Like every good marketer, you probably have an active social media marketing plan aimed at connecting with customers and attracting prospects. No doubt, you’ve collected friends, followers and likes on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
But, if you’re not taking your social customer relationship management (CRM) program past that point, you might not be aware of all the ways you can multiply the payoff of those Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
A smart and sophisticated social CRM strategy can inspire brand evangelism, collect user data and proactively shape the public conversation about your business.
Often, when companies are still new to social CRM, their sales teams are the chief beneficiaries. Yet marketers can benefit, too, by gathering valuable interest/attribute data and putting it to use on a real-time level.
The basic data provided on the surface of social media profiles are helpful in starting your CRM efforts — and whether you’re B2B or B2C, pulling deeper data to import into your CRM program can help you turn those anonymous profiles into buyers. Failing to do so is to miss out on a rich marketing opportunity that’s only going to continue to gain momentum.
Data: The Key To A Mature Social CRM Program
So, how do you take your social CRM to the next level?
Studies have noted that marketing, sales, service, innovation, collaboration and customer experience are the areas that benefit most from strong social CRM strategies. Keep functional groups in mind as you formulate your data collection plan – the key to driving high returns from your program.
If you don’t already have marketing automation software, now is the time to change that. Marketing automation can help you amass deeper and richer data for segmenting customers and designing relevant campaigns that speak to their goals and challenges.
To implement it strategically, you’ll need to make decisions about your reporting. Who do you want to track for your business? Do you want to monitor all of your followers, or just a specific demographic? Consider, too, if you should customize your reporting. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to alter your metrics by season, location or other criteria.
Next, think about the types of data you’ll want to collect. If you haven’t already, identify your brand evangelists and use their activity to gather leads. From measuring the performance of your social media campaigns to tracking the time of day your followers seem most active, you can amass a wealth of data that will yield insights into your marketing programs’ effectiveness and help you shape future endeavors.
Collecting Data Through Smart Campaigns
As noted, one of the chief benefits of interest and attribute data is your ability to enhance and refine your campaigns. Using this data to present compelling content that is personally relevant and helpful to your targets, helps you collect data to pour back into campaigns – which of course kicks off a cycle of inspiring even more activity and more data. Below are a few ways to both use and collect your data.
- Personalized offers and cross-selling opportunities. Look at your customers’ purchase history, Facebook activities, shares and posts to tailor specific offers and suggest items.
- Shift from one-shot campaigns to ongoing engagements. Remember that you’re not going after one sale, but a long-term relationship founded on loyalty and value – which provides ample opportunity to use the data you’re collecting.
- Enhance ROI by linking to social/mobile campaigns. Amplify all paid advertising and add immediate ROI to existing content and creative assets by linking them to ongoing social and mobile campaigns and promotions. By gathering and using interest and attribute data from paid ads you can adjust and promote your brand message, enhance SEO, attract new leads and nurture existing buyers.
- Synchronize your campaigns across web and mobile platforms. By keeping your programs seamless and available even when your customer is on the go, you will tighten engagement, increase opportunities and obtain data that paints a more complete customer profile.
- Ask for customer input. Stir up participation by asking for opinions on a new product or service and collect the response data.
- Use incentives. Whether you’re a B2C business offering coupons or a B2B company offering a white paper, using incentives can also net you a load of valuable information about a targeted set of buyers.
- Create brand evangelists. The difference between engaging a casual follower and creating an evangelist is delivering what customers have always wanted: an attentive, enduring relationship with a brand they trust. Use your data to provide engaging content and genuinely relevant marketing to turn customers into your best marketing asset.
Social Event Management: CRM In The Real World
If you mention social CRM events, quite a few people will automatically think of Twitter parties or Google+ Hangouts. In fact, marketers are now harnessing the reach of social media to organize and promote major conferences and other events. The benefits range from attendee satisfaction to publicity to lead generation. To jump-start your events using your social programs, think in terms of event chronology:
- In advance. The first step is creating social profiles for your event. This will allow attendees to see each other on your profile pages and view event information. Create an official event hash tag and ask relevant contacts – everyone from you own team to vendors to participants – to use it on Twitter, which allows you to track conversations and be as responsive as possible. To promote your event, search on related keywords and participate in any relevant dialogues.
- During the event. Continue to monitor your attendees’ conversations across various platforms, and contact those that have questions or concerns. If you notice a repeated theme arising in the conversations, see if you can adjust the event programming or post helpful information on your profiles.
- Follow up. After the event is over, track any new leads and continue to build any new relationships that may have started at the event.
By collecting the right data and partnering it with intelligent strategies, your social CRM can help you craft compelling messages, inspire evangelism and ultimately drive transactions. As social media continues to evolve, social CRM strategies will evolve too. However, the keys to effective marketing have always been inspiring interest and earning trust – and this is a reward that smart social CRM will always deliver.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.