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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
Picking the right social CRM system
Final thoughts

Social media has changed the way organizations interact with leads and customers. Social 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 social 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 builds on that foundation. It expands its 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, it’s important to understand that 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.

  • By tracking and managing your customer interactions over social media, you’ll be in a better position to carry out a social selling campaign or relationship selling in general.

Why social media CRM is important for engagement

Having an intern run the company Facebook profile used to be enough to qualify as a social media marketing campaign. 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. It can also create brand awareness and increase conversion rates. A social media CRM is the glue that holds your social media engagement and interactions with prospects together. A social CRM system boosts your sales efforts when you use it to do the following.

See the bigger picture

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

Social communications channels give you a comprehensive look into the customer experience. They can show you basic demographics, buying behavior and how people feel about your brand and your products. 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 back lost hours

The best social CRM platforms save you time by increasing efficiency, especially if you’re using different social channels 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 any 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

Organizing your contact history also improves the experience for your leads. If they use a different platform or speak with another rep, they’ll thank you for not having to repeat themselves.

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 the whole company, not just the sales team. Having a complete picture of your customer engagement helps your marketing team better understand customer needs and create more relevant campaigns. Your help-desk staff benefits as well, as tracking social conversations allows them to respond to issues faster. When the sales, marketing and customer support teams all use a social CRM, it leads to greater alignment and a more seamless customer experience.

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 good 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.

Once you’ve set up which key phrases to monitor, you can use automation to streamline the analysis process. 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 improve your lead gen outreach. This can speed up the process of converting leads into prospects or paying customers.

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 customers and brand advocates are more than the sum of their email interactions. That means trying to get to know them purely based on those direct messages will have limited results.

Use social media CRM and sales management tools to see the context of those conversations. When you understand the customer sentiment behind them, you get a clearer picture of your leads and their pain points.

Sentiment analysis gives you a more nuanced picture of how people feel and can help you find out:

  • Who’s 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 complaints they have about similar solutions

For example, during the 2019 holiday season, social listening firm Infegy found that price was one of the most important factors consumers discussed. However, priorities changed as COVID took hold, and posts discussing stock levels increased.

By March 2020, people were more concerned with delivery than how much they were paying for goods. Salespeople who were aware of this were able to change up their messaging to highlight the factors that mattered most to their prospects.

In a similar instance, fast food company Wendy’s discovered through social intelligence that people had more positive sentiments about “sea salt” than salt or sodium. As a result, they started using the term more in their marketing campaigns to great effect.

Salespeople can use social listening to find out how their leads feel, down to the specific language they respond better to, and adjust their messaging accordingly.

Test and measure with greater accuracy

Depending on what social CRM tools you use, you’ll have access to various metrics. Use them to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy and identify areas for improvement in your nurturing sequences.

Some of the social media lead generation and nurturing metrics you can track include:

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

  • Engagement. How people are interacting 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.

Priorities and circumstances can change quickly. With a social media CRM that pulls in the latest data, you can be confident you’re acting on reliable information. Tracking key metrics will also ensure your nurturing campaigns are directly relevant to your leads.

Close more deals

Using a social CRM to understand your leads improves your engagement with them. Better quality engagement then helps you guide them through the sales funnel and ultimately close more deals.

A social CRM makes it easier to talk to your leads in the channel where they spend most of their time. It opens up opportunities to interact at a point of need by answering questions, sharing content or offering a sales promotion. As a result, you’re more likely to be seen as a trusted advisor and your leads will be more confident buying from you.

Social Selling

Picking the right social CRM system

A growing number of SaaS products and marketing automation solutions describe themselves as social CRM platforms. However, the idea of trading in your existing, familiar CRM and pricing up a dedicated social CRM software may not be appealing.

The good news is that, with the right CRM, you can leverage social media integrations to embed the features directly into your current system.

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

  • 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 and manage it all in one platform.

  • Enrichment. Some tools let you link the social data to the CRM entries for your leads and prospects. This connection 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 analyze the incoming data. 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. Overall, when properly employed, this powerful solution can help you level up your lead generation strategy, generate more qualified leads and increase your sales.

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