I get compliments on it every day. Very easy to install and a must have in my opinion for any blog or website. I haven’t had time to play w/the social crm tools. I have Outlooks 2010 and know it has has some built in functionality that I actually turned off. Mari, you are lucky as I think you use Gmail, correct? It looks like it’s the most integrated and clean? I am really lkg fwd to the Facebook Success Summit!Have a fab weekend!

  • Great information as usual! I’m eager to try the new Facebook Question section when it becomes available to me. The wibiya toolbar has been a great asset to my website, and I plan to investigate the social CRMs as soon as time permits.

    In the meantime, I plan to forward this Social Media Examiner TV video to a client who is just building a Facebook page and launching her website. Thanks, Mari!

  • Another helpful video! Thanks Mari (and the Social Media Examiner team 🙂

    Thought I’d add BatchBook to the list of Social CRM packages worth checking out. It seems to be very comprehensive. We’re about to start using it at work, so it’s fresh on my mind 🙂

    Also, BatchBook is integrated with MailChimp, FreshBooks, Rapportive, Flowtown, Zendesk, Tungle, Google Contacts and Shoeboxed.
    Of those, Flowtown is another service we’re going to be using, and, although it’s not a Social CRM package, it is similar to Gist.

    Hope this is of some help to someone.

  • I’m really having trouble trying to figure out how any discussion of Social CRM can take place without a discussion of CRM. Social CRM is not a new thing, it’s an evolution of CRM meaning that you have to have CRM before anything can become “social.” I suppose this really depends on the audience you are trying to reach but there are countless of CRM failures that have been documented and in my opinion focusing on technology is not the right way to go about anything. What about the processes and the people, the customer record, the data integrations, customer profiles, transaction history? Where is all of this in the video? What you are talking about are simply tools that provide more information about people. I’m starting to really understand the frustration that CRMers are having with social media folks who simply use the term “social CRM” to get attention and latch onto a broader already well defined market. I don’t mean for this to sound harsh but I just don’t see anything CRM related about anything that was mentioned here.

    It’s great to make people aware of new tools and technologies and what you profiled about is great for individuals and perhaps very small organizations but I think you are missing the most crucial part of “social crm”…. CRM.

  • Hi there Jacob – many thanks for weighing in with your thoughts. Hm, while I can certainly understand your POV, I’m not entirely clear why “CRMers” as you call them would be frustrated with this new aspect of socializing CRM systems. On researching tools like Rapportive, Gist and Xobni, to me, they bring to life an “everyday” email inbox and I think they are a genius invention. What would you call these tools, then, if not Social CRMs? I’m certainly open to expanding this topic/conversation. I’d gotten the term “social CRM” from a variety of sources that have reviewed these inbox tools.

  • Hey Jacob,

    Thanks for your comment. As you might guess, our show is simply designed to introduce what we think are emerging social media trends. We leave comprehensive reviews of different topics to our articles, of which we have not yet covered social CRM tools.

  • CRM is essentially a large component of what powers businesses, everything from customer segmentation, to back end processes, to business rules, to contact and customer history. CRM is more than just a technology toolset it’s about the strategy, processes, and culture that is in place which will allow you to build these customer relationships. Say you’re a large organization that deploys something like Salesforce (a traditional CRM tool), now what? So you have thousands of employees which now have access to this tool…so? Granted the semantics don’t really matter you can call it anything you want really, the touchy subject is that CRM has been around for many many years and when people talk about “social CRM” without discussing CRM as the foundation from which this has been created from it’s a bit of a slap in the face.

    Might be a poor analogy BUT:
    Say you you’re a professional construction worker that has been working in the industry for 20+ years and you’ve built everything from the foundation to the roof. Now one day these “roofing” experts show up and start talking about how they can build the whole house for you because they are “roofing” pros. It takes for granted the work that needs to go into building the foundation, the infrastructure, the process, and the design of the entire house before even getting to the roof.

    I agree, the tools you mentioned are great and I actually use Rapportive and am quite a fan.

