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Social media provides businesses with an unprecedented level of access to their customers. And with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others only growing in popularity, most businesses now recognize the value of engaging people through these platforms. This may involve prospecting (using paid ads or relevant content to attract new customers or business partners), recruiting new employees, announcing new products or sales, or responding to customer satisfaction issues in a public forum.
But a trend that’s even more new is integration between these platforms and customer relationship management (CRM). As critical as CRM is to a company’s sales and customer service experience, businesses that fail to integrate this with their social media marketing will soon find themselves behind the curve.
This guide is designed to help buyers in the very new market of social CRM software identify the capabilities they’ll need and make the right decision. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Social CRM involves the integration between customer relationship management software and social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or others. At the heart of it is an ability to manage the large number and range of interactions for which a business might want to use social media. To that end, features often include:
The benefits of social media CRM should be obvious: it allows you to track and manage data at unprecedented levels of detail, giving you the opportunity to engage your customers in ways you never would have been able to before. It’s worth noting, however, that social CRM is about much more than the software solution itself. For most companies the benefits will only be realized with a well-conceived customer relationship management program already in place. Otherwise, you run the risk of coming across like a five-year-old driving a Ferrari—very flashy, but without the ability to drive your company where it needs to go.
The entry cost for social CRM tools has never been lower. Many programs offer a free solution for smaller users, and in a field that’s leading the software industry in terms of web-based solutions, up-front costs are often nil.
That being said, there are some differences in buyers. The two main types are:
As you do a comparison of the best social customer relationship management software for your needs, keep these trends in mind. How your vendor fits with these trends could have a big impact on their viability.
We're able to offer this service to buyers for free, because software vendors pay us on a "pay-per-lead" basis. Buyers get great advice. Sellers get great referrals.