Social media not only changes the way we communicate on a personal level, it also changes how businesses approach CRM strategies. Social CRM is the fluid implementation of social networking sites, like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, into their CRM strategies. It allows businesses to share ideas, take feedback and build relationships with their customers at a more personalized juncture.
Here are 7 tips to make sure your social CRM strategies are successful.
1. Create a Social Customer-Care Hub Rather than Deferring to Marketing Teams
According to DMG Consulting, about 40% of companies have marketers handle social media on a daily basis. However, most social media questions are customer service questions that marketers cannot answer. This is where many social CRM strategies lead to slow, impersonal responses.
To reconcile this, you should create a specific team that contains both knowledgeable customer service reps and creative marketing experts. This equips the team with the best of worlds.
2. Use Tools that Connect Social Media with Traditional CRM
Connecting social media with traditional CRM software creates more insight and room for analysis. It allows you to map information about customers, and implement social behaviors into your product feedback. While all-in-one platforms do not exist currently, specific social media aggregators can be connected to current database software. Having these automated CRM tools will give you an advantage over companies that are working from the other way around (social media first).
3. Reward Loyal Customers
Use promotions on Facebook via sharing or hashtag campaigns on Twitter to reward your customers. These rewards are great for marketing because they reach a greater audience with less hassle. For example, shared posts on Facebook reach friends of people who may not follow your page, and likewise with Twitter retweets. Using social media in this way is like an extension of word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Be Mindful of the Public and Private Communication Channels
You should not expect customers to relinquish personal information, like addresses, passwords or credit card information, over social media. When you are having conversations with your customers and require such information, direct them to appropriate private channels such as through email or phone. Keeping these two channels separate will make it easier for customers to trust you.
5. Respond to Customers Quickly
One of the major reasons to implement a social CRM strategy is that the waiting period between conversations is decreased. Customers follow your brand on social media because they want to be part of a dialogue. Even if you must admit a mistake, it is better to get it out of the way immediately, than to bide your time making the customer more suspicious.
6. Have Personal, Two-Way Conversations with Customers
In the same vein as the previous tip, you want to avoid having boilerplate responses as much as possible. Respond to customers with a friendly tone and refer to them by name. Generic responses turn off customers as it will make them think of archaic automated phone or email responses.
7. Scout Out your Online Reputation
Look around on review sites outside of your own personal social media pages. Use systems like newBrandAnalytics to aggregate reviews, posts and comments. Comments outside of your personal bubble are usually more telling, because they show what your reputation is for people who aren’t yet convinced about your brand. Responding to these comments and reviews quickly gives you a better chance of persuading people who are still on the fence.
Proper implementation of social CRM strategies takes a careful balance of business strategy, social-mindedness, and reactivity. But if you can get social CRM working, it is very rewarding and will increase your brand recognition and customer satisfaction by a great deal.
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.