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Social CRM: What it is and how to use it to generate qualified leads

What is social CRM?
Why social media CRM is important for engagement
Benefits of social CRM for salespeople
How to pick the right social CRM system
Final thoughts

Social media platforms offer a wealth of information on prospective buyers, from posts to likes to social profiles. To get a complete picture of your leads and prospects, consider the part social media management plays in your customer relationships.

The solution is social customer relationship management, also known as social CRM (or social media CRM). This post will explain exactly what social CRM is, why it’s so important and how you can use it to generate more qualified leads for your business.

What is social CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM), the processes and software an organization uses to manage its contacts and relationships, is an integral part of modern sales. Social media CRM expands that scope to include engagement and nurturing through social networks.

A traditional CRM is restricted to the interactions between a sales representative and their leads. Social CRM takes advantage of the large amount of publicly available information shared on social media to give you a complete picture of your leads, prospects and customers.

Although they’re closely related, social CRM is different from social selling.Social selling refers to the techniques and strategies salespeople use to reach out to potential customers over social media. Social CRM is the foundation that makes those strategies possible. Tracking and managing your customer interactions over social media better positions your team to pursue relationship selling and win more deals.

Why social media CRM is important for engagement

Which of the following statements is true about social CRM?

  • It expands an organization’s use of social media beyond marketing, positioning it as a source of business intelligence.

  • It provides valuable data to support sales and marketing decision-making.

  • It supports both new customer acquisition as well as customer retention efforts.

If you guessed “all of the above”, you’re correct.

More than 5 billion people worldwide will use social media by 2027. Today, the importance of social media in daily life means it can have a massive impact on sales, even for small businesses.

Social media platforms are a key component of your digital marketing strategy. A well-targeted social media campaign can generate high-quality leads, create brand awareness and increase conversion rates. A social CRM system boosts your sales and customer retention efforts by helping you do the following.

See the bigger picture

A strong social CRM platform will automatically pull data from social media sites to populate your customer profiles. It will update your contact management in real time and track social interactions the same way a traditional CRM tracks phone calls or emails.

Social media posts and conversations give you a comprehensive look into the customer experience. They can reveal basic demographics, buying preferences and how people feel about your brand and your products (and your competitors). More information means more actionable insights.

For instance, details from social media can give you insight into why a deal has stalled so you can come up with an effective solution.

Get time back

The best social CRM platforms save you time by increasing efficiency, especially if you’re using different social media sites to communicate with your prospects and leads. It offers a single dashboard that makes managing cross-platform conversations easier. This comprehensive overview in turn reduces the chance that you’ll miss out on key details.

More information also helps you qualify leads faster. With insights into behavior patterns and firmographics, you’ll know which leads are most prepared to move forward.

Ensure happier prospects

Centralizing a contact’s previous social media interactions with your company in one system helps your team deliver a stronger customer experience. With a comprehensive view of leads and customers, you’ll never have to ask a prospect to replay conversations they’ve had with other reps.

For example, the Quickdialog Pipedrive integration lets you manage all of your messaging and interactions in a shared inbox. It also automatically updates your Pipedrive deals, contacts and activities.

Keep everyone on the same page

Social CRM is a valuable tool in your lead generation strategy that benefits multiple business functions, not just the sales team.

For instance, having a complete picture of your customer engagement helps your marketing team create more relevant campaigns. Tracking social conversations alongside purchase history and other key details empowers your support staff to respond to issues faster.

When the sales, marketing and customer support teams all use a social CRM, it leads to greater internal alignment, a more seamless customer experience and increased customer loyalty.

Benefits of social CRM for salespeople

There are several ways that salespeople can benefit from the data collected by a social CRM.

Find new leads

Social listening, or monitoring social media platforms for specific phrases and activities, is a smart way to grow your lead pool. When people are talking about your company, your competitors or relevant challenges, you can add them as new social leads to your sales funnel.

