Social CRM integrates social media channels with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to help businesses focus on social customer care. It allows customers to communicate with a business via a preferred social platform; the business can better manage these interactions and make them more meaningful.
Because of social media innovations, smartphones and CRM software, businesses have myriad options for monitoring and serving their target audiences.
Image via Visual.ly
What is social CRM?
Social CRM is a CRM tool or software solution that gathers data on all your brand’s social interactions and contacts, storing every conversation to strengthen your network and boost your service and support offerings. Social CRM tools can measure the following:
- Brand mentions online via “social listening” and specific keywords
- How people feel about your brand via “sentiment analysis”
- The number of social media followers a brand has on various platforms
- Customer and prospect profiles and demographic information
- Customer engagement interactions, such as liking posts, sharing and commenting
- Traffic patterns showing who clicked through to your website and which interactions led to sales conversions
Social CRM takes the most valuable aspects of social media customer-business interactions and integrates them into a CRM for easy task management, customer tracking and monitoring.
Customers can communicate with a business through the social media channel of their choice, helping them feel more engaged and empowered. When you integrate social media interactions into your CRM solution, your business creates an improved sales process or service flow for customers. As the business better serves each customer’s needs, you’ll improve customer retention and your bottom line.
What are the benefits of social CRM?
Social CRM helps a business quickly send information to users interested in the company’s products, services or promotions. Social media teams don’t have to collect interactions manually. Instead, social CRM tools monitor social media network interactions in real time, working with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and other networks.
Here are some additional social CRM benefits.
1. Social CRM helps you respond to customer questions.
It’s challenging to answer customer questions via social media platforms, especially if they come in high volumes. Additionally, dealing with bad publicity on social media is a nightmare; negative interactions can snowball in minutes.
Organizations of all sizes must have a backup plan to mitigate these customer service situations on social platforms. Social CRM helps businesses address social media complaints promptly and systematically while nipping negative situations in the bud.
In the past, businesses didn’t have to deal with complaints outside business hours. With social media, we’re now connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers’ service expectations have changed, making it necessary to respond professionally and appropriately within a working time frame. Social CRM can help you do this.
Tip: Bots can improve your social media presence by communicating with social media users during non-business hours. Bots can present online solutions and tell customers when they can expect a live response.
2. Social CRM simplifies the lead-generation process.
Social CRM simplifies processes and streamlines how you connect with users on various social networks. For example, a social CRM solution will help you generate more sales leads and successfully convert those leads. Once the data is generated from each customer interaction, you can formulate prospects based on customer needs. You’ll also have a better turnaround time for delivering answers and services within customer expectations.
Tip: Use social CRM data to create user profiles specific to users’ social media usage, such as whether they’re on Facebook or Instagram. This can help identify new sales opportunities.
3. Social CRM helps you use information intelligently.
When you record online activity and interactions, you can further analyze situations to more intelligently position your brand. You’ll have more insightful data to inform your overall branding and sales efforts.
Social CRM aligns sales, marketing and customer service departments so they can work together to gather insights and make more informed decisions in a customer-centric process.
Social CRM is crucial because social media has placed customers in control; they have the power and the last word. Using impersonal or pushy sales pitches won’t work; your target audience will flock to a competitor that listens to their needs and delivers on their demands.
4. Social CRM brings valuable principles to customer interactions.
As social media began impacting customer relationships, four key principles have emerged:
- Collaboration: Brands and customers must collaborate to solve problems.
- Transparency: Brands must stay transparent in their policies and communications.
- Advocacy: Brand advocates in the form of happy customers can make word-of-mouth recommendations online to boost your brand’s popularity.
- Mutual value and co-creation: Brands and customers both benefit from the heightened customer attention social CRM delivers.
Social CRM is about listening to the customer, processing the situation, answering any questions or concerns, and arriving at a social customer service resolution. Social CRM delivers a way to build mutually beneficial relationships between brands and their customers.
What is the best social CRM software solution?
Many CRM software solutions exist, but not all integrate with social channels to let you experience the benefits of social CRM.
We reviewed and evaluated the best CRM software and listed recommendations for various business types. Here are some that will help you integrate CRM with your social channels:
- Salesforce Social Studio: Salesforce’s tool is excellent for brands new to social media monitoring.
- Hubspot CRM: Hubspot CRM and its Marketing Hub add-on are ideal for very small businesses beginning social CRM initiatives. Read our Hubspot CRM review for more information.
- Zoho CRM: Zoho offers social data profile enrichment and other social media management tools. Check out our Zoho CRM review to find out more.
- Insightly: In addition to basic contact management, Insightly offers project management tools and social media contact-gathering capabilities.
Social CRM is an invaluable business tool
Social media strategies are crucial to business operations today. Customer interests have always been paramount to businesses; social media has just created a more immediate way to express and address concerns. Because of this, social media has transformed CRM and shifted more power to customers.
Social CRM will continue evolving as its market grows, ushering in a new generation of monitoring tools to hear concerns, solve problems, generate reviews, and interact with and guide customers.