- Firstly, using the channel as a listening platform to understand the conversations that are taking place between your prospects, clients, partners and other influencers.
- Secondly, as a place to encourage interactions with both current and potential clients around activities /subjects that are of interest to them.
- Finally (and rather inevitably), the platform should also be used as a sales channel in order to enable and accelerate purchase.
Friday, 16 September 2011
The Magic Circle of Social Media, CRM and Sales
At a recent networking meeting, shared a platform with Katie Williams from CRM consultancy to shed some light on the magic circle of Social Media, CRM and sales. Here’s an extract of that presentation.
Aligning social media with business goals
The start point for any marketing campaign has to be an examination of your overall business strategy; without this, it is futile. This process involves the identification of your key target audiences and the ways in which they are likely to be influenced, for example via a LinkedIn Group, direct or at a networking event.
Once this has been established, your social media activity can be used to create noise in the platforms that have the greatest exposure to these target audiences. At the same time, this can be used to drive traffic to ‘the hub’; typically your company website or blog.
According to a recent presentation published by E-Consultancy, those companies which have been most successful in their use of social media are those who have approached it in three phases:
It is the question of how this data and insight is used to generate sales after interactions have taken place over social media that can often leave businesses mystified. The answer is Social CRM; following up on these interactions via e-shots and other means of communication, and recording this activity.
As the following chart from E-Consultancy shows, social media is not typically integrated well with
Creating a two-way communications strategy
CRM has always been a strategy used typically by ‘customer facing’ departments such as marketing, sales and designated customer service. Creating a joined up data platform so that the customer experience is seamless and painless has increased. A CRM application now can be expected to provide critical tools to enable smooth internal communications, staff empowerment and motivation, post sales service above customer expectation and management information which really delivers the facts and figures needed for future planning.
Your social media strategy is part of the overall CRM mix. It is commonly acknowledged now that organisations cannot simply ‘choose’ to get involved in social media. Rather that they will be left behind if they don’t embrace it. And that is not simply because competitors are embracing it so we feel we must, but much more importantly that our customers are expecting it from us.
Using data that you have already collected on your existing prospects, customers and other audiences can help to shape your social media strategy. If you were to profile your top 20 (or 50, or 1000) customers, what would that profile look like? Simple demographics can point you in the direction of the channel(s) that will ‘speak’ to a wider audience of a similar profile, effectively targeting your communications.
Using contacts that you already have such as customers, and reaching out through them (retweets, Facebook comments, LinkedIn contacts) engages a whole new audience who respect your customer and their opinions. Getting testimonials out there is a great step, but engaging in a ‘conversation’ which others can be part of and contribute to is even more powerful.
Using your CRM application to capture the details of this new audience and engaging with them as soon as possible after they have communicated with your organisation via social media, enables a new level of communication to be established, where more traditional methods of marketing and PR can become the next steps in your sales process.
Measuring the results by tracking the success of leads and sales in your CRM application is really bringing the whole process full circle. You then have results which can directly impact your strategic planning, and you’ll be in no doubt about the direct and indirect effect of a social media campaign on your bottom line.
For further social media/PR advice contact Katie King - @katieeking @Zoodikers and email@example.com
For CRM support contact Katie Williams - @KatieEVU and firstname.lastname@example.org