As a small business owner, you have to make tough decisions every day. There are so many different resources available to help you grow your business and serve customers better. Social media can be one of those resources—it’s up to you whether or not it will be!
In this guide, we review the aspects of Social Media For Crm, social crm vs traditional crm, best crm with social media integration, and how can social media be used as a channel for crm.
Social Media For Crm
Small businesses are often hesitant to use social media for CRM because they think that it’s too expensive or time-consuming. However, some of the benefits of using social media include:
There are many reasons for small businesses to use social media for CRM:
There are many reasons why small businesses should be using social media for CRM.
- Social media is widely used. A recent Pew Research Center report found that 71% of U.S. adults use Facebook and 45% use Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. In fact, nearly half of all internet users in the U.S.—some 200 million people—have used a social network in the last month alone (48%).
- Social media can help you reach your audience. Most small businesses have a limited budget for advertising their products or services online, but with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, companies can reach millions of potential customers at very low cost by using targeted paid advertising or organic posts that show up in news feeds for free once they’ve been shared enough times by other users who see them as relevant to what they’re interested in seeing from friends/family members/colleagues etc…etc…
Social media is widely used.
Social media is a vast, ever-changing universe. And it’s one that you can use to your advantage. If you’re not using social media for your CRM strategy, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach and engage with your customers in new ways. To get started, here’s what you need to know about social media for CRM:
- Social media is a way to reach a wide audience: Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn; Instagram or Pinterest; StumbleUpon or Tumblr—social media gives companies an easy way to reach their target audience in terms of both geography and demographics.* Social media is a way to connect with people: As technology evolves and devices become more sophisticated, so too does the way we communicate with each other.* Social media is a place for businesses and consumers alike.* Social media helps businesses build relationships with potential customers by providing them with information about products/services through blogs/websites which can be helpful when making purchasing decisions (e-commerce).
Social media can help you reach your audience.
Social media is more than just Facebook and Twitter. It can be used for customer service, content marketing, advertising and many other things. Social media is a great way to reach your audience because it’s so easy to share information online.
Social media can improve customer service.
Social media can help you solve customer problems and improve customer service.
- Social media can be used to solve customer problems directly. Customers may contact you through social media, even if they’re not in your store. Using a messaging system or creating a hashtag, you can keep an eye out for common questions and answer them right away using the tools available on the platform.
- Social media is also useful when it comes to improving the quality of your customer service in general. You can use social listening tools like Google Alerts or Buffer’s tool to listen for mentions of your business online and respond quickly, building goodwill among customers who might otherwise have been disappointed by poor service from your company (or just never heard back from any employees).
Social media is low-cost.
Social media is free. It’s often cheaper than other marketing methods, and definitely cheaper than hiring a full-time employee.
The best way to use social media for CRM is by integrating it into your existing customer service strategy and processes.
Use social media for the benefits it offers, including the potential to use it for customer relationship management.
Social media is a great way to reach your customers, and it can be useful in many ways. You might use social media to engage with customers or to help them find information they need. However, social media can also be used for customer relationship management (CRM).
On the surface, “CRM” might seem like an expensive and complex enterprise that involves extensive database management, but there are low-cost ways to manage CRM on your own website or through free services offered by Google and Facebook (Google Analytics).
social crm vs traditional crm
Customer Relationship Management is an age old concept which has been in existence since many years with the times it has changed and evolved from Traditional CRM to Social CRM. With the increasing usage of world wide web and social media networks, Customer expectations are higher than earlier offline. Earlier, consumers use to call up the company or sent a letter to register a complaint the process of companies addressing back would usually take a period of time sometimes days or weeks. But now with increasing usage of world wide web, consumers want their issues to be addressed within seconds. If a company fails to get back at earliest on its social mediums, the user might leave negative comments and loose a potential customers influencing the other users.
According to American Express Survey , 2011 : 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. 80% of consumers will never go back to an organisation after a bad customer experience, up from 68 percent in 2006 (Harris Interactive, 2007).
Further as now customers interact with each other on social media, regarding their brand experience some customers might talk about positive experiences which will help in attracting new consumers and building of brand image and some customers might talk negatively about the brand which will lead to loosing of existing customers and potential customers. A negative remark about the brand on social media websites can damage its reputation and can be shared with other consumers online through various medium of channels.
