The goal of any CRM strategy should be engagement with customers. Engagement is likely to lead to better customer relations, happier customers and, as an added benefit, more customers. So how can you reach this level of engagement?

There are many different methods to CRM. These days, one of the most successful is a social CRM strategy. With social media now an integral part of both business and personal life, taking a social method to CRM encourages a new level of engagement with customers new and old.

A social media strategy may be the foundation of this, but implementing CRM is crucial as well – when combined this translates into a social CRM strategy. But how can you approach implementing a successful social CRM strategy? Once you have the strategy set, what tools can you use to put it into practice? These are the questions we’ll address below.

What is a ‘Social” CRM Strategy?

A social CRM strategy is essentially what it sounds like: adding a social element to customer relationship management. The goal in bringing social to CRM is not only to increase brand awareness, but also to engage with customers more often and with higher quality interactions.

A social CRM strategy often involves a collaborative effort between your business’ marketing, customer service and sales departments. With B2B sales and social media combined, your business will be better able to provide a more relevant outbound message and a higher quality response to inbound queries. There are two essentially elements to a social CRM strategy: social listening and social publishing. By combining these two on the marketing and customer service front, businesses can improve outcomes on the sales front. So let’s jump into the specific tips for a successful social CRM strategy!

7 Tips for a Successful Social CRM Strategy
  1. Identify Your Problems and Goals: Instead of simply jumping into combining social media with CRM, you should take time to highlight both your problems and your goals. Honestly assess what may be missing from your customers’ perspective.
  2. Start Small: Don’t start out trying to target all of your customers at once, regardless of where they are. Instead, start out with one or two social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter are a great place to start.
  3. It’s Not Just Marketing: The key to a successful social CRM strategy is to involve both sales and customer service representatives in the process. Train your social media team to think like customer service reps, and the brand voice will be much more successful.
  4. Start with Social Integration: You’ll need some tools to successfully connect social media and sales support. Thankfully, there are some great social collaboration tools out there to get you started.
  5. Keep it Personal: Social CRM is not about a broader platform for promotional content. Instead, it is an opportunity to respond to individual posts and influencers with a personal touch. Limit your advertisements and focus on direct messages and comments.
  6. Take Social Listening to a New Level: Once you get the foundation, you can start to train your staff in advanced social listening – searching for keywords and mentions like nobody’s business. This will come with time and with the right tools.
  7. Reach out to Influencers: One of the benefits of a social CRM strategy is that it allows you to leverage the reach of influencers in your network. With time you’ll be able to identify who these people are – take the time to reach out to them.
Types of Social CRM Tools to Consider

With these tips in mind, there are a few specific types of social CRM tools to consider for your business. Each of these addresses the process of social CRM differently:

CRM Software with Social Integration: The most specific form of social CRM tools, as it brings both worlds together on the same platform.

Social Media Customer Service Software: Similar to social integration, these tools help departments engage in social listening and respond accordingly.

Social Media Management Tools: These tools are more to help business leaders build a social media following – the foundation of a social CRM strategy.

Take the time to explore all of the social CRM tools available and find out what will be the best fit for you.