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What is Social CRM?
You could be forgiven for treating the idea of "social CRM" with a certain amount of skepticism. It's sometimes hard to distinguish the hype around social media from the genuine value it can bring. But social CRM isn't a gimmick, and it doesn't ask you to "forget everything you know" or "reinvent your business".
Social CRM simply adds a social dimension to the way you think about customers and your relationship with them.
Until now, customers' social media activity has been something of a closed book – a channel of communication that wasn't trackable, measurable, plannable or improvable. With social CRM, that's changed. By adding the critical social media channel to your existing CRM systems (New to CRM? Read our Beginner's Guide to CRM Systems .), you can combine everything you already know about each customer, prospect and lead with new information about their social media activity. And when a customer chooses to contact you via Twitter or Facebook, you can track and manage the conversation in as much detail as you would for a telephone or email enquiry. You'll be able to act faster, respond better and anticipate your customers' needs.
Why does Social CRM matter?
It’s a familiar story: the marketing department is diligently creating and publishing tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and more – all carefully crafted to make the most of each channel and designed to encourage sharing, retweeting and customer engagement. But the audience doesn’t come.
Meanwhile, your customers are elsewhere on Facebook and Twitter, having conversations about your organisation – discussing you, recommending you, complaining about you and even trying desperately to talk to you. But they’re not getting the answers they want.
How can you bridge the gap?
That’s where social CRM comes in. A customer relationship management platform that integrates social media gives you access to the same level of insight you have for more traditional channels, plus the ability to use social tools for communicating internally. You can monitor, track and benchmark your social media communications using familiar tools, dashboards and metrics.
With social CRM you can place the customer right at the heart of your organisation. No more forcing customers to use the channel you prefer. No more losing track of issues when they change channels. You can engage and respond to customers individually and in the way they choose, without compromising your ability to track and manage communications on a global scale. You’ll have both a broad overview of your brand’s reach and a granular, detailed view of each customer interaction.
Customer service, marketing and sales all benefit from a more dynamic, complete picture of each individual customer, and can make use of social tools to communicate between themselves. You see the cost of delighting customers fall. Your customers see an organisation that listens to what they want and responds in a way that suits them, across multiple channels. Everybody wins.
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
Customer service that puts customers first
Your customer care teams can use Social CRM to:
- Deliver customer support via the social media networks your customers are using;
- Interact and engage with customers in real time;
- Talk to each other so that customers get the best help;
- Monitor social media for complaints and resolve issues quickly;
- Find and reward brand advocates and customers who help others.
Benefits of Social CRM for marketing
Social CRM metrics: the big three
1. Traffic and conversions from social media
- Simple to measure and well understood
- Beware of chasing traffic and overlooking conversion rates
- Use conversion rates to target the best-performing platforms
2. Fans and followers
- Remember that not all followers are active
- Use social CRM to segment your audience into follower types
3. Participation and sharing
- Details vary from platform to platform
- An effective measure of customer engagement
- Often undervalued
“Companies over-value followership and under-value participation. Yes, you can go out and buy 1000 followers. But if they all ignore you from that point on, they're worthless.”