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What is social CRM? Why should you care about it?

Benefits of Social CRM Social CRM Challenges
  • Simplify social work.
  • Improve brand experience.
  • Faster customer service.
  • Increase trust and brand loyalty.
  • Social platforms are “sharing” spaces.
  • The risk of the “court of public opinion”.
  • Social CRM add-ons may cost extra.
  • Achieving optimal results requires a clear social strategy.

Simply put, social customer relationship management refers to one or more of the following:

  1. A customer experience strategy focuses on leveraging social channels to attract, engage, and respond to potential and current customers.
  2. The process or process system implemented to execute a social CRM strategy.
  3. A software platform that facilitates and enhances social CRM strategies and processes by integrating with social accounts, centralizing data, and simplifying the technology stack.

Just as you can use CRM tools to better integrate your sales cycle into your e-commerce platform, you can use social CRM solutions to more effectively deploy strategies across multiple social channels.

That said, while social CRM tools can streamline social efforts for a better brand experience, the extra cost may not be worth it, especially if a clear social strategy hasn’t been developed yet. But for businesses ready to expand their social CRM efforts, top tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Buffer are a great place to start.

How do social CRM tools work?

Like many software-as-a-service tools, social CRM solutions are designed to force you to go the extra mile by applying loyal support from the convenience of your computer, such as:

  • Automate simple, repetitive tasks.
  • Facilitates batch processing of tasks that are executed in batches.
  • Consolidate interfaces and controls to bring all necessary functionality into one dashboard.
  • Aggregate information into a single record and improve data integrity.

Social CRM tool features

Obviously, each provider has a different approach and intended use cases. But in general, most are built to provide certain core features and functionality.

single source of truth

While standard CRM solutions do a great job of tracking leads’ contact details as they move along the sales funnel, convert to customer accounts and switch into retention mode, that’s pretty much where it ends.

With social CRM, you can connect prospects and customer profiles with their social profiles. This way, sales reps can more easily track their interactions with the company’s brand. This allows customers to start discussions where they like, and sales reps can migrate them to another platform if they see fit.

Consistency of brand experience

Social CRM solutions make it easier for you to deliver the same experience across your entire digital footprint. Brand image and brand experience are important, and when they are consistent from one area to another, it is easier to achieve positive interactions.

Just as customers and prospects don’t want to have to repeat themselves because they switch from one social channel to another, they don’t want to feel like there’s been a significant change in how interactions are handled. For example, if they can get a response within minutes on one platform, they want it to be just as fast on other platforms.

Manually monitoring and responding to discussions on social media is even harder to do. Everything becomes easier when everything can be done through a single pane of glass.

Integrated control

A social CRM solution can act as a “master key” of sorts, allowing sales and marketing reps to create and schedule posts for multiple channels, monitor incoming messages and tags, track performance and metrics, and more.

By putting all the necessary interfaces and controls in one place, you can save a lot of time and expense. It reduces the hassle of logging in and accessing multiple social accounts, sharing passwords, and posting on multiple platforms or profiles.

Automated reconnaissance

Social CRM solutions take the hassle out of managing social media accounts and engagement. You can set up alerts to monitor mentions and tags, then notify you when content pops up. You can perform more advanced searches in the same way. You can more effectively research and observe what works and build engagement among your target audience.

You can track trends in more or less real time, improving response times when new opportunities arise.

Increase awareness

Social CRM tools can help ease the workload required to keep up with rapidly evolving conversations. By automating monitoring and search and putting all notifications in one place, these solutions can significantly reduce the effort required to keep your finger on the pulse. Faster response times mean you can put out fires or fan them more efficiently.

Analytical insights

The right social CRM tool can report numbers, provide insights into social media performance, help you plan more effective strategies and identify problem areas.

The key here is that you can collect analytics data from disparate platforms – data that is often siled and difficult to extract, transform and load into some kind of cohesive database – let alone turn into meaningful reports.

Social CRM: Pros and Cons

Putting aside any solution-specific details, the vast majority of the pros and cons of social CRM are the same whether you’re talking about strategy or software. So, let’s see if the benefits of social CRM outweigh the challenges.

Benefits of Social CRM

  • Simplifying social work: Unified control means fewer dashboards to deal with, less management, and easier implementation of work across social channels.
  • Improve brand experience and customer service: Businesses can deliver better brand experiences and customer service by improving consistency, improving response times, and minimizing waste and redundant work.
  • Increase trust and brand loyalty: By exposing yourself to risks that are discussed openly in third-party spaces, you can demonstrate your willingness to deliver on your promises—even if it’s inconvenient or costly for you.

Social CRM Challenges

  • Social platforms are “sharing” spaces: Leveraging social in your CRM efforts can be effective, but in order to achieve this, you need to give up quite a bit of control and accept potential risks.
  • Social CRM add-ons may cost extra: Getting the most out of social CRM depends on having the right technology solution, which can come at a cost, especially if you’re already using a CRM tool that charges extra for social CRM add-ons.
  • Achieving optimal results requires a clear social strategy: Social CRM won’t magically transform a haphazard approach into a winning strategy; if you don’t think through your social strategy, it will show, and internet trolls will likely criticize you for it.

Popular social CRM providers

Social media is big business, so it’s no surprise that there are a lot of players involved in the game. From well-known CRMs with social features to tools designed from the ground up with social media in mind, there’s a best solution for almost every use case. Here are some of the most popular and best value options on the market:

  • pivot point: HubSpot is an industry giant known for its email automation and lead management, making it a great choice for teams that want to implement a comprehensive holistic revenue strategy from sales and marketing to customer success.
  • sales force: A favorite among e-commerce and online payments enthusiasts everywhere, Salesforce integrates with nearly every web host with online store capabilities, and tying your procurement system directly into a social CRM has some very clear advantages.
  • Zoho CRM: As one of the broadest B2B solution providers, Zoho CRM is ideal if your team is highly distributed or you are already using some of Zoho’s other products.
  • buffer: Buffer is beloved by social media marketers across industries as a tool for individuals or entire teams looking to improve their sales pipeline and customer experience.

High quality: Choose the right CRM for your organization.

Should your organization use a social CRM solution?

Ultimately, social CRM is just a way to achieve certain goals and results related to social media engagement. Whether it’s worth it depends on whether you value those results and whether you’re prepared to pursue them.

While a social CRM solution can simplify and enhance social media efforts, it’s not necessarily a magic solution to every problem. The Internet is a big place, and spreading your attention and resources too thinly is a real risk, even with a CRM tool.

Depending on your current situation, team composition, and established strategy, it may be best to wait until you can invest your time, assets, and talent into meeting the challenges of social CRM.

But if you’re already trying to get social working for you, or your audience and customers are trying to grab your attention in these controversial areas, implementing a social CRM could prove the difference between success and failure.

#social #CRM #care

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