Social customer relationship management (SCRM) is a specialized form of CRM that uses social media to connect with potential and existing customers. Social media enhances CRM, bringing your business’s customer service staff, ecommerce functionality, and more right to customers’ fingertips. Social CRM makes it easier for customers to get in touch with sales reps and customer service reps and buy your product or service. From the business’s perspective, social CRM software provides data to inform sales and marketing about whom to target and reach out to.
What is social media CRM software?
SCRM is like traditional CRM but with social networking elements built in. It helps companies manage their online presence, generate leads, convert customers, and so much more.
While CRM helps companies manage their relationships with prospective and current customers, SCRM provides yet another way of tracking and connecting with customers on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Because of this difference, SCRM is not directly transactional. Instead, it sparks interest in your brand and builds a relationship with customers over time to convert and upsell potential and existing customers, respectively.
Sales, marketing, and customer service teams all find purpose in using social CRM software to connect with customers and meet their needs.
Sales has richer data with which to approach certain customers at certain stages in the buying journey. Social media provides an additional, more immediate mode of communication with customers, too.
Marketers use social CRM to plan and schedule posts to various social media networks and then track the performance of these activities through dashboards and reporting functionalities.
Customer service representatives can be more instantly available to answer customers’ questions through social media chat features or more publicly in a forum such as a Facebook page wall.
In addition to typical CRM analytics, SCRM software collects and delivers data on the following metrics:
- Number of visitors that social media posts direct to your landing pages
- Characteristics of visitors, such as geographic area, level of social media engagement, andmore
- Types of engagement, such as likes, shares, comments, and more
- Where and in what context your company name appears in conversation
Read more at TechRepublic: What is Social CRM, and why should it be on your radar?
With regards to inbound and outbound sales and marketing tactics, traditional CRM and social CRM are two different tools in the same toolkit. Both serve as a means to the same ends: attract, convert, and retain customers.
Top social CRM software
In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the top social media CRM software vendors that offer either a dedicated SCRM platform or SCRM tools to add to your CRM.
|HubSpot Marketing Hub|
|Salesforce Social Studio|
Falcon is a social media monitoring platform that integrates with your CRM platform to help your sales and marketing teams capitalize on social media engagement activities:
- Crafting social posts that are in line with your branding strategy
- Engaging in real time with customers
- Creating automated ad campaigns at scale
- Listening to what your customers say online about your company, product, or service
- Gauging customer sentiment towards your brand
- Getting to know your audience better
- Measuring the performance of your social CRM activities
- Comparing your social presence and performance to that of your competitors
Falcon’s platform helps companies of all sizes get to know their audiences better and deliver personalized experiences to customers at multiple social media touch points in the buying journey.
Its sophisticated customer profiles track users’ activity with your social media posts, what organization they’re affiliated with, their geographic location, and other demographics.
Falcon’s platform assists with social content creation, planning, and responses. It allows users to work collaboratively on creating, modifying, and approving social media posts. The platform also features a social media content calendar to consistently roll out campaigns, a social inbox that gathers incoming messages from various channels.
The social listening feature of Falcon’s platform collects up to a year’s worth of historical data pulled from over 100 million data points. This helps you gather insights as to what customers are saying about your brand and track over time what works and what doesn’t.
Falcon is also available via mobile app to manage social media engagement on the go, and users like that they can manage social media posts all in one place. However, some users report that they cannot instantaneously post to multiple channels.
Popular among small businesses, GreenRope allows users to post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn from one central interface. This saves time by eliminating the need to replicate posts across platforms.
When existing customers interact with you on social media, their activity automatically syncs to their contact record in GreenRope’s CRM. For new customers, their information gets captured as a lead for the sales team to reach out to or to deliver targeted content to.
GreenRope’s social media marketing tool generates reports to see which social network activities are performing best in order to make data-driven decisions on future social engagement.
Since its social CRM tool is part of GreenRope’s CRM platform, it’s a beneficial add-on if you’re already using that platform and if your company needs basic social marketing functions. However, GreenRope’s social media CRM functions are more limited than other vendors.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
In HubSpot’s social media tool, users can bulk schedule social media posts and publish to multiple social networks in one click. This saves time and ensures your social accounts are updated frequently. In reviews, users mention they’re not able to post to social media from HubSpot’s mobile app and that the software lacks a collaboration tool to change and approve posts before they go live.
Using the campaigns tool in HubSpot also gives the option of linking any social media posts to a specific campaign. This helps you assess the effectiveness of your social media strategy and how it impacts broader marketing initiatives.
It also features keyword monitoring, so you don’t miss any mentions of your company’s name. Any negative feedback or other pre-set keywords alert in-house sales and customer support team members so they can swiftly respond.
Interactions between your brand and customers/users automatically link to contacts in your CRM database. Having this information helps you understand your customer’s sentiment toward your brand, where they are in the buying journey, and finally, where to prioritize that customer in the pipeline.
If you’re already using HubSpot, it’s worth adding its social functions to enhance your CRM activities. Otherwise, you’ll have to be ready to commit to HubSpot Marketing Hub’s software solution.
Nimble offers social media management as part of its CRM platform. In fact, social networking integration is one of its highest-rated features. Popular among small and medium businesses, Nimble’s social media tool helps you build live profiles that always stay up-to-date.
Nimble’s Prospector browser extension tool helps users enrich customer profiles by pulling social media data and syncing it with a new or existing customer profile stored in the CRM. It provides contextual insights that aid sales and marketing in knowing how to interact with and sell to an individual customer. Key insights include where someone works, where they’re located, how large their employer is, contact info, details on all past interactions on social media, and more.
