By CommenceCRM

Shattering the Myths About Social CRM

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Since the rise of the digital age, more and more ‘social customers’ are emerging everyday. These powerful social customers are composed of the 3.8 billion people actively participating on social media.

With the explosive growth of these online platforms, companies find themselves scrambling to engage in ‘real’ dialogue and cater to customers on every social platform. Social customer relationship management (SCRM) is the technology that is helping companies adjust their strategies to meet these demands. However, there are still some organizations who have yet to understand the capabilities of SCRM.

So what are some myths surrounding social CRM that should be dispelled? Here are six major misconceptions that are preventing businesses from adopting and making the most out of SCRM:

Myth #1: Social CRM = Facebook + Twitter

Many enterprises set up a profile on Facebook and Twitter for their company then call it a day. They think they are already doing social CRM. However, being on social media is not equal to SCRM adoption. SCRM focuses on helping you run your business by leveraging social media. It’s a tool that helps you move beyond the “fans and followers” approach and find paying customers who can be advocates of your brand.

Companies no longer own their brand image – it is owned by the customers now. When someone has a bad customer experience with a brand, they can and will post about it on a number of platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, YouTube, and the like. A negative status from one customer most can reach a wider, global network and most companies are not prepared to respond.

Social customer relationship management software can guide organizations on how to prepare for the dialogue, develop a better understanding of their social customers, and speed up the communication process. SCRM platforms can help you determine the appropriate actions and execute these across multiple channels easily. With SCRM, a company can effectively respond to the customer’s control over a conversation.

Myth #2: Social CRM Is Not Here to Stay

Another myth that companies believe is that social media CRM is just another fad technology. This lack of appreciation for SCRM indicates that they underestimate the lasting power of social networking and the social customer.

There are three explanations as to why many experts believe social media is here to stay:

  • The technological movement: When you look at the last 20 years, technology has evolved so fast that people have transitioned from chunky, wired desktops to sleek smartphones almost overnight. This shift was accompanied by the increase of on-the-go connectivity and activity on social networking sites. Unless you assume mobile devices are also a trend, it’s difficult to think social media will fade away any time soon.
  • The reach: Social networking engagement isn’t limited to certain geographical regions or a specific subset of people. If it were, it would be more reasonable to think it’s a passing fad. However, statistics tell us that more than half of the people on earth use social networking sites – an activity that transcends culture, ideology, and beliefs.
  • The purpose: The Internet is the best at bringing people together. Through researching information, reading news stories, and learning new skills, people tend to love and trust other people on social networking sites.

Because social media is not going anywhere, SCRM is the key to the ever-changing consumer behavior it promotes. Most SCRM software are advanced tools that can look at customer data to develop an analysis of trends and patterns. According to Hubspot, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product based on social media referrals, while Forbes’ data found that 78% of consumer purchases are impacted by brand posts on social platforms.

Myth #3: Social CRM Is Only for Customer Service

CRM for social media isn’t limited to customer service, as most people believe. While SCRM is great for addressing customer comments and concerns, it can also impact each department in a company. Specifically, SCRM can have a major impact on how the sales and marketing departments do their job.

When all customer engagement channels are under one SCRM, your company can learn all about what interests your customers. Collect data about your market, analyze it for patterns, then create the best practices for your marketing strategies or find innovative solutions for sales. Once your SCRM has reached a level of maturity, your organization would have even more opportunities for internal collaboration and co-creation.

Myth #4: Social CRM ROI Is Not Quantifiable

Many companies are afraid to invest in SCRM because it’s hard to justify the costs. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) from social CRM is a major challenge with no universally accepted approach. You have to keep three concepts in mind: traditional business, social business, and financial analysis. Another factor are the “unknowns” associated with social initiatives; there are blind spots that make ROI calculation difficult.

However, this challenge is not insurmountable. You can begin by defining concrete goals for your social programs. Figure out your objectives, strategy, key performance indicators (KPIs) and expected business results. Your KPIs can be traditional measurements like quantity of sales leads from social media, the cost per lead, and the conversion rate. You should also keep in mind measurements that aren’t easy to pin down, such as customer loyalty and retention, which can be measured by calculating the costs associated with acquiring or losing new customers.

Keep in mind that SCRM projects vary from business to business. You can start with a base methodology, but every company has to customize their social media ROI models. Each social program from each business has their own characteristics that can impact their ROI.

