Plugging social media activities into your CRM is necessary to help bring you closer to your customers, to listen to them, to meaningfully engage with them and ultimately bolster your customer service, brand and sales.
SOCIAL MEDIA: A BACKGROUND
Risk is the name of the game. When it comes to social media, most organizations have very little idea whether their Facebook page, Twitter account or blog is really paying off. From the smallest startup to the largest multinational corporation, quantifying the impact of social media engagement is tricky, and it's only a matter of time until the question is asked 'is it worth the money we're investing?' Twitter and Facebook are making it easy for dissatisfied customers to complain publicly. Could some firms be overwhelmed by the numbers, or worried they are exposing themselves to avoidable bad press? The easy way out is to simply ignore Twitter, Facebook and the like. Why not just go back to business as usual?
STICKING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND
It might drown out the noise, but it won't silence your customers--taking a risk by investing in social media is essential. Ignoring social media leaves the door open for your competitors to grab your customers' attention and take sales. Social technologies are transforming the relationship between your customers and your organization. Real-time conversations, comments and complaints are now part of the customer experience. Whether you listen, engage or ignore, the choice is yours.
MAKING THE CONNECTION
Social media is important, but how do we measure its real impact on customer behavior and sales? Social CRM is the missing link, combining analytics and tracking with an integrated interface to help you put a value on your social media activities. These listening and posting tools will also help you understand where social media is working for you and where you need to do more.
MARKET RESEARCH IS DEAD. LONG LIVE MARKET RESEARCH!
Well, online market research ... With all of your social media activities and mentions plugged in to your CRM system, you can gather customer feedback in real time and respond immediately. It's market research, but not as we know it.
The old ways of display advertising and direct mail--'interruption marketing'--are still powerful methods of delivering a message, but social networks have unwittingly introduced a new form of customer contact: permission marketing. …