Social media is becoming an integral part of life for almost everyone. Nearly all (98%) of digital consumers use social media, and these users now spend an average of almost two and a half hours on social media platforms every single day.i Companies that aren’t currently leveraging the full capabilities offered by social media platforms, including strategies to improve customer experiences and manage their online reputation, are missing out on huge opportunities to deliver their product or service in a way that appeals to their customers.
Social customer relationship management, or social CRM, looks at how customer relationship management tools are used on social media platforms. This diverges from traditional CRMs in a couple of key ways. Traditional CRMs generally collect customer data from multiple sources and structure it in a way that provides a more complete view of the customer, which provides insights into how best to deliver the products and services they want. Social CRMs, on the other hand, look at data that can inform the environments and experiences that will engage a customer,ii and this data is expected to be the most in-demand CRM functionality in the coming years.
In this process, social CRMs are able to enrich personalization by extending it to their customers’ digital social interactions, including profiles, behaviors and events. Simply put, CRMs provide a business-centric database that is informed from the perspective of being inside the business and looking outward for data, while social CRMs are customer-centric and collect data from the perspective of being outside of the company and looking inward.iii This can be a highly complex and dynamic process, but the insights that can be gleaned from social CRM data can vastly improve your ability to manage your brand’s online reputation and help you to identify the most meaningful actions you can take to make sure your customers are happy.
There are many companies that provide a wide variety of social media management solutions that can cater to businesses of any size and in any industry, including the following examples:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM/Microsoft Social Engagement. Microsoft offers several scalable products, such as the Social Engagement and Social Listening modules that assist with customer relationship management by allowing you to pull data from social media platforms to gauge how individuals are interacting with and reacting to your brand.
- Sprout Social. This platform brands itself as a tool that can cater to companies of all sizes by providing a hub for social media publishing, analytics and engagement across all of your social profiles.
- Salesforce. This sales platform emphasizes strengthening customer relationships and developing strategies for winning more customers, finding new customers and keeping all customers happy.
- Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM). As an enterprise solution, Oracle SRM is a robust social platform that can deliver comprehensive information and workflows that serve to enhance your customer relationship management strategies.
Social CRMs allow you to get more done, in less time and with fewer resources. Productivity gains from adoption of a social CRM can be quite high, averaging at a 11.8% for companies’ post-implementation.iv
These gains are generally realized on several fronts, including some of the following:
- Expand your reach. Social CRMs can analyze data about who is interacting with your social media content and use this information to identify brand advocates and influencers. These people can then spread your message further than it would otherwise reach, effectively doing your marketing legwork for you.
- Increase visibility. Understanding how and when customers are interacting with your content enables you to optimize when and where you publish content to get maximum exposure. The marketing team will achieve greater visibility without devoting massive amounts of time researching because the data is there when they need it.
- Reduce costs. Customer service labor costs can be reduced by up to 40%, while overall labor costs can be decreased by 20%v. These funds can be redirected to other areas to enhance your business.
- Improve responsiveness. Social platforms promote immediacy. In customer experiences, this provides an opportunity to review interactions and respond quickly and efficiently, from anywhere and at any time.
- Improve retention. Social CRMs improve customer retention by 26%v, making them more effective at creating and maintaining loyal customers, even when less time is devoted to this group overall.
- Enhance personalization. Incorporating additional customer data allows for personalization on a deeper level, which can increase sales converts by 202%.v Organizations dedicate massive amounts of time to achieve greater personalization. Social CRMs make this process more effective and less time-consuming.
- Facilitate communication. Many companies divide their social media efforts, their marketing team, and their sales team into separate groups. Social CRMs allow these groups to share messages easily and effectively, insuring that every inquiry receives a response and every opportunity to improve the customer journey is taken.
- Automate campaigns. Most social CRMs allow you to build automated and personalized campaigns quickly and easily, allowing you to publish across all social media platforms and through other digital channels. This task used to take hours, if not days; now it can be done in minutes.
- Identify problems quickly. Data collected from social media can inform you very quickly if customers are experiencing any problems or challenges with your products or services. This allows you to provide a more rapid and effective response that resolves the issue.
- Analyze trends easily. Understanding customer trends has historically been a cumbersome task that involved piecing together fragmented data. With a CRM that functions as a data repository, trend analysis can occur quickly and informing marketing strategy in a way that results in more effective campaigns.
Taken together, these characteristics of social CRMs provide the opportunity to achieve huge gains in productivity, which ultimately make your marketing team more successful in all of their endeavors.
- Global Web Index. (2018). Social: Flagship report on the latest trends in social media. Retrieved April 12, 2019 from https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs/Downloads/Social-H2-2018-report.pdf
- McCue, T. (2018, June 26).Ratcliff, C. (2014, September 1). What is social CRM and why do you need it? E-Consultancy. Retrieved April 12, 2019 from https://econsultancy.com/what-is-social-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/
- Yonatan, R. (2018, March 29). The complete guide to understanding social CRM. GetCRM. Retrieved April 12, 2019 from https://getcrm.com/blog/guide-social-crm/
- Lazar, M. (2017, May 12). CRM statistics show why it's a powerful marketing weapon. IBM Community. Retrieved April 12, 2019 from https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/d27b1c65-986e-4a4f-a491-5e8eb23980be/entry/2017_CRM_Statistics_Show_Why_it_s_a_Powerful_Marketing_Weapon?lang=en
- Gilliland, N. (2018, July 17). 12 stats to prove why personalization is so important. E-Consultancy. Retrieved April 12, 2019 https://econsultancy.com/12-stats-that-prove-why-personalisation-is-so-important/