fire
The first 3 days are FREE. No restrictions at all!
fire

Social CRM: What Is It and Why Your Might Need One

The complete guide on Social CRM, its capabilities and benefits for business.

Social CRM definition and best practices

Social media and messengers are key touchpoints with modern customers for companies of all industries and sizes. These communication channels have many benefits compared to more traditional emails and phone calls, providing high levels of both personalization and engagement. Since the combined audience of messaging and social media apps counts more than 4 billion, there is no doubt that utilizing these tools in digital marketing works toward the better reach of potential customers.

Social CRM is a customer relationship management system that comes with extra features for extensive support and integration with social media channels. It allows a company to streamline customer communication across numerous platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others, as well as get comprehensive up-to-date knowledge of the public’s sentiment towards the brand, performance of every channel, and every team member who connects with customers via social media. In the article, we’ll cover in detail why Social CRM is so beneficial for business, its essential features, best practices, and, of course, top solutions available.

Social media users wordlwide

Table of content

What is Social CRM

Social CRM is a customer relation management system with enhanced functionality for communicating with clients through social media and messengers.

The defining feature of Social CRM is how it drives customer engagement and brand exposure without hard selling. This is achieved by sparking an interest in the brand by highlighting what is relevant and important to customers today. Also, Social CRM is more about two-way interactions: clients get a natural and easy way to initiate conversations via social media channels and messengers.

What is required for the described above concept to work? Extensive support of social channels of communication — and this is exactly what social media CRM systems provide. Advanced integration with messengers and social media allows companies employing Social CRMs to benefit from all modes of communication and analyze the results of their work. As a result, they take their customer communication to a whole new level, standing apart from competitors and gaining trust that converts into new clients and long-term customers.

Social CRM benefits

Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of adopting Social CRM solutions for business. The key advantages a business can achieve by employing Social CRM include:

  • Enhanced customer support in a familiar environment. Most of us use messengers daily to interact with friends, family, and coworkers. Why force a customer who has an issue to sit to write an email or set time aside for a phone call? Surveys show that the majority of people consider contacting support via instant messengers the most convenient option. With Social CRM, you can effectively process and analyze support requests coming from all social channels.
  • Increased speed of interactions. Social channels provide a convenient way for businesses to interact with customers in real time. With the help of Social CRM, a company’s rep can process these interactions in a unified interface, no matter what channel a customer uses: Telegram, WhatsApp, or Instagram.
  • Faster issue resolving with social media monitoring. One of the key functionalities of Social CRM is the constant monitoring of platforms for any mentions of the company, including negative ones. This allows brand representatives to react promptly to any complaints and maintain a good public image and sentiment.
  • Rewarding brand advocates and loyal customers. Another benefit of social media monitoring via Social CRM is how it makes it easier to discover customers who are loyal to the brand, produce positive reviews of its products or services, or help those who run into an issue using them.
  • Better exposure on platforms important to the target audience. Social CRM provides useful tools for organizing and streamline engagement with customers on platforms where they spend most of their time. All of these serve to deepen relationships with customers and increase their loyalty.

Traditional vs. Social CRM

Traditional CRM systems have their focus on more traditional channels of customer communication, such as email or phone, and no extra tools for social media and messenger marketing. In contrast, Social CRMs come with an extensive ‘arsenal’ of tools to monitor mentions of a brand in social media, reply to customer feedback in real time, and analyze all aspects of interaction via social channels. This allows a company to keep a hand on the pulse and know what the community says about it to get a fuller picture of its customers’ preferen

The line between traditional CRM and Social CRM systems is hazy. Some traditional solutions provide additional modules with the support of social channels, and some, even though considered ‘traditional’, come with pretty strong social functionality. One way is to regard Social CRM functionality as an extension of a common CRM, which gradually becomes more and more indispensable for modern business.

Types of Social CRMs

Generally, Social CRM solutions can be divided into two categories. Stand-alone Social CRM systems are independent products with full CRM functionality and extended support of social communication channels. They can be used independently by businesses to manage customer relations, without purchasing any other tools. Meanwhile, there are solutions that provide social features and must be integrated into other CRM systems. Usually, these solutions come in a form of API and support the most popular CRM systems. For example, Umnico provides pre-built CRM integrations with Bitrix24, amoCRM, and other software to expand their capabilities in the field of social media and messenger communication.