    The problem is that even vendors are struggling with identifying and branding themselves, “social CRM” has been the buzzword as of late so it’s not shocker that the same companies which used to be “social media” are now offering the exact same products but under the “social CRM” umbrella. There has been quit a bit of research, work, theory, explanation, etc done on Social CRM which many people seem to ignore. I think before jumping on the “term” bandwagon it’s best to research and understand the topics from more than just a social standpoint.

    Social CRM is nothing without CRM.

  • Hi Mike,

    There’s a very active Social CRM community comprised of some of the world’s top CRM guys. I think you will find that the overall consensus is that there is no such thing as a “social CRM tool” (yet). Just because a vendor calls themselves something doesn’t mean that that is what they are. We have to remember that vendors and “tools” are in this to make a buck and if they have to call themselves “social woopdiedoos” to sell more of their tools, then they will. Folks such as Esteban Kolsky, Mitch Lieberman, Paul Greenberg, Mike Boysen, Prem Kumar, Michael Fauscette, and many many others spend a lot of time in this playground.

    I strongly feel that when a medium with a large audience such as yours presents a message or shares content, that there should be some responsibility put into doing research into the various topics or key areas discussed, or perhaps bringing in folks to write guest posts that have a certain expertise. In this case around CRM/Social CRM

    Just my 2 cents and I’m happy to help.

  • Mari –

    Thanks for the video and Jacob, thanks for your thoughts — I agree that this product area is both an extension of existing CRM capabilities, and something new as well.

    Gist keeps you better informed with less effort by giving you a full view of your professional network in one place bringing together information from across the web for all your contacts giving you the right information at the right moment to get a meeting, deliver an amazing pitch, or just find a better way to make a connection.

    Today, we think of Gist as a personal productivity tool — it allows you to engage with all of the people in all of your networks whether you’re using the web, an email client like Gmail or Outlook, or on your iPhone or Android smartphone — but it shares a lot of common features with CRMs.

    When you combine the complete business profile of a person built by Gist with the existing CRM workflow you might get from Salesforce or another application, you gain a really rich picture of the customer who’s “calling” — and gain insight into that person that you can’t get from CRM. The product works on the email or phone level (as Mari mentions). Whether you are reading an email from someone for the first time or trying to find their picture so you can see what they look like at the coffee shop, you can engage with them, listen/read what they’re saying, and amplify their message.

    I’d be happy to elaborate more, discuss what Gist can do, or answer any questions about Gist.


    Greg Meyer
    Customer Experience Manager, Gist

  • Dianan4839

    As usual, your information was very helpful. Thank you.


    I somehow landed on your site and have a page of notes. The tidbits I’ve gotten so far are small, tasty and consumable – perfect for a newbie like me. I will surely be back for more SME-TV!

  • Sroth

    Awesome @marismith. Wibiya s just what I needed for my website redo.

  • While researching new topics to add to my courses this fall on the subject of Internet Strategies, I find this! Thanks for providing interesting timely topics that I can pass on to eager students who own small businesses and also incorporate with my web clients. LOVE IT!

  • Thanks so much!! This is all so confusing for me, but this video was very informative.

  • This was terrific. You do a great job with these shows. Thank you. I’m off to look into installing Wibya and one of the social CRM tools.

  • Betsy of Belly Feathers

    Very helpful video…looking forward to trying Wibiya and Rapportive.

  • MK

    It would be nice to have the segments “chaptered” so I could watch 2-3 minutes of the topic I am interested in instead of trying to fast forward.

  • MK, any idea how that can be done in YouTube? Never seen anything like that…

  • Michelle

    When I first saw a page with a bar like wibiya, I found it kind of irritating. The one on this page isn’t too bad I guess but has anyone had negative feedback from their blog readers about adding such a bar? Has it really made a big change in the sharing of their content?

  • Michelle, we have not had any neg. feedback here

  • Sure I love the toolbar but it would be nice if the bar would display the same amount of people who liked your page as your facebook iframe does. Your bar says 193 but your facebook snip says 22,971. It would be nice if wibiya could get access to those stats to show correctly.

  • It is such an fascinating thing getting this info of yours. I was interested with the subject about as well because the flow of the story. Keep up doing this. contact management sales software