Today’s business world is no match for the old technologies and ways of living. Solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs, freelancers, corporations – all need branding and diversified channels to connect with their audiences and customers.
It’s not just a matter of how to start a blog, a website and a community to channel any potential sales funnels; it’s also about transforming existing ones such as social media into customer relationship management (CRM) opportunities. The flood of social networking services transformed standard practices in the marketplace.
A report by Whatech.com states that the Social CRM market will grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 38.1 percent through the year 2019.
If you are active in industries such as marketing, customer services, finance, tech and more, the social CRM model has the usability you need. How much of a market share will Social CRM be? As systems are updated between the social media and CRM technologies, according to a Newsfactor.com analysis we’re expecting it to become a 9 billion global market by 2018.
Tools addressing the social CRM model include:
- Jive Software
- Lithium Technologies
Today´s Social CRM is just the next big thing in the evolution of customer relationship management programs. The way this process works is social media services, technologies and techniques are all combined in an attempt to effectively target specific customers.
Evolution of Social CRM, Characteristics and Insights
Targeted customers in the old days of CRM processes had to visit showrooms, make or receive calls or get information by snail mail. Things have changed. This visual graphic below illustrates the evolution of CRM to SCRM.
Customers today operate through the use of social media channels. As mentioned, in the graphic above, the customer lives, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social platforms. When a targeted customer interacts with their favorite brands on a social network, their behavior becomes an indicator of interest, which can be translated into metrics. Metrics can help in forecasting business growth.
If you take a look at the last decade, US is dominating the charts of business growth through social networking alone. According to the Pew Research Center exactly two thirds of American adults (65 percent) use a social media channel. There is definitely some additional business to gain using these platforms and dedicating a team to tracking your targeted customer.
In a separate infographic titled “Social vs. Traditional CRM”, you can find at least 6 reasons why SCRM is better than traditional solutions:
- The customer controls the conversation
- The basis of the communication is interaction
- You gain market insights by doing an outside looking in approach
- The CRM gatekeeper is the public relations (PR) team that manages social media accounts
- The budget is made by the chief marketing officer (CMO)
- The hours of operation are 24/7
Takeaways and Conclusions
It seems the customer is now in complete control over their purchase. Communication is a two-way street, so social listening is a must if you don’t want any accidents. In addition to paying attention to your audience, your business can gain valuable insights, knowledge. These can later on be coded into data and analytics of reputation management.
Note that not every dialogue with customers on social media is a sales transaction. Be aware that negative feedback is constructive and it’s still feedback in the end. Don’t take it lightly and don’t take it for granted. Communication is limitless – which makes it a powerful weapon. Make sure you know how to use it so that it will simplify your world, instead of complicating it.