Social CRM market size

Studies show that more and more companies consider social networking with their clients beneficial for their business and adopt social media marketing as an essential part of their promotional strategy. In 2021, according to Persistence Market Research, the Social CRM market size was estimated at $17 billion and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 49% until 2030. Meanwhile, the total global market size of CRM has reached almost $60 billion. It is also forecasted that spending on Social CRM applications is likely to grow at a faster rate compared to traditional CRM. All of this confirms that more companies seek to employ social channels to interact with customers and businesses that don’t start doing it soon risk losing their market share to competitors.

How to use Social CRM software

Social CRMs help businesses to reach customers at all stages of their journey, from brand discovery to post-purchase support. Let’s review all major strategies for using Social CRM systems to grow business and improve its performance.

Social CRM use cases

Sentiment analysis

These days, word of mouth is conveyed through social media. People buy products, try them out and share their experiences with friends on such platforms as Instagram or Facebook. Usually, public reviews come with mentions of the brand's profile (using @) but can also include names of key employees of the company, and names of products and services. A prompt reaction to such mentions, both negative and positive, provides plenty of opportunity to improve the brand’s perception by the public. Such sentiment monitoring is possible with Social CRM tools that include notifications when someone mentions a brand or a product in a post, comment, or story.

For example, if a customer creates a post, in which they share a negative experience of using your product or service, a reaction from the company’s or its representative’s account can downplay the negativity and avoid a chain reaction when the post’s author subscribers developed a negative sentiment towards your products. The same goes for positive reviews: a reaction from a brand, in the form of simple gratitude or additional discount, can help nurture future brand evangelists and advocates.

Social marketing

With Social CRM, companies can increase customer involvement and stimulate them to participate in a brand’s story rather than be passive spectators. By being open to suggestions and feedback, reacting to mentions, and increasing presence on the platforms that customers actively use in everyday life, a Social CRM system expands the possibilities of two-way customer interactions.

Social marketing approaches that are possible with Social CRMs are completely different from blog posts, ads, and YouTube videos that remain essentially a one-sided type of communication. A Facebook chat feels more personal than an email and adds value to the brand in the eyes of a customer.

Social commerce

Social CRM is also a great tool for selling its products and services in a new way. Cold calls and emails hardly work these days, while personalized communication via social media and messengers has a higher chance of establishing a meaningful connection with a potential customer and leads to a better conversion rate. With tools available in Social CRM, a sales agent can start a conversation in one channel (WhatsApp, for example) and then resume it in another one (if, for example, a customer decides Telegram is more convenient). The key benefit is that details provided by a client through multiple channels are all accumulated in the Social CRM system and the employee can get a whole picture of the customer’s preferences, budget, and needs at a glance.

Helpdesk & Customer Support

This point is a natural continuation of the previous one, but at different stages of the customer journey. Whether a client decides on a purchase or requires support after making it, Social CRM allows to provide personalized shopping guidance and post-purchase support via channels that are most convenient for them. Here, the benefits of a CRM system which provides centralized access to client details, order history, and communication via several channels in a single interface shine even more. A shopping assistant can rely on this data to help pick a suitable product and avoid asking numerous clarifying questions, while Social CRM’s ticket categorization and routing make it easy to assign an inquiry to a competent specialist and automatically provide all necessary information on the issue.

Social CRM metrics

When using Social CRM systems, it is important to track these KPIs (key performance indicators) in order to measure its usage results.

Engagement. Measure how users interact with your website instead of a simple number of clicks. This metric includes likes, shares, reactions, and comments on different social media platforms.

Brand mentions. Using Social CRM, a business can determine how many people discuss it in public space and what is their general sentiment towards it as a whole, as well as particular products and services.

Traffic. Social CRM can track how much traffic each social media and messenger channel drives to the website and its conversion rate. This allows a marketing department to determine what channels are mostly used by the target audience and what type of content is most effective in attracting leads to the website.

Followers activity. Quantity doesn’t always mean quality and Social CRM makes it easy to analyze not only the number of the brand’s followers on every platform but also the level of their activity, such as comments, likes, shares, and so on.

Churn rate. It is also known as customer churn, which measures the number of customers or followers who decide to stop interacting with a business by leaving a list of your subscribers within a given period. It can also refer to the amount of revenue lost as a result of the departures.

Essential features of Social CRM

Social CRMs are complex tools that are used by businesses at all stages of the customer journey. Thus, there are several key features that a system should have to help streamline interactions with customers. Let’s explore them more closely.

