The Emergence Of CRM Integration To Social Media: Another Passing Fad?
By the end of 2012, out of 7 billion people present on the planet earth, more than 1 billion had an active Facebook account. Likewise, Twitter and LinkedIn collectively had about 700 million users. This ever-increasing horde of potential buyers presents small businesses with the easiest opportunity to score. So we can say that integration of different social apps into your CRM is one of the decisive factors that determine how much growth your business will experience.
The best thing about social media is that it offers the ideal arena to boost your sales in a subtle way: by listening rather than talking, and responding rather than pitching.
Is integration to social media really important for a CRM?
Recently, we witnessed several giants acquiring social media startups. In May 2012, Oracle (ORCL) purchased Vitrue in order to help it manage social media campaigns. Soon after that, the company also acquired Collective Intellect to monitor the social gossip.
Salesforce, one of the leading CRM vendors, bought Radian6 – a social media performance and sentiment tracking company – during 2011, and then went on to procure Buddy Media, a Vitrue competitor, during 2012. These big companies have realized the importance of what is now being called Social CRM.
When talking about small businesses, having a social media presence is important for many reasons. People these days like to know more about the brands they use and the companies they buy stuff from. Recent studies have shown that buyers, in addition to checking out their website, also prefer to search on social media about the vendors.
These social outlets open new horizons of interaction between you and your customer, be it in terms of publicity, lead generation, and customer support. In short, businesses that utilize social media based CRM reach a wider range of audience in lesser amount of time as compared to their competitors who use a traditional CRM.
CRM software that allow social media integration
Choosing a CRM solution is a tough row to hoe. With so many options available, it’s virtually impossible to test-drive every single software. Before making the final choice, you must make sure the CRM not only complies with all your basic business management needs, but also allows (at least some level of) integration to social apps.
Let’s talk about some of the top CRM suites that, using different methods and to varying degrees, integrate to social networking sites.
Highly Recommended To allow social media integration into their software, InfusionSoft, one of the leading CRM solutions, acquired the social media marketing company GroSocial in January, 2013. Now, InfusionSoft users can do wonderful things with social media such as generating new leads from social portals, customizing and promoting company’s Facebook, Twitter or blog within the snippet, automating actions from social intent, publishing web forms, sending bulk emails to social networks, and a lot more, right from their dashboard.
What makes InfusionSoft different from its competitors is that, in addition to viewing the current happenings in your social circles, you can predefine several actions based on certain triggers. Suppose if somebody tweets your post or likes it on Facebook, your CRM can automatically tag him, send him a one-off email or start a whole new campaign, create a task, and the list goes on and on.
Highly Recommended Capsule CRM utilizes a unique approach for social integration. The software automatically locates and adds social profiles of your contacts to the CRM system. While most other CRMs allow integration to only Facebook, Twitter, and in some cases, LinkedIn, Capsule gives you the freedom to add Google+, Flickr, YouTube and GitHub accounts also. Once a contact’s social profile is added, you can see their updates right on the dashboard. Another interesting feature in Capsule CRM allows you to add a picture of your contact directly from any of their social profiles.
It’s one of the few CRM’s that are built from the ground up with social media in mind. It features powerful auto-social integration, a unified inbox where you can see chatter from different social networks, and Social Search to find new prospects. It also allows importing social contacts, HootSuite Integration and posting social updates to different networks from your dashboard.
The social module of InTouch lets you connect your CRM with Facebook and Twitter. Then you can view updates from your social contacts on your CRM’s dashboard, capture leads and import them into your database as Contacts or Organizations. You can also add Google+ and LinkedIn profiles, however, capturing leads from these portals isn’t possible.
Highly Recommended amoCRM automatically captures leads from Facebook, Telegram, and Viber, and then provides automations for lead nurture and follow up. They have also built a button for users to put on their websites. Users can display targeted ads on Facebook, set up amo’s salesbot to engage leads, and then keep the chat going from the comfort of the lead’s profile. The automated salesbot interacts with leads, collects information, and can be set up to engage at different pipeline stages with different messages. All interactions are attached to the lead’s profile. amoCRM users can continue the conversation with leads on their chosen social platform without leaving amoCRM.
This CRM features a special feature called Social Scout that searches the social networks to find prospective clients. You can configure keywords to generate leads from Twitter and Facebook, or just listen to the buzz. Then you can easily create a Case based on a lead or issue ticket.
It comes with built-in LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. You can import contacts from your LinkedIn connections or add LinkedIn profiles to your existing clients.
Others: Some of the other CRMs that allow powerful integration of social apps are SalesForce, All Clients, Relenta, BizzCRM, iComplete, OnePage, WORKetc, SugarCRM, HubSpot, Eloqua, Batchbook, Zoho and, last but not least, SalesNexus.
Kit. is a Social CRM for Facebook and Twitter. Kit. is feature rich allowing users to run Business Reports, build Targeted Audiences and run Ads, Send thank you emails and update fans. Kit. is a user friendly Digital Marketing Assistant. Pricing starts at $10 per month with a 14 day free trial.
Social CRM vs. Traditional CRM
A CRM system is basically comprised of three elements: marketing, sales, and customer support. Its purpose is to move the customer through a pipeline, repeatedly. Traditional CRM’s mainly focused on data that was collected by the company from their customers. All the decisions making was based on this data.
Social CRM has changed the whole paradigm. Now the focal point, of an organization’s operations, is actually the customer himself. Instead of collecting data by marketing or pushing messages to the customers, companies these days collaborate with the customers in order to solve their issues, empower them to shape their own experiences, and then build strong customer relationships. It truly makes an ideal scenario for small businesses.
The collaboration of social media and email marketing
To help almost any business achieve its goals, social media and email marketing make a killer combination together.
You can share your email campaigns on social media in order to reach people who are not on your list. This also increases the chances of more people signing up for your list. On the flip side, you can embed social sharing buttons inside your emails. This encourages readers to share your emails with their followers/fans, and you can reach a wider range of people indirectly. Another option is to add social buttons, through which people on your list can follow/like your company’s social page.
How it works?
Different CRM’s have different approaches when it comes to social media integration. The most useful approach, however, is probably where you can see updates from your prospects, contacts and your social circles, right on your dashboard.
Usually, first you have to authorize the CRM extract data from different social sites. Once the updates start appearing on the dashboard, the CRM should allow you to search for particular keywords or queries which might help you in generating new leads or solving your customers’ problems. More advanced CRMs e.g. BlueCamroo, allow you to automate the process and you’ll get instant notifications about an opportunity or lead being identified.
Though there are several social apps and Web 2.0 sites including Google+, Flicker, Blogs, YouTube, GitHub etc. most CRMs focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Benefits of social media integration
- You can enjoy real-time communication with your clients (which the clients will totally love)
- You can quickly generate infinite, instant and highly potent leads from a wide range of social portals
- You can offer proactive customer support by keeping an eye on your customers updates and doing the needful even before they have contacted you for help
- If your CRM allows you to interact with your clients on social sites, it will eventually shape a community that builds your brand, increases conversion rate, attracts repeat customers and reduces commission costs
- You can listen to your clients’ needs and offer products/services precisely based on them
September 8th, 2014