To monitor the conversations about the brand online, companies use Social CRM. According to Salesforce, Social CRM is a conversation-driven platform that helps companies to see who is talking about their brands online and what they are saying. Businesses use this tool to get closer to customers and to capitalise on the chatter around their brands, products, and services. Through Social CRM, business can turn their social networks into customer service touch point. Instead of automated call centres, teams can interact with the customers directly on the social media.
Traditional CRM is managed via traditional channels, usually from the company’s perspective. But in Social CRM, the customer is in the control. Customer decides when to initiate and end the conversation, the channel for conversations and the process of Interaction. The customer advocates the whole CRM process and the company has to manage the dialogue not the customer (Jacob Morgan, 2010).
Through Social CRM, companies can also co-develop new product and services, Generate brand awareness, Assist in selling process and enable peer to peer customer or market support after purchase.
The success of Social CRM depends on the strategy of the company, as the company needs to define how it will be using Social Media. Gartner introduced Eight essential building blocks for CRM that will help an organisation to achieve its goals. To analyze the Social CRM, process in detail. Starbucks MyStarbucksIdea.com campaign is being analyzed.
Vision: Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome. Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other. Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect. Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
Strategy: The company launched mystarbucksidea.com, where consumers can share ideas that they think can help in making their Starbucks experience perfect.
Valued customer experience: Through mystarbucksidea.com, Starbucks is able to build strong relationship with consumers. There is High involvement of consumers as there are now a part of decision making process and innovation process.
Organizational collaboration: The company has assigned a team of 40 members who are Starbucks employees and to care of the process.
Processes: Customers need to submit an idea on MyStarbucksIdea.com, the ideas can be regarding Product, Experience and Involvement. After the submission of idea, the remaining consumers on the portal vote for it and the ideas which are most popular and have the highest votes will be chosen by the Starbucks Idea partners and presented to the key decision makers of the organization.
Information: The ideas which are submitted on the website can be viewed by Consumers and the Organizations.
Technology: The company software solutions is provided by Salesforce. It is one of the world’s leading CRM solution provider.
Metrics: 214, 805 ideas have been submitted on the MyStarbucksIdea.com till date. The ideas which have been approved by the company and under consideration are 1083 ideas. On twitter the page has 51,000 followers.
Through MyStarbucksIdea.com, the company is able to cut down on its R&D costs, identify the services where it needs to improve and build long term relationship with its consumers. Different companies use Social CRM in a different way. For Instance gifgaff a european network provider has an innovative customer service. The company doesn’t has any customer service team, consumers need to post their issues on gifffgaff consumer forum website. Where they are helped by other consumers and consumers who help in solving the problem are awarded with free airtime credits.
Paul Greenberg, noted CRM guru, shared in CRM at the Speed of Light, “The underlying principle for Social CRM’s success is very different from its predecessor..traditional CRM is based on an internal operational approach to manage customer relationships effectively. But Social CRM is based on the ability of a company to meet the personal agendas of [its] customers while, at the same time, meeting the objectives of [its] own business plan. It is aimed at customer engagement rather than customer management.” (IBM, From Social Media to Social CRM).
best crm with social media integration
What is social CRM software?
In the most general terms, Social CRM can describe any CRM system with integrated social media features. How useful any company will find these features depends entirely on the quality of the tools. In other words, simply linking social media data to account profiles is much less useful than a system that incorporates social analytics and social selling features into contact management.
Businesses have traditionally organized customer interactions around a set of predetermined channels: phone, email, direct mail, or in-person contacts. Given these rigid constraints and predictable contact channels, a traditional CRM works well. But the rise of social media — along with other web-based media and crowdsourced venues — has complicated this structure and given new power to customers, who exercise greater choice in where they make purchasing decisions.
Businesses took notice of this change, and most have adopted their own social media strategies — if not specific social management solutions. But social CRM as a strategy doesn’t just involve being present on social networks; it’s a complete fusion of sales, marketing, and service with the rich, unstructured conversation — and data — that lives in the comments, statuses, shares, tweets, and likes of over 3.7 billion social media users.
Social CRM brings business to the customer, through ads, posts, social listening, and conversations.
Introduction to social CRM software
Social CRM combines the capabilities of social media management with traditional customer relationship management (CRM) software to help brands engage their customers across social media.
