Social media is a crucial part of a successful business plan. But what about Social CRM? Is it a real thing, and is it something you need? Jack Wallen answers questions.
When you hear the term social, your mind now immediately turns to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter. And when you’re asked about CRM, your answer is customer relationship management.
But this is the modern age, where social media has become a staple for most businesses. These platforms are paramount to connecting with customers (new and old). Without using Twitter and Instagram, your business could easily find itself adrift in a sea of competitors, unable to attract an audience. With these platforms, you can create dialogues with potential customers and, more importantly, develop relationships. These relationships build loyalty, and loyalty helps build your brand.
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And, of course, once your brand starts to grow, you’ll need the tools to manage those relationships, and that’s where CRM comes in.
So, when we realize the importance of social networks in the customer relationship, CRM tools end up becoming necessary. So why not bridge the gap between the two?
This is where Social CRM comes in.
What is Social CRM?
It’s quite simple. Social CRM is the marriage of social networks and CRM tools. What these platforms do is integrate social media channels into traditional CRM tools. With this marriage, it is exponentially easier for customers to interact with a business.
But why? You don’t already have the necessary communication channels?
Yes, you do. But the modern era raises a new question: are these channels sufficient? In a word, no. Consider these points:
- Most people prefer not to talk on the phone (it’s a fact).
- The younger generations do not use email.
- Customers want an immediate answer (and if they can’t get it, they’ll move on).
Over the past two years, I have abandoned the traditional ways of communicating with businesses. Instead of defaulting to a phone number or email, I immediately go to their Twitter account. Why? The answer might be a bit haunting for most businesses, but it’s the reality of today’s world.
When I go to Twitter for help from a business (and tag it in a post), that business knows it needs to address the situation ASAP. Why? The court of public opinion exerts a powerful influence on the consumer. If people on Twitter see that someone has a problem with a product or service (especially if they’re a user of that product/service), they’ll do well to look at how that company is handling the problem. This leads companies to exert considerable efforts to solve the problem.
If a company is not aware of what is going on, it is terribly behind.
Thanks to Amazon, consumers have become accustomed to instant gratification. They want same day delivery and refuse to wait for help. Everyone is too busy to listen to bad Muzak for minutes or hours. And given that they can hop on Twitter, tag you in a post, and continue their day until you respond, sticking to the old channels could be a death knell for your business.
This is precisely why it has become crucial for social media integration with CRM tools. Not only does this assure consumers that a business will meet their demand, but it also ensures that businesses provide consumers with the communication tool of their choice. Some customers will prefer to pick up the phone, others default to email, but the vast majority will want their first point of contact to be social media.
Unless you have social media channels built into your CRM tool, you’re missing out.
to market, to market
CRM tools aren’t just about supporting current customers, they’re also about marketing to new consumers. If your business isn’t already taking advantage of social media, you’re losing the race. And using social media isn’t just about paying for ads on Twitter and Facebook, it’s about building and nurturing relationships.
While a traditional CRM tool can help you manage these old-school marketing channels through the tried-and-true methods, without a social media component, they’re obsolete. Your marketing team needs easy access to social channels to be effective. By adding the social layer to your CRM, customer engagement becomes a two-way street. So, instead of building a passive relationship with customers, you’re building an active one, which will be exponentially easier for your marketing team to leverage.
You need it
It’s no longer a question of if but when you need social integration in your CMS. And if your current CRM solution isn’t capable of integrating social media, it’s time you started looking for a new platform. The longer you delay making this decision, the further you will fall behind the competition. And given today’s competition, you can’t afford to fall behind even slightly.
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