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Thryv

Thryv is an all-in-one business management solution designed to help small businesses with essential business functions. With Thryv, business owners can expand their online presence, improve any customer relationship, and streamli...Read more about Thryv

4.2 (495 reviews)

104 recommendations

Shape

Shape's cloud-based solution offers tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers and automate everyday tasks. Shape is suitable for b...Read more about Shape

4.8 (41 reviews)

36 recommendations

Salesforce Sales Cloud

Grow your revenue and profits with intelligent sales automation with Sales Cloud. Help every rep be more efficient. Close more deals. Collect cash faster. Boost growth and profit with intelligent automation and integrated tools fr...Read more about Salesforce Sales Cloud

4.4 (18234 reviews)

29 recommendations

SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, expertly crafted to enhance interactions with prospects and customers while accelerating sales success. Renowned for its cost-effectiveness, this potent solution enabl...Read more about SugarCRM

3.8 (406 reviews)

19 recommendations

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Zendesk Suite

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features an...Read more about Zendesk Suite

4.4 (3848 reviews)

1 recommendations

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers sales and marketing automation tools with helpdesk, analytics and customer support functions. Zoho CRM helps users respo...Read more about Zoho CRM

Hootsuite

Social media is a wild place to do business. That’s why thousands of brands rely on Hootsuite’s tools and expertise to bring order to the chaos. Launch brilliant social campaigns, deliver 5-star social commerce experiences, and ma...Read more about Hootsuite

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol...Read more about Pipedrive

Nimble

Nimble offers browser widget and mobile-based sales force automation and social CRM solution for small and midsize businesses. The solution automatically populates customer profiles and interaction histories from contact lists, em...Read more about Nimble

LiveAgent

LiveAgent is an online Help Desk solution for e-commerce businesses at the small and midsize levels. The platform offers live chat application, ticket management, online self-service portals, and change and license management, all...Read more about LiveAgent

Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a social media management tool that manages social media messages, schedules and publishes content across channels, monitors, and gets stunning reports all in one easy-to-use dashboard. ...Read more about Agorapulse

Insightly

Insightly is the modern, affordable CRM that teams love. It’s easy to use, simple to customize, and scales with companies as they grow, solving common pain points that legacy CRMs can't. Insightly helps teams build and convert sal...Read more about Insightly

EngageBay CRM

EngageBay is an integrated marketing, sales, support and CRM solution designed to help small to midsize enterprises acquire, engage and convert website visitors into customers. The cloud-based platform lets businesses use marketin...Read more about EngageBay CRM

Freshsales

Freshsales is a salesforce automation solution that enables businesses of all sizes to streamline lead management, client interaction, marketing insights, customer relationship management and other operations. The platform enables...Read more about Freshsales

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a cloud-based social media management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them to manage their audience interactions and marketing routines. Key features include automated publishing, convers...Read more about Sprout Social

SocialPilot

SocialPilot is a cloud-based social media marketing and analytics solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers calendar management, branding, scheduling, client management and reporting functionalities within a suite. Android a...Read more about SocialPilot

Popl

Popl is a digital business card platform for teams. Send your digital business card via text message, email, Airdrop, email signatures, Zoom backgrounds, iPhone widgets and more. The platform integrates with 4,000+ apps which allo...Read more about Popl

Dripify

Designed for marketing agencies, recruiters, sales teams, and more, Dripify is a cloud-based lead capture solution that helps streamline lead generation and sales operations. Key features include drip campaigns, team management, l...Read more about Dripify

Kommo

Kommo is a multifunctional CRM that excels at taking the conversation with your customers to the next level. With messengers, the connection is personal. All major messenger platforms are supported. You can create your own chatbot...Read more about Kommo

Highrise

Highrise is a CRM solution for small businesses with contact and task management functionality. The software allows users to track communication with clients so that teams can view the status of deals and relationships. Contacts c...Read more about Highrise

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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:

What Is Social CRM Software?

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Social CRM Software?

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:

Social media monitoring

There are a number of programs that scour the Web or particular social media platforms to find instances of your brand name being mentioned or references to problems that your product solves. Depending on your strategy and the other capabilities of the social analytics software you choose, this could be delivered to you with custom analytics (that, for example, mine for customer sentiment rather than social interaction) or be distributed in a way that allows you to respond appropriately.

Social media platforms and communities

Social media community functionality helps businesses build and develop their strategy on social media platforms, cultivate followers, and maintain memberships. The tools found in social CRM software automate administrative processes and provide businesses with actionable data on metrics and trends such as site activity and user engagement.

Automated responses

Some solutions provide a way to respond automatically to social media cues, allowing you to retweet messages or provide stock responses to commonly asked questions with a minimum of personnel time.

Internal collaboration

For companies with multiple people responding to messages, the system needs to be able to route messages to the appropriate person within the organization, and/or to open and close customer service issues that come through this channel.

Marketing integration

The ability to organize new followers into demographics allows for much more efficient sales and marketing tactics. This application category would also include the ability to monitor sharing/subscription statistics on emails and blogs.

Contact management

If your strategy requires translating followers into contactable leads, integration with other contact management tools will be a vital part of your social solution.

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.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

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:

Enterprise buyers. If you’ve invested in or are considering a company-wide CRM product with contact management, marketing automation and/or help desk management or if you’re looking for additional industry-specific software (e.g., field service management, contract management etc.), then seamless integration is likely more important than specific features. For this, you’ll want a CRM product with social capabilities, rather than something with a dedicated focus in the social media space.

Best-of-breed buyers. As a rule, smaller businesses tend to be less focused on enterprise-wide application and more focused on maximum effectiveness at particular activities. If this is the case, focus on the features as you make your purchasing decisions. Many social media management tools straddle the space between social media and CRM, so concentrating on the functions you need can yield you a product that delivers exceptional functionality for a very reasonable outlay.

Market Trends to Understand

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.

  • All CRM is social. Given how essential this functionality is going to be in the future, it’s possible that almost every CRM product is going to offer social capabilities within the next few years. The only question is the focus, how it fits in with your company and what its features are compared to the other tools on the market.

  • Free software. Social media as a category is really leading the way in terms of free ad-funded products, and social CRM is no exception. The more features you need, the more likely you’ll have to upgrade to a pro subscription, but for basic CRM tools there’s a chance you may be able to find a free solution.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS). An outgrowth of Software as a Service, PaaS allows organizations to develop apps in the cloud. As social CRM continues to grow, expect PaaS-based apps to grow with it.