Customers form the backbone of most companies’ business models, in the sense that it’s pretty hard to run one without them. Of course, that means you’ve got to care for buyers to keep them coming back (while bringing new ones on board too).
Social CRM is a great tool to help accomplish both these goals. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the ins and outs of social CRM systems so you can use them to your advantage.
We’ll start with a definition.
What is social CRM anyway?
Social CRM is made up of two components: customer relationship management and social media. We’ll go over traditional CRM first to give you a solid foundation, then bring social media into the equation to show you how it affects legacy CRM approaches.
Traditional CRM systems
First off, there’s the acronym, which stands for customer relationship management.
Traditional CRM systems are focused on two things: bringing in new leads to drive conversions and maintaining excellent relationships with existing customers.
Within those two goals, there’s a lot of room for features and functionalities. Some of the most popular ones include interaction management, conversion pipeline monitoring, and sales automation:
Image sourced from 99firms.com
As you can see, lead generation tends to be one of the less requested features in traditional CRM systems. This is where social media comes in.
Adding ‘social’ into the mix
Social CRM puts the focus on using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. More specifically, it uses those sites for reaching out to both new and prospective customers.
In other words, it’s all about turning your social media presence into two things: a fantastic touchpoint for customers and an important point in the conversion and lead generation processes. For example, generating leads on LinkedIn can be a great use of your presence on this social media platform.
What can social CRM systems do for you?
Below, we’ve put together some of the benefits that come from using social CRM systems. The following is just a taster—this is a versatile approach that lets you use social media in plenty of other advantageous ways too. With that said, let’s jump in.
It’s worthwhile to time your posts to periods when your target audience is online. With the ability to schedule these, you can craft social media content as and when you want to, then post it at predetermined optimal times.
Scheduled posts also make it easier to plan for upcoming events. You can send out scheduled reminders on social media, and get these ready months in advance if need be.
Much like network affiliate marketing, social CRM has huge potential for directing traffic to your website, landing pages, and promotional offers. The result is more sales with less effort.
It’s important to ensure that anyone who visits your social media accounts can easily get to your website and product pages. This takes steps out of the customer’s journey and makes the purchasing process easier since any social media touchpoint they find will take them where they need to go.
Every day, hour, and even minute, hundreds and thousands of tweets are sent out—that’s around half a billion published each day:
Image sourced from oberlo.com
Can you imagine trying to filter all of those by hand? Thanks to social CRM, you don’t need to.
All you’ve got to do is pick your keywords. Maybe you want to look for anyone talking about topics relating to the pent-up travel demand many people are experiencing; maybe you want to be notified whenever the name of one of your products comes up.
Social CRM checks all those tweets, as well as posts across other social media sites, for mentions of your brand or topics relevant to it. Consider using shareable Tableau dashboards to help you track and display this data.
Connecting with customers
Each customer is different, and that’s a good thing. It does, however, mean you’ve got to be ready to meet a lot of different needs. The ways in which consumers like to connect with you is just one example of the diversity among them.
While some will want to contact your company’s virtual phone number, others will prefer to talk to your representatives on social media. Being ready to connect with them there is part of what social CRM systems are for.
It’s important to note that you’ve got to offer the same quality of service across all your touchpoints for a holistic brand experience.
Coordinating with influencers
Influencers are the marketers of the future. There are new kinds springing up all the time, from the more familiar lifestyle influencers to newer nano influencers. By using social CRM systems, you can harness their power on social media.
Your influencers can help you coordinate outreach efforts. They can also assist with the creation of advertisements, or they can model your product or service in use—the possibilities are endless.
Influencers are found where their target audience is. When you find ones with demographics matching yours, you can partner up and generate new leads together.
What if you could see into the hearts and minds of your customers? Okay, that might be a bit of a stylized way of looking at it, but still… Sentiment analysis makes it possible to figure out what your customers (and leads!) are feeling in real-time. That means you get to stay on top of developments and changes in their feelings easily.
The best modern social CRM systems come with built-in sentiment analysis tools. So, if you’re in the market for a communications platform that works as an alternative to RingCentral, make sure you pick one that comes with a sentiment analysis feature.
Who can use social CRM?
Any company that uses social media as part of its business model can make use of it. That includes startups, small businesses, enterprises, and anything in between, provided they’ve got some presence on social media.
If you’ve got dedicated tools and platforms with social CRM capabilities, like some of the best modern VoIP phone services for small business (or enterprises) offer, it’s even easier to set yourself up.
How can you get started with social CRM?
Whether you’re looking to increase organic traffic to your site or create strong connections with your customers, social CRM is undeniably useful. So, how can you start harnessing its power?
Fortunately, it’s neither difficult nor overly complicated. All you have to do is follow these three steps, and you’ll be ready to go.
Step 1: Social listening
It’s always a good idea to have an ear to the proverbial ground in the social media environments you want to operate within.
This will show how your customers feel about you, as well as the things they tend to respond well (and less well) to. You can even check out their responses to your competition and learn from competitors’ mistakes to make a better impression straight out of the gate.
For example, social listening can show you why members of your target audience unfollow competitors on social media. You can then use that information to set yourself up as a more attractive alternative, drawing in new leads and driving conversions from the start.
For context, here are some of the most common reasons cited for unfollowing brands:
Image sourced from agoraeversole.com
Step 2: Unify your social media approach
If you’re already using social media to grow sales, make sure you adopt a unified strategy across all your social media platforms. If you’re not, this is the time to craft an approach you can use across your channels.
By using one holistic approach to all social media platforms, you ensure your customers always come away with the same (excellent) impression of your brand. You also guarantee there are no weak points to speak of in your social strategy.
Step 3: Make it part of your wider CRM
Now you’ve figured out how your customers feel and what your strategy is going to look like, it’s time to turn the theory into practice.
To do this, use application integration solutions that allow you to incorporate social CRM into your wider customer relationship management strategy.
When you think of social CRM systems, remember…
Social CRM has the power to do a lot of good for your company’s lead generation capabilities, providing you’re using it right.
To make sure that’s the case, you must make social CRM an integral part of your SMB or ERP retail software, so you’re incorporating the principles of social customer relationship management into the very structure of your plans and strategies.
It’s always a good thing to bring more leads and customers on board using social media. This is one highly effective way of making that happen. Isn’t it time you tried it for your business?