Customer profiling

Social CRM should be able to aggregate details of customer profiles from multiple networks to provide a comprehensive overview of their interests, activity, and previous interactions with the company. It is also useful if the system provides customization options to arrange and show only the details of a customer from particular channels.

Social listening

An ability to collect data from customers by keeping track of what people are saying about a brand on social media is a crucial component of a Social CRM. It helps to adjust marketing, selling, and support accordingly, to improve customer service and the brand’s public perception.

Multichannel integration

The number of social media users grows every day, just as new platforms appear frequently. To achieve full coverage and efficient communication, pay attention to what channels a Social CRM supports. Of course, a large number of channels is preferred, but it is also important to have the support of the channels most popular with your audience, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Viber, Telegram, or else.

Since interactions with customers extend beyond social media and include emails, phone calls, and even live chats, it's crucial to make sure you're informed about these encounters in real-time so you can react to them promptly. Omnichannel integration also makes it easy to have centralized access to the history of correspondence between the company’s employees and customers.

Performance analytics

It is hardly possible to assess the effectiveness of Social CRM and whether it fits the bill without having accurate figures on hand. With this in mind, choose a Social CRM system that provides powerful analytics tools. The data you should be able to view and analyze should cover your consumer audiences: their numbers, activity across channels; and staff performance as well: conversion rate, deal’s average amount and closing time, and support agent’s rating.

Does your business need social media

Whether it is a huge national corporation or a small local business, whether you provide digital services or repair cars, social media plays a crucial role in the marketing of modern business. Social media platforms help build relationships with customers, raise brand awareness, acquire leads, and improve sales.

Reinforced lead generation

Today, people frequently discover products by simply scrolling through Instagram feed or other social media channels. Neglecting them means missing a large part of your potential customer base that will invariably turn to competitors. While maintaining an active and diverse social media presence is a step in attracting new clients through digital channels, reaching out to them via social networks and messengers can take things to a whole new level and significantly improve lead generation. And this is what Social CRMs can help you with.

Better customer engagement

Communication is what maintains relationships both in our private and business lives. The same goes for brand-and-customer relations. Remaining in the field of view of your customers and making it in less explored ways (not with overused email promotions) is a sure way to increase purchase frequency and maintain strong bonds with loyal clients.

Improved satisfaction with the service

Social media and messengers are great tools to gather feedback and provide support to customers. Employing a practice of messaging a customer after purchase to learn about their experiences and remind them there is always someone to help if they run into an issue can not only improve your relations with that particular person but also gather valuable feedback that can be used to improve your products and services, getting more satisfied customers in the future.

Best Social CRM tools

After learning about Social CRM’s benefits for business, it is time to take a look at the companies that provide the best social media CRM software.

Umnico

Umnico is an omnichannel communication platform and Social CRM that provides businesses with all tools necessary for improving the quality of customer communication, digital marketing, and sales. The platform allows connecting over 25 channels: all main social media and messaging platforms, as well as live chat and email.

Umnico Inbox interface
With Umnico, all correspondence history is stored together, so an employee won't have trouble finding out details of a client's previous conversation with another agent. This functionality is complemented by small business CRM features, such as sales funnel and task manager, which allow tracking the status of deals, assigning them to sales reps, and monitoring their performance. Full functionality of social messengers is supported, so Umnico users can enjoy all features of a messenger, for example, quoting and tracking delivery status in WhatsApp. The platform's Android and iOS mobile versions make it easy to connect with users on the go.

Price: It starts from $8 per month only. Umnico users can design their own rate, choosing only integrations with instant messengers and social media they need, and get a discount when buying a subscription for 3 months or more.

Nimble

Nimble is a CRM enriched with tools for social selling, contact management, and marketing automation. The system’s core feature is how it collects details on every business contact from sources all over the web, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, and email, and then combines them in a contact card in a comprehensible manner, providing insights useful for strengthening customer relations and improving sales. The same happens with communication history: all correspondence details and appointments related to a particular contact get arranged on a unified contact page, making it easy to have a 360-degree view of customers and leads. With Nimble, users also get all common CRM functionality, such as sales pipeline, forecasting & analytics, while email marketing features enable them to send personalized group emails with tracking, and analytics on the number of email openings and clicks.

Nimble CRM

Nimble’s Prospector is quite a unique feature of the platform. It is a browser extension that shows details on contacts and all team interactions, automatically updates contact records, and synchronizes them with the CRM’s database. It supports all major browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox, helping sales reps to discover high-quality leads and close deals faster.