There are a number of tools that can automate this process so that salespeople don’t spend hours manually analyzing LinkedIn or Twitter posts. For instance, a solution like Zapier allows you to integrate your social media monitoring tool with your Pipedrive account. You can then build a workflow to automatically add prospect information and notes based on the alerts you receive.

Along with a steady supply of fresh social leads, you can use the analysis to personalize your cold outreach.

For example, suppose someone posts on LinkedIn about how their current solution is slow and inefficient. You can highlight your solution’s speed and efficiency (perhaps by sharing case studies, white papers or webinars) to grab their attention.

Understand leads on a deeper level

Your prospects are more than the sum of their email interactions. The direct messages they exchange with your sales team only reveal a fraction of who they are, what they need and why they should sign with your company.

Social media CRM and sales management tools help connect the dots so sales teams can better pinpoint prospects’ sentiments and pain points.

Sentiment insights gleaned from social give you a more nuanced picture of how people feel and can help you identify:

  • Who is in the market for a solution like yours

  • What product features/benefits are most important to them

  • What questions they have about your product

  • What frustrates them about similar solutions

Access to these granular details can help salespeople tailor the language, messaging and even the channels they use to contact prospects.

Optimize your campaigns faster

Every social CRM tool gives visibility into various metrics. Use these centralized reporting capabilities to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy and flag areas to improve your nurturing sequences.

Some of the social media metrics you should track include:

  • Traffic: The number of people who click through and visit your website or landing pages from social media

  • Engagement: How people interact with your social media content, such as likes, comments and shares

  • Average response time: How long it takes you to respond to relevant mentions and direct messages

  • Brand perception: The number of positive mentions of your company compared to negative mentions

  • Level of followers: How active and well-connected your followers are and who your influencers are

Social moves fast. With a social media CRM, you can rely on real-time data to improve and align your sales and marketing campaigns.

Land and expand more deals

Using a social CRM to better understand your leads can lead to higher engagement throughout the sales process. Engaged leads are more likely to convert. A social CRM makes it easier to meet your leads where they already spend their time. It opens up opportunities to interact at a moment of need by answering questions, sharing content or offering a relevant sales promotion.

A social CRM can also help salespeople boost customer lifetime value through account expansion efforts. With social media details centralized in your CRM platform, sales and success teams can work together to identify seasonal trends, industry news or organizational changes that could warrant a cross-sell or up-sell conversation.

How to pick the right social CRM system

A growing number of SaaS products and marketing automation solutions describe themselves as social CRM platforms. For many teams, the idea of trading in your existing, familiar CRM for a dedicated social CRM may be a tough pill to swallow.

With the right CRM, you can leverage social media integrations to embed social CRM capabilities directly into your current system.

When looking at a standalone platform or CRM integration, consider the following functionality:

  • Data collection. A social CRM platform should allow you to collect relevant data from social media about potential and existing customers. It will let you monitor brand mentions, tweets or hashtags related to you (or your competitors) in customer profiles and social posts.

  • Interaction. More advanced tools allow you to directly engage with your prospects in two-way communication across social media channels and apps, all from one platform.

  • Contact enrichment. Some tools let you link social data to CRM entries for your leads and prospects. This gives you a greater understanding of your contacts and enables more personalized monitoring and outreach.

  • Analysis. To get the full benefits of social CRM, you need to be able to swiftly analyze the data you capture. Recent advances in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) let you analyze social interactions and activity at scale.

Final thoughts

Whether you are a new business, a startup or a large enterprise, a social CRM strategy is a must-have. As with any tool, social CRM works best when it’s used with a clear goal in mind. When coupled with your overall sales strategy, social CRM helps your team make better decisions based on holistic customer data.

Social CRM enables you to better understand your target audience, leads and customers. It lets you organize your contact details and manage your communication from one location. When properly deployed, this powerful solution can help you level up your lead generation strategy and grow your bottom line.

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