On a daily basis or perhaps every hour for any given day people are carrying out online activity via the social networking platforms. It is now used by individuals, institutions, organizations, governments businesses, enterprises and corporations from many different purposes. What each of these sectors have in common is that they serve an audience.
This year will be marked by a deeper integration and fusion of customer relationship management (CRM) with social media. According to a NewsFactor.com analysis the integration of Social CRM is set to become a 9 billion dollar market by 2018.
Social CRM is about collecting or harvesting social media information from public and private social media websites. In other words, it is using social media services, strategic techniques and CRM technology to equip an entity to adequately engage their targeted audiences or customers.
What social media networking and marketing brought is a fundamental change to the traditional business models along with dynamics. What has changed in a very big way is the interaction conducted on any giving social channel into the permanent two-way communication model. What went away for good is the annoying sales pitch, and the technique used excessively can permanently taint or damage the company´s brand.
Social media will continue to reshape the customer experience and force companies to adopt the social media etiquette or standards of engagement. There is no excluding from your budget or business efforts your social media plan for greater exposure.
Social media altering and transforming CRM
Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and a host of others have managed to take over the marketing landscape. It is undeniable since most of the people or users today are more than likely on any of these social sites. Naturally, the narrative has changed into forcing brands or businesses to share information or posts that really serve the interested client.
So the CRM model has drastically evolved nowadays. An infographic by Visual.ly illustrates how CRM changed over time thanks to the massive takeover by Facebook and Twitter alone. This of course is changing as we speak since other social networks like Pinterest for example are proving to be profitable and usable in business.
Users, social media consumers and potential customers are demanding instant communication gateways. Nevertheless, brands must be proactive in responding in a timely manner the questions or concerns. In addition, users will typically make contact via their social network with a representative from a company which originated from a piece of information shared online. And eventually this initiates the dialogue between the two parties (company and customer) and generates a meaningful transaction.
Global Social CRM software market to grow and predictions for 2015
What was once considered a fad or perhaps annoying to enterprises or big corporations was this social media phenomenon. Sometimes there is a natural tendency to resist this trend that went on to become something global.
A CRMDirectory report asserts the ascension of social networks across organizations. Furthermore, the report goes on to explain that Social CRM market will achieve 38.1 percent over a period from 2014 to 2019.
When employing Social CRM software effectively small and medium sized enterprises (SME) will work more productively. They will be able to manage activities that will eliminate lengthy processes and truly concentrate on providing quality service that lead to more sales.
For this calendar year expect Social CRM to really take off. A Customerthink.com analysis predicts 15 Social CRM predictions. Some of the examples are "more emphasis on engagement than monitoring", "more customer hash-tags to help discovery", "more authentic Social CRM platforms than clones or makeover", etc.
Customers now have the ultimate say if they will consider, inquire and decide to buy a product or service. So no matter how brilliant your sales experience is you must listen to the audience and as a company you will have to be more socially intelligent to really garner success via the social media sphere.
Brands Need to Become Socially Devoted and Harness Social Media Listening
It is no longer a luxury to harbor a bad business practice or a negative opinion of a social media network site. At this point if you are struggling to generate leads and looking for new opportunities well this is an online space to start exploiting
Whether you have staff monitoring your social media presence you need to be mindful of the best practices when engaging users. For starters learn to ask the right questions and especially learn to listen to customer responses. If you deviate from this advice you will see people going elsewhere to look for information they are specifically seeking for.
The notion of being Socially Devoted may or may not be something you heard of before. The Social Media Analytics and Publishing Company, Socialbakers, explains that when customers contact your company through Twitter or Facebook this means you must be able to at least respond to 65 percent of audience concerns.
So much like the customer service process as a company with a social media account you must be able to answer in a timely manner and also answer as many questions as possible to be consider social media friendly.
To apply social media listening is similar in many ways to social media monitoring. The Social Media Manager becomes at the same time a Community Manager, caring for the community´s need (online).
"The process of collecting intelligence big data is complex, therefore powerful tools and resources are needed. The perfect solution is a CRM software that gets the job done in a relevant data-fact driven way. Utilizing such a software, be it SalesForce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows business to implement new functionality such as social listening, improving Customer Care and Sales. It's a clear return on investment in the long run", argues UXC Eclipse. Utilizing UXC Eclipse allows businesses to use new functionality like social listening and does improve the customer care features that are central to good customer satisfaction.
Takeaways and conclusions
Social media will not replace CRM but bring forth a new generation of tools and companies adopting Social CRM will be better off. The dynamics of attracting audiences forever changed since it is the person on the other end who ultimately will decide to endorse, buy and recommend a brand.
From all corners of the globe we will continue to see start-ups and new ventures offering a wide array of services that will spur more growth for Social CRM.
Finally, the traditional platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others will be central to the continual development of this new sector. What will be interesting to observe over time is if in ten years from now the dominant players within social media networking can continue to reign and remain influential.