A key feature in CRM today is leveraging businesses’ social media interactions with customers. Its benefits are plenty.
As per stats, social CRM increases customer retention by as much as 26%, making it a necessity to incorporate your CRM strategy. Social media, being a vital customer touch-point, is where customers talk about things that matter to them, their experiences, and their opinions on your business.
In case a customer is unsatisfied with a product or service from you, they will immediately let their friends and family know about it through social channels.
Thus, social customer relationship management software is vital for making your business accessible to customers, keeping informed, and staying proactive in engaging with and getting to know your customers better.
Here are five essential tips you can implement while building a social CRM strategy for your business:
Identify Problems and Define a Goal.
Like every other business strategy, your social CRM strategy will be successful only when you can identify problems and have a clearly defined goal. What are the challenges your customers are facing? What are the things missing from their perspective? What can you do to have more relevant, convenient, and helpful conversations with your customers?
When you can identify the problems your customers are facing, you will be able to set a clear goal. You want to know what your end goal is and work toward achieving it. Depending on your goal(s), you can track the team’s progress. Is your goal to increase conversions? You need to check the website traffic metric, lead generation metric, conversion metric, and so on.
See that the end goal of your social CRM strategy incorporates what you wish the future environment of your business to be. While at it, you should also consider customer experience and profitability.
Use the right Social Tool and CRM.
Prior to incorporating a Social CRM strategy, your business needs to select the right social media analytics tool to manage the social media efforts. The platform you opt for will become the hub for scheduling social posts across all the channels in which you are active, monitoring what people are talking about you and to how many people, and communicating with customers. Your Social CRM tool should be able to perform all of those things and integrate with the CRM tool you are using.
For instance, Sprout Social Premium is a good tool with advanced analytics capabilities. Apart from that, your business needs a great CRM. Your social tool will look at how your marketing efforts are performing across your social platform engagements.
It’s crucial that your CRM allows you to integrate with a social media management tool you use. That said, it should be a CRM-specific social media tool. The crucial tools include a dashboard, reporting, and tools for gathering clean data.
Use relevant Social Channels
Many businesses try to be present everywhere their customers are. But it is the wrong approach. It is more realistic to target only the most relevant social networks when you are starting out. Find out the channels that your customers use most frequently and opt for not more than two.
Consider starting with Facebook and Twitter. As of the third quarter of 2019, monthly active Facebook users were 2.45 billion, making it the world’s largest social media platform.
And as of the first quarter of 2019, Twitter had 330 million monthly active users. Twitter has a format that allows for fast, brief, and user-friendly communication.
You can still be active on other social channels, but you’ll be investing a lot trying to turn each platform into a customer support center. What you can instead do is offer links to other avenues for customer support in your secondary accounts.
It will be a waste of time creating and posting content and engaging with followers on a social media channel that is not relevant to your business. If you own an e-commerce site, it will serve your business well to post eye-catching photos of your products on Instagram or Pinterest and engage you’re your customers.
However, if you are a software company, your audiences are more likely to be localized in the three traditional channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In case your customers are inclining toward a new social channel, you can consider monitoring the channel. However, see that you don’t take hours to respond to a Facebook query because you are busy managing your secondary Snapchat account.
Keep representatives to respond to Social Media queries fast or Automate Messages
Social media managers serve as real-time customer support representatives, and they are the ambassadors of your brand. Your reps should respond to customers’ queries on social media quickly. A genuine interaction should take place during the conversation and not a transaction.
If you look at the stats,
- As per CrazyEgg, 38% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company offering live chat support.
- Kayako reports that 79% of businesses that implement live chat saw increased customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.
- In a survey, 31% of respondents said that the expected response time for social media queries or complaints is within 24 hours or less.
While interacting with your customers, don’t be afraid to give out your first name. Consider integrating your social network and customer service teams into an interconnected department to boost the speed and response quality. But that would depend on the type of business you have.
The main challenge of offering customer support via social networks is that it demands you to have someone available to respond quickly. If not, you should have an automated message set up letting the customers know a rep will respond ASAP. Thus, ensure that you somehow manage to interact with your customers at any time of day.
It is also crucial to integrate your social media support with sales support via live chat, email, or a call center. Since not all queries can be answered or not all problems can be solved in a public forum, you require a more private system (sans a word count limit) to resolve the issue.
Once you solve the issue, you can always go back to the social media chat and thank the customer for their patience. It shows that you respect and value them.
Use social incentives to increase brand loyalty
The most vocal, loyal, and active followers on your social media accounts are assets. By building a relationship with them and those with significant social influence, you can turn your online presence into communities.
Create a hashtag campaign on Twitter around a specific promotion. Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke is the most extensive and excellent campaign in digital marketing platforms.
The campaign’s aim was to call people to share a bottle of the drink with their loved ones. The company personalized the bottle for each entry, and it ended up generating huge sales for the brand. Besides, they were able to gain plenty of user-generated content.
If you intend to run a hashtag campaign, consider these tips:
- Create hashtags that trigger the emotions of the people.
- Don’t use a hashtag only relating to your brand.
- Choose a unique hashtag that is not extensively in use.
- Make your hashtag short to allow people to memorize it. Avoid combining more than 3-4 words to come up with one hashtag and keep it less than 12 characters.
- Capitalize each word. It will avoid miss-spell when you club them together.
- Create your hashtags to align with your goals.
- Using your hashtags, build a live Twitter feed for events.
You can also give a shoutout on Instagram to your most active followers within a week. Giving discount offers or promotional codes are great ways to repay engaged customers.
Social networks offer you more instant access to a broader range of customers and using Social CRM, you can benefit more from those connections.
Another way to do it is to run competitions. People love the competition and equally love getting prizes when they win. The thrill of competition is something that free prizes can’t provide.
There are plenty of opportunities for competitions. Plan it right, and you can get some free advertising.
For instance, you can ask followers to submit videos, artwork, or other visual elements. You can use varying content and advertising after the competition ends. Just ensure that the prize compensates for the time the participants invest.
Remember that a social customer relationship management strategy involves a harmonized effort between your marketing, sales, and customer service departments to enhance engagement with customers and boost brand awareness. Social CRM isn’t limited to collecting data and increasing sales. It should create a two-way conversation that involves outbound messaging and inbound queries.
Though every business has different social CRM strategies, most involve the execution of social listening and social publishing tools. Focus on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is not a requirement to build a strong presence on each platform. Be present where your customers are.
Aanya Rachel is the Content Manager at The Address coworking space in Vadodara, Gujarat. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on a wide range of topics related to coworking, the growth of remote workers, startups, and real estate.