These technologies started as web-based clipping services for public relations departments, but these primitive techniques quickly proved an inadequate match for the velocity of modern social communication. This evident need led to the startup of standalone social analytics tools. The rapid fusion of social media data and business processes triggered a flurry of social acquisitions by major CRM vendors like Salesforce and Oracle in 2012 and 2013. As a result of these big names moving into the social CRM sphere, even smaller and niche vendors have adopted the tools.
Although vendors and thought leaders have made great strides in defining and standardizing social CRM software, there is still a lot of confusion about available products and features. This guide will help you better understand the capabilities of social CRM, how it can benefit your company, and how to choose the best social CRM solution.
Best social CRM products and features
There are a few different ways to package social CRM software.
Some full-featured CRM platforms have built-in social functions and data, such as Nimble’s “intelligent relationship platform.” In other cases, a business can piece together a solution by selecting a standalone social management tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that integrates with their existing CRM.
The best solution for your business will likely be the one that provides the most seamless integration between social media activities and your team’s existing customer relationship systems.
Best of breed social management apps
Social CRM: Why it matters
Why should you care about social CRM? Because your customers do. 90 percent of Americans expect brands to have a social media profile, and 60 percent of Americans plan on interacting with brands on social media. Your customers want to ask you questions via your social media platforms and expect answers.
Social CRM gives businesses the ability to see what people are talking about in real-time and engage in those conversations — whether positioning yourself as a knowledgable expert or just a friendly resource. It provides the opportunity to record more granular data based on social media interactions. When you find conversations about your brand with social media monitoring tools, and when you interact with potential customers, you can track that data in your CRM in addition to email and phone conversations.
Social CRM is about putting your customer first on your social media channels and using those platforms as a way to connect one on one with them, not just to push marketing.
Common features of social CRM software
As with any software, features will vary from vendor to vendor, ranging from simple social profile access to sophisticated analytics and social media monitoring capabilities. Here are some of the most common features, some or all of which you may find in a social CRM solution:
Enhanced customer profiles
Agents can use data from social media accounts — demographics, job title, location, interests, communication history — to build a more comprehensive understanding of customers. A 360-degree view of each customer’s needs and interests can enable more targeted marketing efforts, better product suggestions, and less redundant issue resolution.
Identify brand mentions and customer trends by monitoring comments, posts, hashtags, and trending topics. Listening can be used to figure out
Social CRMs with sentiment analysis use natural language processing (NLP) to identify emotions and attitudes your customers express on social media. For example, you can receive a notification when a customer complains about poor service, and follow up with them directly before it becomes a trending topic. Sentiment analysis helps companies with a large customer base process and interpret the high-volume of unstructured data associated with social media.
Pitching directly to social connections isn’t always effective, since not everyone who posts about a product is ready to buy. Social selling tools can help you pinpoint prospects who are closest to making a decision, and discover recurring signals so your efforts aren’t wasted. Some social CRMs can even suggest specific ways to engage a prospect based on their demographics and browsing history.
There are innumerable ways marketers can use social CRMs, from lead generation to content management and marketing analytics. Maybe it’s too early to sell to a social prospect, but you know they’re interested — they just need the right information. That’s a perfect opportunity to connect with a new lead and, for example, get them plugged into your drip marketing program.
What are common uses and strategies for social CRM tools?
Social CRM is most frequently used within sales, marketing, and service departments, since these roles require the most direct engagement with customers and prospects. High level decision-makers can also use social CRM tools to measure larger audience trends and monitor brand reputation.
There are a number of strategies organizations can employ to yield higher return on investment:
Gain better knowledge of customers and prospects
Use the data accrued through social listening and enhanced customer profiles to draw valuable insights about your target audience on an individual and/or collective level. Sales and marketing strategists can use this data to add relevance to the products and content they present.
how can social media be used as a channel for crm
Learn about the benefits of social CRM and find out how to set up a CRM process to track social media interactions with people, and not just profiles.
Social CRM (customer relationship management) is becoming the expected standard for businesses of all sizes. Brands can no longer afford to use social media in isolation.
The valuable insights gleaned from social interactions need to be available to all departments. In turn, customer data from other departments can be invaluable to the social media team.
Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.
Social CRM stands for social customer relationship management.
It involves connecting social media channels with your CRM system, giving all team members within the company a complete record of interactions with the customer or prospect. Including, of course, interactions that happen on social channels.