Price: Nimble has only one price plan, which is $19 per month if billed annually and $25 if billed monthly.

Zendesk

One of the leading companies in the customer service software industry, Zendesk also provides advanced functionality for integrating with social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. It automatically converts conversations in social media into tickets and allows agents to use both public communication channels (tweets, for example) and private messages via a single interface, while all data and correspondence history are saved in a single location.

Zendesk CRM

Price: Zendesk provides several pricing plans with different numbers of customizable pipelines, data storage space, and activity reports. The price of the most basic version starts from $19 if billed monthly.

HootSuite

HootSuite is a popular social media tool that allows companies to manage their social media presence across multiple channels in one place. The platform has scheduling and analytic tools for posts, as well as social listening functionality to monitor mentions of a brand’s name and keywords.

HootSuite interface

Although it supports full integration with Salesforce, a leading CRM solution, HootSuite also comes with built-in basic CRM functionality, which, together with Social Media Dashboard, makes it a capable Social CRM. HootSuite allows its users to view analytics on followers’ activity, discover the best outreach tactics, create a stock of responses to communicate more efficiently, and learn messages’ click-through rates, checkout time, and other metrics.

Price: Being on the higher end of the price spectrum, HootSuite offers three subscription plans with different functionality, the basic one costing $49 and supporting a single user.

Buffer.com

Buffer is a social media management tool with functionality to promote meaningful customer engagement and better sales on social media. The platform allows companies to plan and publish their content across multiple channels, analyze the performance of every pos,t and conveniently engage with followers and subscribers.

Buffer.com

Buffer’s dashboard for social media collects all comments on posts in an easy-to-use interface, with AI-based smart alerts highlighting the ones that require immediate response and hot keys making communication more efficient. The platform’s analytic tools provide insights into the audience preferences, demographics, and performance of organic vs. booster posts to help determine the best time, frequency, and subjects for content.

Price: Buffer’s basic account with publishing tools and support of three channels is free. More advanced functionality, including analytics and engagement tools, is available with paid plans that start from monthly $6 per channel.

Social CRM tips & best practices

Congratulations on having read this far! Now we’re going to touch on the subject of the most effective tactics for utilizing Social CRM.

  • Track keywords and tags related to your business, names of products, and key people within the company, and not only @-mentions or #-tags of your brand. This way you won’t miss any social media conversations, in which you can participate and show your expertise, customer care, and client-oriented attitude.
  • Interact with your audience in different ways. For example, launch a contest on the best idea for the name of your new product, with a valuable prize for the winner. Track how the audience reacts to such a campaign in different channels and use the insights to adjust media presence, ads’ tonality, and formats of communication.
  • Provide real-time support to a customer reporting a problem both in public and private channels. With the help of Social CRM, an assigned support agent can start a conversation with plenty of data, which decreases the number of clarifying questions, and continue the conversation seamlessly using a different channel, according to the client’s preferences.
  • Support fan pages and groups devoted to your brand created by clients. Social CRMs make it easier to discover such communities and the most active contributors in them. Offer promotion and support to such groups, as well as various benefits to the most active brand advocates.
  • Use CRM’s insights to create targeted campaigns. The vast and valuable data gathered by Social CRM can and should be used as much as possible. One of the options is to define audience segments with the help of Social CRM: establish groups of customers, who share the same demographics, preferences and most-loved social media and messenger channels; then create highly-targeted campaigns and promotions with high conversion rates.

Conclusion

Social media is one of the most important areas for a modern business to find new clients and maintain relationships with existing ones. Making this process as efficient as possible requires a set of specific tools — a Social CRM system. In contrast to traditional CRMs, Social CRMs are more focused on two-way interactions with customers and provide tools to track sentiment towards the company, manage a unified client details database and connect with them in real time across multiple channels.

If you look for a Social CRM system that combines omnichannel communication with an attractive price and user-friendly interface, consider trying out Umnico. The platform merges conversation with a client in messengers, social media, chats, and email into a single window, providing essential insights into your staff performance and customers’ activity, sales funnel, task manager, and automation tools. A free trial period means you can assess what the platform is capable of, without any limitations and commitment financial-wise.

Nikolay R.

Article author

Employ the communication platform that helps your business. Set it up in 5 minutes

By clicking on the button, you agree to the terms  user agreement