On the Horizon: The Social CRM Market Is Expanding—Are You Onboard?

Business.com / Social Media / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Expect the social customer relationship management (CRM) to grow at an annual growing rate of 38.1 percent. So, what does it mean for you?

The business world as it stands today has radically transformed from even a decade ago.

Older legacy systems had operated for some time to manage customer relationship management (CRM) information.

The flood of social networking services transformed standard practices in the marketplace inside out and now there is a demand for Social CRM software.

A report by Whatech.com estimated the Social CRM market will grow at a compound annual growing rate (CAGR) of 38.1 percent through the year 2019.

Related Article: Leveraging The Power and Benefits of Social CRM

The Need for Social CRM

As the masses have spent ever-increasing amounts of time on the different social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and others), the need to measure audience behavior become a dire necessity. From SMB to enterprise, each has a targeted customer and needs to understand their behaviors on these platforms, including how they interpret information about products or services.

If you are in marketing, customer service or sales, Social CRM has the usability and functionality to meet all of your individual needs. Each area in the organization is going to have a set of specific tool and integration wish social networks improves the vendor and client relationship. In other words, with all of the intelligence data is collected and analyzed you will start to see how users perceive the company.

How much of a market share will Social CRM be? As systems are updated between social media and CRM technology, it is forecasted to be a $9 billion global market by 2018, according to a Newsfactor.com analysis.

 There are products sold by some of the major players or vendors for the Global Social CRM software market. They are the following:

  • Jive Software
  • Lithium Technologies
  • Oracle
  • Salesforce.com

Today´s Social CRM is just the next phase of evolution of CRM. The way this process works is social media services, technologies and techniques are combined in an attempt to effectively target specific customers depending on one organization to the next.

Evolution of Social CRM, Characteristics and Insights

Once upon a time, you could say that businesses set the tone and sort of the framework on how to conduct business with customers. Fast forward to nowadays and the powers have shifted away from these entities giving more voice to those shopping around from various products and services.

Targeted customers in the old days of CRM processes had to visit businesses on-site, make or receive calls or get information by email. The landscape with the mass of arrival of social media platforms has transformed not just how to make businesses transactions, but how to communicate altogether.

A visual graphic below illustrates where CRM once was into what Social CRM is more or less today:

The Evolution of CRM to sCRM infographic

Customers today operate through the use of social media channels. As it is mentioned in the graphic above customer lives or vents through Twitter Tweets, Facebook posts or updates on timeline, Likes, Follows, etc. When a targeted customer interacts with these elements on a social network they are indicators of interest and metrics to analyze especially if they are interacting with an extension of your business.

If you look at the last decade for social networking alone for the United States it has spiked in growth. According to the Pew Research Center (PEJ) exactly two thirds of American adults (65 percent) use a social media channel. So, there is definitely some additional business to gain using these platforms and dedicating a team to tracking your targeted customer.

In a separate infographic titled “Social vs. Traditional CRM” emphasizes shifting a part of your business goals towards a CRM solution. They reasons and the differences as to why to implement are specifically:

  • The customer controls the conversation
  • The basis of the communication is interaction
  • You gain market insights by doing an outside looking in approach
  • The CRM gatekeeper is the public relations (PR) team that manages social media accounts
  • The budget is made by the chief marketing officer (CMO)
  • The hours of operation are 24/7

A customer will dictate whether a purchase will be made or not. The communication is a two-way channel and an interaction, so apply good social listening techniques. In addition, you gain plenty of insight, knowledge, data and analytics by monitoring what social media users are saying about the brand and the company´s reputation.

Do not expect every single exchange with customers on social media networks to be a sales transaction, yet negative feedback not to be treated lightly. This means you have a PR team ready to deal with difficult clients and to have a mitigating plan in the event of a bad viral campaign against an aspect of your business.

The use of smartphones has changed buying patterns since businesses counted on purchases being made during business hours. Today we are connected at all times and communications take place in an instantaneous manner.

Related Article: Driving Towards Closing a Deal Using CRM Software

Takeaways and Conclusions

So with Social CRM you will be better off tracking, analyzing and gaining insight about customer behavior especially around your products and services. In addition, it will lessen the amount of time you need investing and trying to collect and harvest the information on your own.

It is about streamlining and creating new business opportunities. The arrival of this social media technology has forced businesses to really build on personalizing and retaining a relationship beyond a financial transaction. It is a chance for businesses to become more social media friendly and human at the same time.

You will have opportunities to gradually add social media into the business, but a permanent move towards Social CRM is a huge and essential investment businesses cannot pass up.

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