Whether you’re new to social media marketing, or you’ve successfully maintained your company’s twitter account for several years, you aren’t alone if you are a little unclear when it comes to what social CRM is, and what it can do for your marketing efforts.
What is Social CRM?
To begin with, lets look to Paul Greenberg’s frequently quoted definition:
“Social CRM is a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. It's the company's response to the customer's ownership of the conversation” (see the full article here.)
In short, Social CRM is a way for you to plan, measure & control your social media marketing to increase customer engagement & add value to customer relationships.
Why do you need it?
It is easy for me to sit and tell you what social CRM is and that you need it, but it is a commitment of both resource and culture, and before you commit to either, it is essential that you understand the benefits but to enable you to put them to good use.
Ask any social media expert what the benefits are of social CRM, and they will probably all come back with slightly different answers. However, the core will remain the same –social CRM can help you:
Develop stronger relationships with your customers:
- Understand what they need from you & when.
- Discover and resolve issues they’re they facing and interact with them on the platforms that they choose.
- Uncover who your brand advocates are and develop collaboration strategies with them.
- Increase engagement, brand and reach by using data to provide quick and targeted responses, and highly relevant content.
Give your reps a new level of data:
- Find out who your prospective customers are…
- …And what they’re talking about: what do they want/need, what are their pain points?
- Access the most up-to-date information on your customers and develop a holistic view of them, to enable solid strategy for engagement with prospects.
Help you identify, understand and solve business challenges:
If you don’t know that there is a problem, how can you fix it? And even if you do know that there is a problem, do you know how to fix it? Social CRM gives you the data you need to develop strategies, not only to problem-solve, but also to deliver solutions that your customers want.
Social CRM is the next step in your social media evolution. It’s not enough to just have a social media presence any more; customers expect more-and Social CRM can help.
“Social CRM is about moving from fans & followers to customers and advocates” – Jacob Morgan