A more automated approach to marketing is now considered a necessity rather than a luxury

Social Media is playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives. The worlds of marketing and CRM are no exception to this and in recent years have necessarily adapted to accommodate a more interactive, customer empowered model of relationship management. The main shift has been away from a “spray and pray” style of marketing to a more targeted, interactive and two way approach.

Opportunities and Pitfalls

Social CRM presents a huge range of exciting opportunities for brands and organisations. The emergence of channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus has allowed marketers to communicate directly with their customer bases on a larger scale than ever before. However this blurring of the lines between brand and consumer has also brought its own share of risks. The consumer has been empowered by the rise of social channels and B2C brands in particular have been made far more accountable and vulnerable. There have been a series of well documented mishaps and PR disasters on social media, notably the McDonalds hash tag backfire.

However CRM solutions and social media automation can help the situation. By tracking brand mentions and allowing marketing managers to respond quickly and accordingly, social CRM solutions can often halt problems before they arise or at least before they gather too much steam.

Although embarrassment is possible if an ill thought out social media strategy is implemented there is also the opportunity for brands to use social media to give a friendlier, personal touch. Once faceless corporations can appear approachable and human. Social marketing can also be cheap and wildly effective.

Key Social CRM Terms

Social CRM solutions range in both the quality of service and the scope of the solution. Although it is a hot topic it is still relatively early days in terms of actual social media marketing and relationship management. Most CRM providers promise a social model of some kind however these can range from basic integration to a complete end to end social suite. Most solutions offer one or more of the following:

Single Inbox

A unified dashboard built into the solution where all social media channels are available. Users can respond in real time. There are a number of add ons to the single inbox including:

  • The ability to prioritise conversations or allocate contacts to team members
  • Schedule social output over certain channels and for a designated time
  • Perform keyword research to locate possible leads and keep track of brands mentions

Social Campaign Functionality

Users are able to integrate their marketing campaigns with social media channels. This may include “share on social media” apps within outbound campaigns or the creation of dedicated landing pages within social platforms. Competitions or polls may carry the option of completion via social media logins which pulls these handles into the database.


Users can track how well they are doing on social media and compare this data to other marketing efforts. From here they can determine which channel is performing the best and how many leads have come from social media marketing.

Key Points

  • Social CRM is a relatively new concept and as yet there is no clear market leader in terms of social strategy
  • Performing B2C marketing over social channels presents great opportunities but also great risks- No social media presence is better than a hurried, ill thought out social media strategy!
  • The three key elements of a social CRM solution are: A single inbox, research and response and outbound marketing

Questions or suggestions? Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with