For a long time, customer relationship management strategies have been helping businesses large and small answer the questions of who, how and when – who to target, how to engage them, and when to approach them. It wasn’t until recently that CRM tactics have started tackling the issue of where too.
And that’s only natural, after all. Unlike in the pre-digital era, customers can now interact with their favourite brands on multiple touchpoints. It’s up to them to choose the channels they want to inhabit, and it’s up to us to pursue them wherever they decide to go. They lead the way for all of us to follow.
Thus far, the hottest destination has been social media.
Here’s how to strategically trace them there, one step at the time.
1. Switch from Tradition to Social
While traditional CRM strategies include marketing, sales, services, and support, social CRM comprises additional conversion elements like customer experience and brand advocacy. Such approach to relationship management is way more holistic, and it relies on customers themselves to set the rules.
This means that each transition from traditional CRM to social CRM requires a broader organizational shift. Instead of clearly defined roles, it demands that everyone participates in customer success. Rather than transactions, it tracks interactions. Most importantly, it implies a customer-driven culture.
2. Invest in an Accompanying Tool
Though some traditional CRM tools include features for social media marketing and automation, it’s only social CRM that can optimize this organizational shift to the fullest extent. Sure, you can try to build your own system from separate stand-alone tools, but it’ll be hard and potentially unsuccessful.
There’s plenty of customizable social CRMs on the market, with bpm’online currently leading the niche. For further information on functionalities and features that all of the best tools must provide, check their amazing offer on bpmonline.com/l/crm/social and don’t settle for anything less than that.
3. Choose the Right Direction
Once you’re equipped with the right tool, you need to determine the right direction. Nearly all businesses follow their audience to Facebook and Instagram, but these are not the only channels that customers use. Return to your ideal buyer persona, and find out where this person spends their time.
4. Establish a Strong Presence
Depending on the specific social media channel and the type of community that resides there, you’ll need to employ your best branding and marketing strategies and establish a strong presence. This includes content marketing for organic reach but also paid advertisements for a more focused impact.
5. Track Interactions and Mentions
What social CRM tools enable you to do is track your audience’s behaviour, needs, preferences and pain points. Though this is the basic principle of all customer relationship management systems, social tools allow you to gather more data in less time. Everything’s already there; you just need to scoop it.
Not only can you access customer data with ease, but you can also stay on top of all interactions they make with your brand and listen to what they have to say about your business. And, all that from a centralized hub that simultaneously identifies, collects, stores and analyses all of your brand mentions.
6. Analyse Your Progress
You wouldn’t have much use of this raw data if you were unable to translate it into actionable insight, right? That’s why social CRMs offer robust analytical capabilities, with which you can learn more about your potential and existing customers and understand how to engage them in the most effective way.
7. Segment Your Target Audience
Social CRMs never focus on one channel alone – their main purpose is to support multi-channelling, whether it comes to marketing, sales, or retention. But different social media mean different types of customers and different tactics, especially when it comes to channels that are unique and very specific.
Take Pinterest, for example. If you are in retail, this network is your largest pool of female, picture-oriented and fashion-driven customers. Since you can’t ignore Facebook either, you’ll need to have separate approaches for these two audiences. Social CRM will do a nice job of super-segmenting them.
8. Provide Real-Time Service
Running a business on social media complies with all the rules of these online communities, the first of which is 24/7 accessibility. There’s not much point in having a strong social media presence if you’re unavailable when a customer needs to reach you. The dialogue must be kept open without any halts.
There are two ways to do this – you can promote your social media managers to customer support reps and brand advocates, or you can appoint certain support representatives to engage with customers and answer their questions on these channels. Consider hiring a chatbot to assist them with this task.
9. Reward Your Followers
Social media tracking tools are brilliant for retargeting and retention. By detecting the most vocal followers, they can help you create great social incentives and loyalty programs that will introduce them to your elite brand ambassador club, the final destination of every successful customer journey.
10. Stay Open to Public Criticism
Finally, a social CRM will notify you whenever there’s a negative mention of your brand that may hurt your business reputation, and thus allow you to act fast and in a proactive way. Never delete negative comments from public threads, but approach your critics to make amends and clarify the problem.
Social CRM is arguably the most important practice in today’s customer-driven business world, so make sure to solidify it with a carefully planned-out and implemented strategy and a comprehensive customer relationship management toolkit. Together, they’ll trace your customers wherever they go.