Article

Steve Moncrieff
Steve Moncrieff 30 September 2014

Social CRM - Myth or Reality

Leveraging social for direct response and CRM campaigns can deliver significant results.

The continuing growth of social media has fundamentally changed the dynamics between companies, brands and their customers, those companies can no longer control the communication process. Social has changed the way consumers engage with companies and brands, social strategies are no longer an option for business; they are an essential part of the marketing mix due to the ever increasing expectations of all customers. As ewe have demonstrated with our clients these social channels present incredible opportunities for companies to add another channel and dimension to understanding customers and what drives meaningful dialogue.

 

Social media have shifted the power of conversations from the company to the customer; once we were able to control through structured CRM campaigns the messages customers received as better data has led to more insight we have been able to personalise these CRM messages. However customers now voice their opinions and not just through friends in the pub, but individuals across the globe. Both negative and positive experiences spread like wildfire, and when a brand is listening and responds appropriately and quickly, it will boost the company’s reputation for responsiveness and building trust.

 

Companies need to embrace this new channel to market as we have shown direct sales and acquisition are all deliverable through social CRM; it’s not about Likes or Followers it’s about engagement. An often over-used word in marketing, but remains relevant to social, it’s not about fluff or pushing content that we as marketeers think our audience wants to know. So often you see social media content strategies that have weeks and months of content planned to mirror the PR and CRM strategy, marketing teams sit in ivory towers dictating what their customers should read, feeling very pleased with themselves.

Then reality strikes and the customers are already having their conversations, creating their content, and guess what it’s not on your content plan, the result Facebook timelines that resemble graveyards but I hear you say ‘We have 50,000 likes’ so job done…wrong it’s the start, delve below the likes, and you find no engagement, no conversations, no sharing.

You can change that through some simple techniques;

  • Start listening to your customers
  • Engage with those customers in conversation
  • Develop the content your customers want to read and engage with
  • Through listening, act on what your customers are saying – ideas, product recommendations and opportunities
  • Don’t ignore negative feedback, embrace and act upon it
  • Use your social advocates to obtain real-time feedback on hot topics or the impact

A survey by IAB and Lightspeed found that 44% of adults use the web to share grievances about products or services, while 1 in 5 consumers who complain to brands on social media expect a response within an hour. A quick survey in our office of complaints via social media in the last month included Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant, Sky Broadband, Thomson Holidays and Vodafone. Social CRM helps us to follow these conversations and queries in real time and respond promptly, through managing these interactions positively it presents our clients with opportunities to engage at the moment but also provides content that we can use in DM and email campaigns.

 

Whether it’s through the development of a social hub or a websites blog and social feed, through trend analysis and tracking we can identify the hottest customer subjects in real time, react to them and supply the learnings to other departments such as sales or product development.

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