Social media is bigger than it’s ever been, and the trend will continue. Yet, I can’t count the number of times I’ve visited a brand’s social media channels only to find them… blank. Many brands, especially those that are primarily brick and mortar start social media accounts only to abandon them.
This is a critical error, a missed opportunity to harness a powerful new force for lead generation, and customer relationship management. Here are five ways in which to improve your CRM strategy with social media.
1. Complete Implementation
Many brands treat social media like an island in their organisation. They have a social media team that puts out information but doesn’t have wider capabilities or resources. There’s a disconnect between their social media and the organisation. Social media accounts are treated as simple advertising tools. While they’re good for advertising, they can do so much more.
Your business’ support team, sales team, and marketing teams must all have equal input in your social media. This will allow your business to respond to every customer’s needs quickly, gain a better understanding of their desires, and adjust strategies accordingly. Social media must be implemented completely throughout your business.
2. Respond to Customer Complaints Faster
Unlike email and telephones, with social media, there’s no waiting period. An attentive agent can respond to a customer’s tweet or comment instantaneously. This is why it’s important to have workers from each department represented in your social media team, so no matter what the customer needs, they’ll receive an appropriate answer, or be directed to the correct channel.
More people use social media more frequently than they use email or phone calls these days, so businesses need to match the instant expectations by being where the customers are.
3. Keep Track of the Customer Journey
While there are many tools for tracking the customer journey at direct points of contact i.e., emails, order forms, payment slips etc., many fail to recognise the importance of tracking the more organic moments in the journey. Social media is excellent for this.
Social media allows you to take an active role in the abstract moments. Be proactive and see what customers are saying on social media. Perhaps they’re venting frustration or musing on a desired feature. This is where your social media team can step in and address them directly. Customers will appreciate this human touch, plus you’ll now have more information to log and improve your strategy.
4. Uncover Potential Sales Leads
Existing customers aren’t the only ones you can track in this way, potential customers are too. Through things like hashtag analysis, and like/share monitoring, you can see who is engaging with your content, or existing customers discussing your brand.
You can then get an idea of who these leads are and why they haven’t approached your service yet. Perhaps there’s something they want that you can offer, or perhaps they simply haven’t reached out yet. You reaching out first will leave a strong impression.
5. Maintain Your Brand
In the age of social media, as it always has been, relevance is a currency. Everyone who is everyone is on social media. Social media is a powerful way to maintain your brand’s image. Stay in the sight of customers and control the perception of your business.
Being absent on social media leaves others free to shape the image of your business on a particular platform. Don’t forget that each platform is different, with its own culture. It pays to have social media teams, integrated with your other teams, who knowledgeable about the social media platform they’re operating on.
There you have five ways in which social media can improve your CRM. To ignore social media is to ignore a golden opportunity to kick your business into the modern age and improve performance all round.