Thursday, June 07, 2012
Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media. Social media can allow a company to develop connections and gain insight about potential and current customers and clients in a way that goes beyond any other available resource, thanks largely to the degree social media websites have embedded themselves in the daily routines of millions of users.
To take advantage of the possibilities of social media, many companies choose to invest in social customer relationship management (CRM) tools, which can pore through social media channels to find valuable insight, improve engagement with customers, and allow companies to better their social media-based promotional efforts.
However, to achieve all of this, companies must know how to best utilize their social CRM tools. Social media can be a complex, overwhelming resource if approached without a coherent strategy.
As several recent sources highlighted, one of the most effective strategies companies should consider employing when using social CRM tools is to focus on the most influential, relevant social media users.
Social media advocates
One leading social CRM provider recently claimed that organizations should seek out and focus on "brand evangelists," which the provider defines as customers who are extremely enthusiastic and influential about the company. These individuals are naturally inclined to promote the company's brand on social media sites by posting favorable comments about its products or services, as well as recommending the business to friends and family.
Consequently, brand evangelists are among the most valuable customers available on social media channels. That is why companies should make a concerted effort to use their social CRM tools to better facilitate their relationships with these individuals. Not only will engagement keep brand evangelists loyal and happy, but it will also further encourage them to promote the company.
Identifying the influential
While brand evangelists should be highly prized and treated well, they are not the only individuals upon whom companies should direct their social CRM efforts. As David Veibl of Noobpreneur recently highlighted, it is also advisable for companies to seek out the more influential members of social media networks.
However, identifying these individuals can be difficult, even with sophisticated social CRM tools. That is why Veibl argued that businesses may want to consider utilizing online influence metric tools, which measure individuals' fans, followers, readers and other statistics to determine how far a person's reach is.
While noting the utility of these programs, though, Veibl claimed that they should not be seen as definitive, but rather as a small component of a greater social CRM strategy.