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5 feats of integrating social media with your CRM system

02 Nov 2010

The phenomenon that is social media allows for anyone to publish or access information on almost anything – and they do. It has become so huge that it is now an essential strategy for any business. Having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy and system is another prevalent strategy in today’s business world, and so it makes sense to integrate the two; in turn making a CRM social media superpower.
1. The Social Community
The term ‘Social Community’ refers to the group of individuals that are connected by a common denominator, for example being fans of the same rock band. By creating a social community for your organisation, product or service you open up a whole new audience and new avenues of communication. When you combine this with your CRM system, you can gather vital customer contact information as well as preferences and opinions that are honest and immediate which can be leveraged for the next time you communicate with them.
2. A New Way of Communication
A good way to look at this integration is to treat your social media efforts as a new channel to improve and extend your CRM system. Not only is this method different from traditional push advertising; it is interactive, providing an indispensable feedback loop between you and your customers. This non-invasive, playful medium means more customers are likely to get involved and express their unsolicited opinions. You can now communicate with customers on a more personal level, aligning with a great CRM strategy. It has the ability to be the new ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing as customers freely promote you, engaging the rest of your social community in a viral way.
3. Increased Quality and Quantity
With a whole new world opened up with social media, not only does your number of prospects skyrocket; your quality of targeting marketing will dramatically improve. As the popularity of using social media increases, you now have hundreds of thousands of individuals you can reach in one hit. As each customer becomes more involved in your social media efforts, not only can you collect contact information to relay into your CRM system, but you can all continue to build their profile, shaping a true 360-degree view and allowing for high-quality interactions.
4. Be Ahead of the Joneses
Organisations can no longer rely only on traditional methods of marketing to create awareness of their product. Increasingly customers are using social media as a research tool to gather and relay information around the products they use. You need to be able to monitor and engage in conversations and other goings-on. This is where the integration to your CRM system comes in – consistently feeding information back into CRM to be easily examined and actioned.
5. A Market Research Tool
Connecting your CRM to social media can act as many market research tools. Get product development input and discover what people like and dislike most about your organisation, product or service, gain early warnings for product concerns, and measure the online influence of each contact based on follower counts and postings. One particularly useful tool is ‘sentiment scoring’. This allows you to monitor the sentiment of what people are posting about your organisation and brand. For example, you can monitor Twitter hash tags of your organisation. This tool will score each comment as positive, negative or neutral depending on its content. The great benefit of this is that you are instantly made aware and can act in a timely manner. To take this even further, if you find a negative issue you can instantly convert it into a case in your CRM system and address the issue through your established problem resolution process. And you can extend your gratitude to those individuals who are praising you.
What should you take away from this? Firstly, be present. There is no denying the social community, so embrace it and use it to your advantage. Second, get connected. Use the abundance of insight social media can provide you. Listen to what people are saying, analyse the conversations and engage with your social community. Better yet, connect this information with your CRM system for timely and consistent data that can be leveraged and actioned quickly – discover the CRM social media superpower. 

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