INTEGRATING SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRM FOR IMPROVED CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
For any business to thrive, always position it to where the people are. This is true to any facet of business including Customer Relationship Management (CRM). And where else is the best place to manage your customer engagement? It is in the cyber world of social media!
Social media has disrupted (if not totally restructured) the way businesses engage with their customers. Using the social media in CRM makes it possible for a business to communicate with their audience using the platform of their choice (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc). Beyond customer engagement, a social CRM system allows businesses to gather useful consumer insights about their company, the service or product they are offering, and use this information for their future marketing strategies.
WHAT IS SOCIAL CRM?
Before defining Social CRM, let us first discuss what CRM is. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a software that started out as databases of merged customer contact information and customer behavior data. Since then, CRMs have become businesses’ central nervous systems.
Social Customer Relationship Management (aka Social CRM) is the incorporation of social media channels into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. With the massive audience you can reach through social media, businesses have optimized this avenue in reaching out and interact with their customers.
With the integration of social media to CRM, businesses and corporations can collect more accurate customer data and track online behavior through these social media platforms. This can be used to analyze trends that will allow their business approaches to adapt to the ever-changing customer demand.
WHY DO BUSINESSES NEED TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CRM?
We are now living in a digital era where everything is just one click away. Social media is the best way to connect to your customers whenever and wherever they are. Consumers want to engage with brands on a social level, just like how they communicate with their family and friends.
Customers today expect brands to be aware of past points of contact, as well as their purchase history. If you can show that you remember the past social media engagements you had with them, you will have a higher level of connection with your audience. The higher the level of connectedness you have established with your customers, the more loyal they will be to your brand.
WAYS OF MAXIMIZING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CRM
1. Complaints Management
Social media is a very convenient approach in managing customer complaints. Gone are the days when customers will wait on businesses’ customer support agent via phone call only to find out that no agent is available to receive them at the moment. With social media channels, customers can voice out their concerns on their preferred time and customer support can respond to them accordingly.
There are two steps on how to use social media to manage complaints. The first step is when customers posted their complaints publicly where other people can see it. Businesses have to show to other people that they respond as fast as they can to any customer complaints by leaving a comment as soon as they can. If further communication between the customer regarding the issue is necessary, they can redirect them to a private messaging platform where they can voice out their concerns in full details. This is actually the second step of social media complaint management. If the issue is too complicated to be resolved through social media, you can have the option to move it to another communication channel.
2. Rewarding loyal customers and brand advocates
Social media is not just all about customer complaints management. In fact, you can leverage on this platform on a positive way by rewarding highly engaging loyal customers online. As a business owner, you should never take for granted the loyal customers that continuously interact with your online presence, as they are the main drivers for your organic growth on social media. Show them your appreciation by giving them rewards and incentivizing their work.
There are several ways of doing this. You can choose to reward them online by liking and sharing their posts. Further extend your gratitude by collecting their details and sending them special gifts. No matter how small you think your act of appreciation is, your customers will truly appreciate it and will continue to support your brand that will help your business to grow.
3. Creating more values in your product
With social media to track your customers’ purchase history, you can predict what they would most likely purchase next and you can tie it with your social media campaigns. You can also create customized ad campaigns for purchases similar to theirs, then direct them to related products. You should take note of opportunities online when you can upsell or cross-sell your products. Using social media for upselling is not about the sales pitch itself. It is about taking advantage of the right opportunities at the right time.
4. Social sharing
Social media is a platform for sharing, making it natural for brands to engage in content marketing. For more engagement and interaction with your audience, you can also share contents that are not directly related to your brand but highly relevant to the niche you belong in. You can share tips and important information about a certain topic related to your content that your customers should be aware of. For example, if you are selling skin care products online, you can also share articles and contents about nutritious foods that can make skin healthy and glowing. Do not bombard your social media page with contents directly related to your brand and make sure to share posts that will “break the ice” on your account.
We are living in a period where people are physically and virtually present at the same time. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to meet your audience both ways. In the cyber world, social media plays a vital role in building a connection with your customers that will establish trust and loyalty in the long run.