Social CRM describes Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies that involve the integration of social media utilities, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By adding this social element to an existing CRM strategy, businesses are able to initiate, observe, and analyze meaningful conversations with existing and potential customers. When managed correctly, social CRM can transform the way an organization does business by fostering mutually beneficial relationships between the company and its clients.
Build Your Brand
One of the most significant benefits of social CRM is its ability to help companies define, enhance, and promote their brands. Social media provides a unique opportunity for companies to reveal a little bit about themselves and make their business more personable. Additionally, Twitter posts regarding industry news can suggest that a business is a well-informed thought leader. Creative job posting descriptions on LinkedIn let readers know that managers have a sense of humor. Special rewards for Facebook subscribers also show that a company cares about its supporters.
On the other side of the coin, a comprehensive social CRM solution will also allow a business to track what consumers are saying about the brand. This, in turn, can enable a company to respond to the voice of the people. Social media channel monitoring allows companies to:
- Easily identify those in need of products and services, and take action,
- Read the pulse of the market and clearly recognize customer needs,
- Identify ideas for product development and innovation, and
- Quickly respond to customer service concerns and drive faster issue resolution.
Leverage the Social Customer
Social media has empowered customers with access to information like never before. The new "social customer" shapes his or her purchasing decisions using everything from online customer reviews to Twitter followers and Facebook wall activity. But perhaps more importantly, social media has given customers a powerful voice. A string of bad reviews on Yelp.com can doom a successful business, but a heartfelt endorsement of the latest product or service can sway the opinion of an entire community of Facebook friends.
Get, then Give
Successful social CRM strategies are based on the principle of mutually beneficial relationships. Social media allows businesses to learn an incredible amount of information about their customers. From employment histories and family members to musical preferences and political views, almost every imaginable market demographic feature is now just a click away. But, in exchange for this valuable information, customers must be rewarded in some way. If not, they will likely feel as though the company is taking advantage of them. From delivering exclusive coupon codes to Facebook friends to sending personalized thank you messages to mobile application downloaders, there are a number of ways for a company to show customers that they appreciate their support. In the end, companies must recognize the important role of the social customer and do what is necessary to engage and satisfy these tastemakers.