The power and reach of social media is higher than ever with 2.8 billion global social media users. The average user now spends 2 hours and 19 minutes using social platforms each day! (Source: We are Social) Savvy businesses are taking advantage by using social to engage with their audiences in real time. The most successful of those have taken it one step farther by integrating social media with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies.
Example Social-CRM integration done well…
Imagine an upset customer spouts off on Twitter about a rotten experience they had when they received a delivery from your company. All you can gather from their tweet is their Twitter handle. However, now that your social media channels are linked to the customers in your CRM database, you can see who that customer is, what they ordered, and immediately start looking into the issue without having to ask them for more information. Your customer will feel a greater sense of relationship that you knew who they were without having to ask.
Now imagine these interactions with that customer are automatically documented in their customer record. Next time they place an order, you’ll remember there was an issue before and you can make sure there are no problems with this order, send a handwritten note with their order, or even reach out on Twitter to let them know you’ve personally seen to their order and it’s on its way. Imagine the loyalty you could build with your customers!
If you’re all about the customer experience or learning as much as you can about your customers (for better marketing and to offer better products or more value), try connecting social media with your CRM system and:
- see a more complete picture of your customer and the conversations you’ve had
- gather rich, authentic customer data to identify new opportunities
- create and reward loyal customers, turning them into product evangelists
- manage customer relationships
- increase revenue through social promotions, upselling and cross-selling
- segment your audience into categories for deeper interaction using criteria like buying habits, purchase backgrounds, and feedback
How do I connect my CRM system and social media?
If your existing CRM doesn’t already have social capabilities (before thinking about moving to another tool, check with them directly in case your CRM added new functionality and you just don’t know it yet). If you’re in the market for a CRM tool, make sure it’s a Social CRM.
CRM systems with social capabilities help marketers monitor, track and even benchmark their communications and help sales and customer service better manage customers and prospects. There are many tools offering a singular place to manage your social engagement and your customers within the same platform:
Social CRM software
Here are a few well-liked CRM platforms with social integrations:
- Zoho CRM offers its tool starting at $20/mo (per user) and integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This tool offers additional functionality marketers might find useful (like AdWords integrations and workflows) and prospecting tools for sales. However, the CRM isn’t up to par with its bigger competitors and the user interface isn’t as streamlined.
- Nimble is a cost-effective option starting at $22/month. They claim to have a strong CRM tool that integrates information from Twitter, Facebook, Klout, AngelList, Foursquare, Google+ and even Instagram profiles. Nimble helps with customer service and prospecting by pulling details like experience, education, shared relationships and even mutual interests straight into a customer record.
- AgileCRM starts at $8.99/mo (per user) and offers similar functionality but connects with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even LinkedIn (which, if you’re B2B, is probably more beneficial than Foursquare or Instagram depending on your business).
- SproutSocial offers a social customer management option for those that want to keep it simple. If you’d rather integrate with Zendesk, this is a good option but Sprout’s CRM isn’t a true “CRM.” They have beautiful reporting, but starting at $99/mo (per user), there are better options out there.
- Pardot and SalesForce is a robust option; it’s a very strong combination but built for larger budgets (with Pardot starting at about $1,000/mo for minimal functionality and Salesforce pricing fluctuating depending on need and team size).
- HubSpot, obviously a favorite of ours, is a feature-heavy, all-in-one tool to manage your CRM, marketing automation, social media and content development. A global favorite among marketers, this tool lets you see every interaction with your messages, and create custom keyword monitoring streams for everyone on your team. You can also trigger email alerts to specific team members if a prospect mentions your company or one of your keywords or listed hashtags. HubSpot offers additional marketing benefits (tracking the ROI of Facebook, AdWords, and LinkedIn advertising), integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, and offers the best reporting and analytics for the price starting at $200/mo (no limit on users) and free CRM tools.
What should I monitor?
Customer Service / Sentiment
As mentioned earlier in this post, listening to customers is one of the main benefits of integrating your social and CRM; doing so helps build relationships and loyalty among your customers and prospects. It also grants greater insight into things like:
- product reviews
- customer engagement and actions (mentions, retweets, shares, likes, and comments)
- complaints or kudos (and the ability to respond, sometimes directly in the tool)
- potential issues, giving you the ability to resolve them before they become big(ger) problems
There are many metrics for analyzing social media performance. Note however, that while some social metrics are universal, there are also others specific to each platform but more importantly, specific to your business and your goals. With a Social CRM you can monitor metrics like:
- traffic from social media channels (and which posts)
- new contacts from social media
Screen shot from HubSpot dashboard comparing social performance month-over-month
The advice we listed here is just breaking the surface. There is so much you can learn and value you can offer when you combine social media with your CRM… tune into to audience needs and provide an even greater customer experience.
If you need help moving to a Social CRM or just want more direction, contact us!
For more information on how to streamline your social media processes, download our free eBook.