social CRM

What is social CRM and why do you need it?

Earlier in the year I wrote a beginner’s guide to customer relationship management entitled What is CRM and why do you need it? Welcome to the next chapter.

Here we’ll be investigating the next vital stage in your CRM strategy: social CRM, and how this can help your company track its relationships in an increasingly multichannel landscape.

First though, for anybody who needs a refresher, a quick recap of what CRM actually means….

How are automotive brands using social for sales?

Social media is still growing rapidly. I’m pointing out the obvious here but social networks are a dynamic medium for entertainment and interaction, including content discovery and product recommendation. 

As such, the auto industry seems almost uniquely suited to social.

While most consumers buy cars infrequently, their interest in them (based on price tag, necessity and if you indulge me, the embodiment of the American dream) often transcends the purchase event.

As such, social analytics has cause to mature in the automotive industry, where it surely stands to play a part in the sales funnel other than simply branding.

I’ve been reading a nice little CMO Council report on social analytics in the auto industry. Here are some thoughts on integrating social into automotive sales.

Social CRM: what does it actually look like?

The more digital we become (define and measure that how you will), the more advantage we can gain from being ‘human’ in our communications and sales approach.

As community and privacy is eroded, social skills and the ability to network become high-value attributes, where once they may have been called soft skills. 

Social customer service: the challenge for brands in 2013

In recent years social customer service has endured crises and successes in equal measure. Here’s a quick evaluation of where we are today, with some pointers for the future.

For an increasing number of people, social media is the first place they turn when they experience a problem.

Fewer than 50% of companies are actively responding to these enquiries and many of those are using cost-cutting copy and paste tactics, which is exactly what call centres were criticised for.

We need to invest in finding ways of supporting customers more effectively on the channel of their choice and ensuring a consistent customer service experience across all service channels. 

Social media lessons from Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Delta

Are you missing a critical social media KPI?

‘Social media disconnects’, or when consumers unfriend/unlike or unfollow as a result of a social media marketing initiative or campaign, isn’t a term in many marketers’ vocabulary.

Perhaps it’s time for that to change. 

75% of businesses to use social collaboration tools in 2013 [infographic]

The rising tide of online collaboration is highlighted by a new infographic. But why are businesses finally turning to online collaboration tools? 

Most businesses know that online social collaboration tools can form part of the solution to inefficient working practices, but they’ve been around for ages and, for various hotly discussed reasons, never seem to have caught on.

Until, now, it seems

Social CRM no longer a myth?

Big news recently from Facebook: companies can now link their customer data, including phone numbers and email addresses to those provided by people on Facebook.

It mightn’t seem like much, but this move, initially for ad targeting only, could be huge.

Social engagement drives sales and advocacy for brands

Those brands that have embraced customer reviews are now starting to look at how they can drive increased engagement with their customers by facilitating, embracing and in some cases participating in customer to customer conversations, to drive sales and advocacy.

With 89% of consumers reading reviews before some or all purchases, most now see reviews as a must-have for brands.

Traditional CRM vs social CRM (Infographic)

Over the past two years Our Social Times has hosted social CRM conferences in London, New York and Paris.

It’s a fast-growing industry with many specialist themes, but the first question the speakers always get asked is: “How does social CRM differ from traditional CRM?” 

Case Study: How H&R Block Uses Twitter for Customer Service

The following H&R Block case study is excerpted from my latest report, Online Communities Part Two: Engaging Your Community Across Multiple Platforms. This 17-page report is the second in a series of four that I’m writing for Econsultancy, and develops material covered in last month’s Online Communities: Starting a Community.

One example of a company who is “rocking customer service issues via Twitter” is the tax services company, H&R Block. Whether or not you use H&R Block for your personal or business tax preparation, it’s clear they have invested time and money into growing and engaging with their online community on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.