Social CRM

What is social CRM?

Social customer relationship management (CRM) describes the addition of a social media element in traditional CRM processes. Social CRM builds upon traditional customer relationship management by leveraging a business’s social presence to connect customer conversations and relationships from social networking sites into the CRM process. Social CRM may also be called CRM 2.0 or abbreviated as SCRM.

How is social CRM different than traditional CRM?

Traditional customer relationship management refers to the tracking and management of the sales, marketing, and service-related interactions businesses have with current and potential customers. 

Social CRM is a bit different. By implementing social CRM, businesses see all interactions that occur across social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Social customer relationship management is a critical component of CRM 2.0, a philosophy that places importance on building true relationships with customers.

More than 4 billion people across the globe use social media. A recent survey found that 56% of users surveyed said social media influenced all of their shopping decisions. Social customer relationship management seeks to engage with this enormous potential audience in the influential social channels they’re already using.

Social CRM’s benefits

In addition to the ability to engage with customers in real-time, businesses use social CRM to:

  • Build relationships: Not every customer that leaves a comment, shares a post, or likes an ad is ready to convert. Social CRM’s engagement enables companies to nurture these leads in real-time. For example, businesses can quickly reply to comments from potential customers asking questions about a product or service.
  • Gather new product or service ideas: Social CRM simplifies social listening. By closely monitoring customer conversations occurring on social media, companies can gather ideas for new products and services or learn how to improve existing offerings.
  • Resolve issues quickly: Social CRM tools enable businesses to pinpoint conversations where customers are showing dissatisfaction. Businesses can then resolve these issues quickly to avoid additional consequences and improve the customer experience.
  • Enhance brand awareness: When many consumers use social media to inform their buying decisions, a company’s presence on social channels matters. Social CRM helps businesses stay visible on their various social channels, improving brand awareness.

Market size

Due to the continued rapid growth of social media use and evolving consumer expectations, businesses across the globe are quickly implementing social CRM strategies and platforms. According to Global Industry Analysts, the global social CRM market is expected to reach $244.4 billion by 2027. This is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.6% from a market size of $16.8 billion in 2020.

How is Social CRM used?

Social CRM currently supports many critical aspects of a business’s operations:

For Improving the Customer Experience

The customer experience is critical for business success. Whether positive or negative, a customer’s experience at every stage of the sales journey will determine if the relationship between a customer and a business continues or stalls. Social CRM helps businesses improve the customer experience by engaging with customers in real-time, quickly responding to their concerns, and offering guidance.

For Enabling Personalization

Social CRM enables businesses to get to know their customers on a deeper level by gaining insights through social interactions. In turn, these insights allow businesses to personalize customer experiences. For example, companies can gain an understanding of what social content impacts customers most so they can develop even more.

For Boosting Marketing Efforts

The insights gathered through social CRM are priceless for any marketing campaign. For example, insights pinpoint:

  • Which ads and social content convert at a higher rate
  • Products customers are interested in the most
  • Specific audience segments for targeting and retargeting
  • Types of content customers engage with the most

These insights are priceless for improving current campaigns and informing future campaigns.


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Examples of Social CRM

Resolving a Customer Complaint

Scenario: A customer shared a tweet saying their meal was cold and then tagged the business.

The business sees this tweet and makes the necessary effort to resolve the complaint. For example, the business may directly respond with an apology via Twitter and then send the customer a coupon for their next meal via email.

Rewarding an Influencer

Scenario: A loyal customer has been championing a business recently via Facebook. The posts they’ve been sharing have been gaining attention and resulting in many leads.

Using social CRM, the business sees the impact these posts have made. As a result, they reach out to the loyal customer and reward them for their efforts. For example, the business may send them a thank-you gift via mail or provide them with a coupon for their next purchase.

Improving the Customer Experience Based on Social Feedback

Scenario: Social posts have been circulating on several platforms mentioning how hard it is to make an appointment with a specific business.

The business in question sees these posts and takes immediate action by reaching out to these customers individually. The business may then take measures such as updating their website with new contact information and implementing a new online scheduling tool.

How does social CRM support inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing refers to creating content tailored to a customer base. The key term here is “tailored” when it comes to understanding social CRM’s role in inbound marketing. The only way to tailor marketing messages to fit a customer base is to understand their needs, desires, and pain points.

Social CRM helps businesses gather insight into these needs, desires, and pain points by analyzing social media platform interactions. The result is data businesses can use to improve their marketing messages and create content that serves a true purpose. It also enables businesses to develop personalized campaigns based on specific customer segments.

Social CRM’s key features

A social CRM platform collects tolls and functions a business needs to monitor and manage its social media platforms. Some of the key features any social CRM will have include:

  • Social media monitoring: Gathers insights about what customers are saying about a business, product, or service. Typically, monitoring is completed by setting specific keywords, mentions, and even hashtags the social CRM will then scan for in real-time.
  • Social listening: Enables companies to gather insights on more than just their brand. Instead, they can monitor industry trends, competitors, and more.
  • Social media posting: Simplifies posting to all social media platforms from one tool. Platforms are connected to the platform and posts can then be sent immediately or scheduled for future posting.
  • Sentiment analysis: Uses natural language processing (NLP) to identify which social statements are positive, negative, or neutral. This analysis helps measure customer satisfaction and leads to insights that improve the customer experience.
  • Integration across platforms: Integrates all social media platforms into a unified control and reporting environment.
  • Customer profiles: Developing customer profiles enables businesses to divide customers based on interest, their place in the sales funnel, goals, and more. As a result, businesses can tailor marketing messages, ad campaigns, products, and services to their customers to improve the overall experience and boost sales.

What are Some Challenges of Social CRM?

Although social VCRM’s benefits are many, there are also potential challenges involved.

Overwhelming Data

Businesses with large social media followings or those with many platforms may find the data they’re gathering overwhelming at first. It’s important for businesses to choose which data they feel is most important before they get started. Otherwise, it’s impossible to glean insights from the sheer amount of data collected through the social CRM’s interactions.

Not Enough Data

Other times, businesses with smaller social media followings may not be able to glean many insights at all due to a lack of data. This often results in businesses not seeing a true ROI from their efforts and abandoning ship. Results from any initiative will always take time.

Lack of Time

Implementing a new tool, figuring out how to use it, and then using it well takes time. It also takes time and effort to gather data, analyze it, and make the necessary changes to improve. Smaller teams may struggle with the workload a social CRM will inspire in the beginning stages. The good news is most CRM software will feature automation to simplify this process.

What Tools are Used for Social CRM?

Many tools and software solutions exist within the market today. While some tools are made specifically for social media, others include social media tools and functions inside a larger CRM software.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM Logo.HubSpot’s includes tools for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. Using HubSpot, businesses can post to their platforms, set up tools like keyword monitoring, and link all interactions back to the CRM.

 

Falcon.io

Falcon.io icon.Using Falcon.io, companies can create social media content, manage all of their channels in one place, create personalized customer profiles, track via social listening tools, and merge social data with their traditional CRM system.

 

Nimble

Nimble CRM icon.Nimble is a relationship-focused CRM that builds itself. Plus, businesses can see insights from within social media platform browser windows. Nimble provides social profile matching and enrichment, segmentation tools, and more.

 


This article was reviewed and extensively updated in March 2022 by Brenna Miles.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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