Social CRM – It’s Interactive
Organizations must prepare themselves, if they have not already, to engage in multi-channel communications with customers. For years they have had the luxury of engaging in outward-directed communications with customers as a sales and marketing strategy. However, now that social media and other Web 2.0 fixtures have become a ubiquitous part of life, that approach is not longer effective.
Moving Away From “Junk Engagement”
No marketer really wants to hear their carefully planned campaign referred to as junk. However,
- Direct mail
- Text messaging
- Phone calls
– are message pushed to customers. Many times, these communications are seen as irrelevant or intrusive by consumers. Depending on the tone, the customer may feel sold to or pushed to do something he/she is unsure of. That is not an ideal situation for promoting a brand or to increase sales.
The rise of social media provides an opportunity to reduce these issues and form a stronger engagement with customers. Social media in many cases has predefined groups of individuals with similar desires and concerns that can be targeted with personalized and relevant messages. Social media can be an opportunity for organizations to drastically redesign their CRM implementation and other customer engagement strategies.
Social media can be a tool to transform CRM. It can increase the connection between a brand or organization and a customer. It is a more interactive and engaging experience that will likely make customer more receptive to messaging, and hopefully increase brand awareness and positive perception.
Who’s Using Social Media?
The following infographic provides a visual representation of the types of users that participate in perhaps the most popular social media networks, Twitter and Faccebook.
The potential audience is too large and too diverse for any organization not to take these tools into account when doing brand promotion. Companies that invest in creating a well-defined interactive presence that is carefully aligned with strategic goals, gain unprecedented access to customer opinions.
Social media users are outspoken in the comfort of their social media communities regarding likes and dislikes – even when they don’t explicitly “like” or “follow” a brand. Integrating this data into the sales and marketing stream can:
- generates leads
- product ideas
- strengthen brand image
- fine-tune product development
- understand exactly which features customers want before competitors
For a minimal investment, businesses can reach more potential customers. Additionally, social networking users can be leveraged like a virtual focus group to test out consumer responses to product ideas.
Has your organization integrated social media with CRM processes?