That means social connections can become real leads. Your first contact with someone on social media is generally not the best time to go in with a hard sell. But without a way to track this potential lead, it’s impossible to nurture the relationship and work towards a sale over the longer term.
Integrating social media into your CRM also allows you to create a fuller picture of the success of your social marketing strategy. Customer interactions on social networks can be clearly tied to business outcomes like a purchase or subscription.
Finally, social CRM data enables you to create highly targeted custom audiences for social ads. The characteristics of existing customers are the best basis for effective lookalike audiences.
Social CRM benefits all departments that work with customers or leads. It gives everyone a fuller picture of the people they’re talking to. That includes sales, customer service, tech support, marketing, and even product development.
Here’s how to get social CRM working for your business.
1. Set up a social listening program
Social listening involves tracking brand mentions, including conversations about:
… even when you’re not tagged.
Finding existing social conversations about your brand or your niche is an important part of building relationships online.
That might mean uncovering a customer complaint that needs to be addressed on Twitter. Or identifying a potential business lead on LinkedIn. All of this information can benefit teams across the company and provides a good starting point for adding social data to your CRM.
2. Consolidate social interactions
Your social and customer support teams may be interacting with existing and potential customers on multiple channels. Consolidating that information in one inbox ensures your CRM data is tied to people, not just profiles.
If you’re just getting started with social media CRM and you don’t have an existing CRM system in place, just these first two steps are a good first start. If you do have an existing CRM system in place, move on to step 3.
3. Incorporate social data into your existing CRM
Ideally, you’ll be able to integrate social data into your CRM using platform integrations. We’ll get into the details in the Tools section below, but know for now that this doesn’t have to be complicated.
Social CRM is a growing point of focus for companies of all sizes. So, many existing CRM systems already allow for easy integration with social tools.
There can be some bumps along the road when setting up social CRM. That may be why only 10% of marketers surveyed for the Hootsuite Social Transformation Report said they had effectively connected social data with an enterprise CRM.
Here are some potential snags to be aware of.
Change can be uncomfortable
Changing the nature of your company’s approach to CRM may be challenging for the sales and customer service teams. They may have to learn how to use new tools, or simply reevaluate how they’ve always done things.
Make sure to help them understand the ways in which they’ll benefit from social media CRM, so they’re motivated to embrace the change. For customer service, the prime benefit is a fuller customer history, while for sales it’s more and better leads.
You might not see results overnight
Depending on the size of your social following, you might not get a ton of social data right off the bat. In that case, it can feel a little like you’re spinning your wheels.
Stick with it. As you grow your following, the social data being fed into your CRM will improve. In turn, that better data will help you further grow your social media following. It’s a virtuous circle that may just need a little time to get going.
You might get overwhelmed by data
On the other hand, maybe you have a large social following, or there are already many conversations about your brand on social. In this case, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new potential data to include in your CRM.
Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.
You’ll need to make some decisions about what kinds of interactions and data to add to the CRM. For example, maybe you’ll include interactions that involve a direct question or comment but not those that mention your brand in passing.
Hootsuite performs a couple of valuable social CRM functions. It allows you to set up a social listening program and consolidate social messages from multiple platforms in a single inbox.
From the inbox, you can assign social messages to the appropriate team members in the relevant department. They will be able to see the entire social conversation history, providing full context.
Hootsuite also integrates with top CRM platforms like:
Sparkcentral is a social customer care tool that collects messages from different channels (social media and others) and distributes them to dedicated teams or support agents.
It allows customers to access service through social messaging apps (including WhatsApp), SMS, and live chat on your website or app.
Sparkcentral also integrates with Zendesk, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365, making it possible to sync all customer contacts.
The Salesforce integration for Hootsuite allows you to attribute social interactions to leads, contacts, accounts, and cases. All teams get a fuller picture.
You can trigger Salesforce workflows based on social interactions. You’ll also be able to create targeted marketing lists based on social data.
The Zendesk integration for Hootsuite lets you view, update, and comment on Zendesk tickets within Hootsuite. You can also import social data into Zendesk tickets.
Customer service agents can reply to customers through the original point of contact, all while tracking the full social thread.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration with Hootsuite brings social data into your Microsoft CRM. You can create leads and opportunities based on social posts and conversations. And you can use case management to resolve customer issues.
You’ll be able to see your CRM information within Hootsuite and connect social activities and conversations with leads and contacts.