Nimble does not appear to offer any social media-based outbound marketing tools that other vendors offer, for example, crafting social posts, linking them to campaigns, and measuring their performance. However, users find Nimble to offer great value for its price, as it helps them manage their lead pipeline more effectively.
Odoo offers several open-source, integratable, a la carte apps, including a social marketing app.
With Odoo’s social marketing app, users can schedule, track, and analyze social media accounts all from one place. Social media posts can be linked to and tracked with your marketing team’s campaigns to track revenue and leads from social media posts. This feature makes it easy to optimize social marketing ROI.
Once you post, Odoo provides a customizable feed to keep you up-to-date on social activity across multiple channels.
The modular style of Odoo allows companies to choose what they need when they need it, adding as they grow, but there is a caveat. Many Odoo tools integrate with other third-party apps. For instance, you can bundle Odoo’s CRM and social marketing apps or integrate its social marketing app with your existing CRM. However, because some Odoos apps are built on top of other apps, it may not be possible to buy certain apps a la carte.
Salesforce Social Studio
Salesforce Social Studio is an all-in-one social media marketing and management platform that is popular among enterprises. It allows users to monitor when, where, how, and by whom their company is mentioned. Social Studio serves up insights based on monitoring activities, whether on a desktop or through the mobile app. It also uses machine learning to provide sentiment analysis in its social monitoring function.
When crafting posts, Social Studio facilitates collaboration and access control in designated workspaces to ensure brand consistency across social channels.
After posting to social media, customer interactions get routed to the relevant department, either customer service for issues or sales for product information. Customer interaction information also integrates with the CRM database to enrich customer profiles. This information, in turn, helps salespeople provide a better, more customized customer experience.
Salesforce Social Studio requires commitment to the Salesforce platform which means higher financial investment. Also, users report a learning curve with Social Studio. However, it provides an impressive array of features that helps companies optimize their social media strategy both actively through posting and passively through monitoring.
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social management solution that includes tools for listening, publishing, and more to help companies manage and leverage their social media presence.
Sprout Social’s listening tools integrate with the social media sites your company uses to gather information on how visitors and customers perceive and talk about your brand. Using this data, sales knows whom to contact, marketing optimizes its strategy, customer service can quickly address issues, and product development can improve the product or service.
Using Sprout Social, users plan, organize, schedule, and deliver content to the right audience at the right time. Users can work collaboratively to craft compelling social posts. Sprout Social not only allows post scheduling but also suggests optimal times when users are most likely to see them. In addition, users can post simultaneously to multiple social channels.
Customers love the scope of features in Sprout Social’s platform, however, it might be more than what smaller businesses and non-profit organizations need and thus more difficult to justify the cost.
Zoho Social is a complete social media management platform that assists in social monitoring, collaboration, data analysis, and other essential functions to develop and maintain customer relationships.
Zoho Social’s monitoring functionality directs attention to relevant conversations happening around your brand, especially the negative ones. This way, you can respond quickly and maintain, even improve, your reputation.
Collaboration is easy on Zoho Social. Team members can collaborate on social media posts before they go live by using chat, video, or audio calls. Users can also tag other team members in discussion threads.
Zoho Social offers robust analytics that help your team assess its performance across social channels. It features user-friendly graphs, charts, and other graphics to help you and your team better visualize and understand the data. This software enables unlimited custom reports as well. Using analytics tools like these proves social marketing ROI to grow your company’s brand awareness.
This software easily integrates with Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk to enhance your company’s sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. Its Zoho CRM integration enriches existing CRM data to qualify prospects and generate leads from social media networks. Zoho Social enables sales and marketing team members to generate tickets for customer support staff when they pick up on customer issues from social media.
Social CRM tools vs social CRM software
SCRM comes in two main forms. Some SCRM software is built into an existing CRM platform, while other vendors offer a SCRM platform that integrates with CRM software.
With a SCRM platform, you’ll want to make sure it integrates with your existing CRM software, especially if your CRM software vendor offers social media management features.
Why do you need social CRM software?
A traditional CRM with no social media data gives an incomplete picture of your customer’s needs, behaviors, and buying patterns. Plus, you’re missing out on the deep insights from customer interactions on social media that can enrich your CRM data.
The benefits that are specific to social CRM include:
- More control over your company’s reputation and social media presence
- Product innovation and improvement by listening to customer conversations (“social listening”)
- Real-time response to customer complaints
- Scaled outreach by instantaneously posting to multiple social channels
You need social CRM software to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of various segments of your customer base.
Read more at TechnologyAdvice: 5 Reasons to Integrate your CRM and Social Channels
How to choose a social CRM
Given the ubiquity of social media, social CRM software is essential to staying connected with your customers and reaching out to new ones.
Some vendors listed here provide a social marketing solution that is built on top of a CRM platform. These are great choices if you’re currently running a traditional CRM that does not integrate with social networks and are willing to use a different software:
- HubSpot Marketing Hub
- Salesforce Social Studio
- Sprout Social
- Zoho Social
If your CRM offers no social media components, or only some, and you want to add a bit more functionality without committing to an entire platform, you should first consider the vendors below. They offer flexible modules that integrate with your existing tools:
If you opt for one of these, ensure that it’s compatible with your CRM software.
The breadth of social marketing features that you need in SCRM software depends on the industry, your business’s reputation, and how it wants to interact with customers. However, the bare minimum features to watch for in SCRM software are social monitoring and integration with major social networking sites.