Myth #5: Social CRM Exposes You to Liabilities

Business leaders tend to avoid social media for fear of saying the wrong thing. There is always a risk that you may say something embarrassing or offensive when you engage in conversations with customers. For heavily regulated industries like banking, insurance, or pharmaceuticals, “saying the wrong thing” can get you in serious trouble with the law.

Although this fear of liabilities is understandable, opting to say nothing is an even bigger mistake. A company’s silence says as much about your opinion on the social customer’s control over the conversation as your participation does. Silence also suggests that nothing has been by your organization internally to cope with the ongoing social network revolution. Social CRM is the unified solution you need.

You already have marketers, PR, and sales teams who interface with the public through various channels. To prevent any liabilities, develop a set of policies for SCRM use and make sure to implement it with your teams.

A social CRM managed by a dedicated, trusted team can effectively send and reinforce the messaging developed by your company and reach a wider audience. You can also redirect people towards the correct channels for issues too sensitive to discuss over social media. As long as you respond with authenticity, consumers will respond positively.

Myth #6: Social CRM Isn’t Something Your Staff Can Handle

Believing your staff won’t be able to learn how to operate social CRM is one of the biggest myths around. You already know your customers are using social media. Your employees? They’re probably the same people. Your staff most likely use the same technology at home and allow social media to influence their buying behaviors in their private lives. They may have already incorporated social media in how they do critical work tasks without your knowledge.

Social CRM is a tool that can combine their knowledge with the best practices for interacting with customers. Your team can effectively manage all the different messages, tasks, data, and notifications on a single piece of software. An SCRM can provide your company with the resources it needs to improve engagement and develop stronger relationships with customers.

What Is Social CRM?

There are a lot of social CRM myths because a lot of people don’t understand exactly what SCRM is and how it works. The lack of understanding and resistance towards change gives rise to myths and prejudices against social CRM.

Social CRM is about enhancing customer relationship management platforms to include customer’s social data and elevating this data as a core component of your marketing strategy. With SCRM, your business brings the customer to the core of your company strategy. It’s reductive to think SCRM is just about technology. It’s really about building deep relationships with people and managing process or cultural shifts that are necessary to grow your business.

Common features of an advanced social CRM system include: social listening, sentiment analysis, social selling, social marketing, and enhanced customer profiles. These CRM functions can help you:

  • Engage with customers in real time
  • Monitor and improve your brand reputation
  • Gain more knowledge of customers and prospects
  • Resolve issues and complaints on social media quickly
  • Create value-adding customer engagement and targeted content
  • Form relationships with consumers and retain existing customers
  • Track and reward brand advocates and customers who help others
  • Deliver customer support on the social media networks your customers use
  • Smoothly address customer concerns towards your products or services across platforms

What Social CRM Can Actually Do For Your Business

While social CRM is a great tool to use, there are a few people who believe in the CRM myths that think social CRM can fix all your business problems in a pinch. It’s often thought that SCRM is a unique technology that gathers the social media information, data, and activities of customers under one special system. However, this is untrue because individual social media platforms are strict client data protection policies.

In reality, a social CRM is one just part of your business that can help you utilize customer data and empower most departments within your organization – HR, sales, marketing, and even product development. This advanced CRM platform integrates social media for smarter listening on social feeds and access to additional insights.

Social CRM places customers at the heart of your organization. You become more flexible with the channels you use, keep an eye on brewing issues, and manage communications on a global scale. You will have a more dynamic picture of each individual customer which can help your business create delightful content or prepare a more complete customer approach.

To be more specific, this type of CRM can assist your organization in three ways:

  • Unified social notifications: Instead of monitoring multiple channels at different times of day, a social CRM can stream all new notifications in one place. As you receive these notifications, you can read and respond immediately without having to log in and out of specific sites.
  • Auto-discovery of engagement opportunities: When you become active on social platforms, you might not immediately know how to strengthen your customer relationships. Why not choose a social CRM that sends you a daily email for engagement opportunities? Some systems notify you on job changes in a social network, upcoming events, or even birthdays. Each notification is a chance for you to exert efforts into improving customer connections.
  • Marketing software integration: Integrating your marketing toolbox with social CRM can build and nurture a community that supports your business on social networks. Integrating these tools can create a data-driven, customer-centric architecture that will improve your digital marketing and sales activities.

Get Social With Commence CRM

Tap into data, ideas, and knowledge of people at a greater scale than your workforce. Commence Cloud CRM is the ideal CRM solution for small and mid-sized businesses. Receive instant alerts, collaborate through our unique ‘Conversations’ feature, and establish groups of people you wish to follow. Get started on your social journey with Commence CRM today.