Social media use among consumers continues to grow, with Twitter users sending out over 400 million tweets every day, and Facebook users spending over 10.5 billion (billion!) minutes on Facebook every day. But consumers are not the only ones. Businesses too are taking steps into the social sphere, listening, learning and talking to existing and potential customers. In essence, they have begun to engage in Social CRM.
So What the Heck Is Social CRM Anyway?
Social CRM is the practice of using social media as a tool to build and maintain your business’s relationships with customers. It’s more than having a Facebook and Twitter account, it’s about using these and other tools to listen to your customers and connect with them.
As mentioned, the number of your customers on various social media channels is growing, which means you have an opportunity to connect with nearly every one of your customers – something you never would have been able to do in years past.
Social CRM is a new channel of CRM and it is more than just a marketing tool; it can be used to generate sales leads, to perform market research, and to learn more about the demographic makeup of your customers. You can also use the information that your customers share about your business or products to enhance customer satisfaction, aid customer service and make improvements to your products.
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Can Social CRM Really Bring You New Customers?
One reason some businesses have been reluctant to dive in to Social CRM is that they lack concrete evidence that the time and effort used to maintain a social media presence will show a return. This is changing, however. Social media sites now offer tools that allow businesses to track and measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing and CRM activities. Some tools also aid businesses in integrating their online CRM activities with the rest of their real life marketing, sales and customer service departments, so that brands can monitor awareness, reputation manage crises, and get a high level view of customer relationship management.
It may not be right for your business quite yet, but it is certainly something to consider moving forward. Especially considering the insight it provides into customer engagement.
Research for this post was provided by Rand Group – a business enterprise solution software provider for the oil and gas, manufacturing and construction industries.