10 Steps to Successful Social CRM


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Cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) is inte­gral to the long-term suc­cess of a com­pany. Now, with online com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion and social media usage at an all-time high, social CRM is quickly being adopted. Quite pos­si­bly the miss­ing link between sales and mar­ket­ing, social CRM allows com­pa­nies to mon­i­tor and engage cus­tomers like never before.

Def­i­n­i­tion of Social CRM (sCRM)

There are many def­i­n­i­tions of social CRM avail­able, but this one best defines the concept.

[Social] CRM is a phi­los­o­phy and a busi­ness strat­egy, sup­ported by a sys­tem and a tech­nol­ogy, designed to improve human inter­ac­tion in a busi­ness environment.

Este­ban Kol­sky, Three Rea­sons You Will Do Social CRM

The core func­tion of suc­cess­ful sCRM is to inte­grate data pulled from social media plat­forms and use ana­lyt­ics to deter­mine cus­tomer sen­ti­ment, indus­try trends, and social media return on invest­ment. Social cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment is the act of mon­i­tor­ing, engag­ing, and man­ag­ing online con­ver­sa­tions with prospects and clients.

Ben­e­fits of sCRM

The key to effec­tive social CRM is trans­parency. And the secret to suc­cess­ful trans­parency in a busi­ness envi­ron­ment is to have a plan. Sales­peo­ple have call objec­tives, mar­keters have con­ver­sion goals, and cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives have issue res­o­lu­tion plans. Social CRM com­bines all of these depart­men­tal aspi­ra­tions into one uni­fied customer-centric strat­egy. The num­ber one ben­e­fit of suc­cess­ful sCRM is being able to actively seek out and engage prospects in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel of their preference.

10 Step Check List for Suc­cess­ful sCRM

Social cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment is a nec­es­sary busi­ness strat­egy. How­ever, what works for one com­pany may not work for another. The specifics of what will make your company’s sCRM efforts suc­cess­ful are unique to your busi­ness and its tar­get audi­ence. When lay­ing the foun­da­tion for your social strat­egy, here are ten key steps to consider:

1. Assem­ble a team

An effec­tive sCRM team should include employ­ees from all rel­a­tive depart­ments, and a super­vi­sor or man­ager who over­sees daily activ­i­ties, con­tent dis­tri­b­u­tion, and over­all strat­egy execution.

2. Audit all social media accounts

Before imple­ment­ing a social cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment ini­tia­tive it is impor­tant to iden­tify what accounts a com­pany cur­rently uses, deter­mine which employee accounts will be used for brand advo­cacy, and cre­ate any accounts that are miss­ing from the social media portfolio.

3. Cre­ate a style guide

To ensure con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing, it is essen­tial to cre­ate a style guide. A style guide will out­line the tone, industry-specific terms, desired hash tags, and gen­eral mes­sag­ing guide­lines for all online conversations.

4. Cre­ate a dis­as­ter plan

Be pre­pared for neg­a­tive engage­ment. A dis­as­ter plan will dic­tate how employ­ees should respond to neg­a­tive feed­back and any poten­tial dis­as­ter. Cre­ate sce­nar­ios and openly dis­cuss with employ­ees to deter­mine the most appro­pri­ate response timeline.

5. Train team members

The nuances of online com­mu­ni­ca­tion are inte­gral to build­ing and main­tain­ing suc­cess­ful cus­tomer rela­tion­ships. To guar­an­tee suc­cess, all team mem­bers should par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills train­ing to improve their abil­ity to con­verse effec­tively online.

6. Mon­i­tor prospect and cus­tomer conversations

Actively mon­i­tor brand name men­tions, cus­tomer and prospect con­ver­sa­tions, and indus­try experts across a vari­ety of social media plat­forms. Proac­tively mon­i­tor­ing will aid in deflect­ing cus­tomer issues, stay­ing aware of indus­try trends, and know­ing what cus­tomers need and want.

7. Respond and resolve

Response time is cru­cial to suc­cess­ful sCRM. Always respond to every­one, pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive, and do so in a timely man­ner. Be sure to include spe­cific time­frame expec­ta­tions in your social cus­tomer ser­vice strat­egy for ques­tions and ser­vice or prod­uct issues.

8. Amuse fans and followers

Social media chan­nels are an ideal plat­form for pro­mot­ing con­tent, and also for cre­at­ing amuse­ment and dis­trac­tion. Add value to your con­tent stream by includ­ing the occa­sional witty quote or funny office photo. Peo­ple bond to peo­ple, and show­ing a human side every once in while will go far in build­ing rapport.

9. Engage and edu­cate audience

While it is fun to see a funny photo go viral, do not for­get the goal of your social media activ­ity is to engage and edu­cate cus­tomers and prospects with your con­tent. Always aim to add value and attract read­ers by appeal­ing to their var­i­ous needs and wants.

10. Con­vert

Effec­tive sCRM opens the door for devel­op­ing a permission-based dia­logue between a com­pany and cus­tomer. Suc­cess­ful social cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment will increase rev­enue by direct­ing a higher vol­ume of qual­i­fied leads to your web­site and/or spe­cific con­ver­sion pages.

The value of social busi­ness prac­tices and engag­ing in social sell­ing is unde­ni­able. Are you max­i­miz­ing your social media activities?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rachel Miller
Rachel Miller is the Customer Engagement Manager at Nimble - a simple, affordable social relationship manager.


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