The rise of Web 2.0—social media like blogs, social networks, etc. means people are conversing, sharing information, and exchanging ideas more than ever before. More than 80% of Americans aged 18-55+ use social networks and tools monthly, which means two things: 1) there is a wealth of customer information on these platforms that businesses cannot afford to ignore, and 2) businesses will benefit by reaching out to existing and potential customers through these social platforms.
But managing activity on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is not simple, and the influx of social media data can sometimes make already complex tasks seem more complicated and difficult to manage. Previously, traditional CRM systems were the perfect solution for streamlining customer and lead information, and automating sales and marketing outreach. However, the upsurge in social media usage means sales, marketing, and customer service teams need modern CRM systems that help them mine social media data and manage new forms of campaigning.
Social CRM is a process for monitoring, engaging in, and managing conversations and relationships with existing and prospective customers and influencers across the Internet, social networks, and digital channels. Social CRM is very much supplementary to traditional CRM processes as it aims to engage communities and foster the creation of content for a targeted market, converting content into conversations and collaborative experiences that will hopefully build meaningful relationships with customers. In many ways, Social CRM is traditional CRM with the bonus of social media/conversational data analysis and management.
At its base, Social CRM software entails the integration of analytics, data pulled from social media and other conversational platforms, and CRM analytics to determine social media ROI and articulate market trends. Social CRM software can help teams across an enterprise map different campaigns and initiatives, manage campaigns across different social media platforms, and offer users better insight into customers’ general online behavior.
Businesses of all sizes and in all industries can derive value from Social CRM software. The increasing number of users on social networking sites is a testament to that, and the data created on these sites can prove invaluable.
There are two basic Social CRM models; the first is what many major CRM vendors are offering: social media management capabilities in the form of modules that integrate with their existing CRM platforms. Modules can range from simple (just a Twitter integration) to complex (complete community management) depending on a business’s outreach goals.
The second option is Social CRM vendors whose platforms focus almost exclusively on customer relationship management through social networks. This Social CRM software was developed with community engagement and online communication in mind, and are less process-centric than the aforementioned Social CRM software. Some of these products are standalone platforms, but nonetheless they are usually integrative with major CRM platforms. Both platforms are effective, and selection should be made based on specific business needs.
Social CRM provides a comprehensive suite of fully-integrated solutions to automate and enhance customer-facing social media processes across your business. Components of a Social CRM software suite include: