3 Tips for Social CRM Success
Do you think social media is not ready for business use? Perhaps you think it's ready, but in a limited capacity. By this, I mean that your organization has a presence on social channels, but these engagements are disconnected from other customer channels. Your enterprise wouldn't be the only one with these views. In fact, according to an Accenture study, only 26 percent of B2C companies have formally linked social media channels to their customer-related functions.
To be fair, vendors have only recently figured out how to connect social media channels to enterprises' customer records. So it's understandable that companies have been reluctant to take the plunge. Nonetheless, emerging and traditional CRM vendors have come a long way in that time. And, today, there are some impressive new enterprise social media solutions available.
But before diving headfirst into social media, it's important to lay the groundwork for success. Here are a few tips to succeed in social media, gleaned from this month's industry coverage:
1) One of the most important things a marketer can do early on—even before investing in an enterprise social media solution—is to understand and communicate the brand idea. "The brand idea is the soul of the brand. It is the life force, and it must remain consistent.... Every marketer must be able to define that idea because it is based on a bilateral relationship that underpins all engagements—digital or otherwise," according to Tom Doctoroff in the article "Why Twitter Is Not a Strategy."
Doctoroff cites Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign as a good example of how the company is "transforming the soccer pitch and the basketball court into realms of individual expression and achievement. Nike is not just a brand, it's a belief. It's iconic."
2) Once your company's brand idea has been established, it's safe to invest in an enterprise social media solution. But it's important to know that these channels are evolving in different ways, which means your social strategies must evolve with them.
For example, in our cover story, "How to Create the Right Content for the Right Social Channel," Associate Editor Maria Minsker writes, "While Facebook is all about creating opportunities for brands to be discovered by consumers, Twitter users are typically looking for real-time, bite-sized pieces of information." When people are suddenly experiencing a significant event (such as a blackout), many flock to Twitter for real-time information. This could be an opportunity for brands to quickly get in front of consumers with a clever and valuable tweet. Our cover story includes an example of how Oreo successfully tweeted during the Super Bowl blackout. (Read this story for more tips on how to tailor your messaging for each social media channel.)
3) In the column "Is Social Media Still Just Hype?" Robert Wollan, a global managing director at Accenture, offers a couple of cogent tips—one of which includes using social media monitoring tools to not only scan social networks, but to monitor review sites as well.
Think how helpful it could be to your brand if it were able to quickly spot and respond to negative reviews on Amazon. Not only will the reviewer appreciate a compassionate and helpful response, but many site visitors will notice it as well. Here, it's not only about solving a problem for a single customer, it's also about showing that customer and site visitors that your organization is committed to customer satisfaction.
With these tips, organizations should improve their chances of success when connecting social channels to their traditional customer channels. But don't stop with these recommendations. Read the aforementioned articles for more helpful enterprise social media strategies.