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How to Gain Business Insights with Social CRM

Part of the Social CRM For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Social CRM and the social business model are driven by customers interacting with your brand. As a brand representative, you help move the conversation forward. But how does a social business model work? Although each industry has variations, the following steps outline how to involve your customers in conversations that your business can learn from:

  1. Identify the social networks on which your customers interact.

    This will likely include the usual suspects — Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare — but don't discount newer sites like Google+ and Pinterest, or Yelp and other review sites or forums. There are niche sites for quite a few industries as well. For instance, those in the travel industry should look at TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk. Identify a few of these more narrowly focused sites and see if your audience is active there.

  2. Listen to what customers are saying about your business.

    Before you start addressing your customers (and potential customers), listen up. Find out what team in your business interacts most with customers, and ask that team about the most common questions customers have. Ask what other insights the team can offer into your social CRM. You can also check what customers are saying about your business on social websites. For example, try a few different searches for your business name or your products on Twitter.

    Learning from customers is important to any social CRM strategy. You want to learn the following about your customers: What are their complaints with your business? Do they have any suggestions for improvement? And what do they love about you? Identify their pain points and favorite features to see how you can begin to give them what they want, and continue to deliver what they already enjoy.

  3. Join the conversation.

    Your Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter audience are mostly previous or current customers who like your brand. You need to evolve your typical marketing approaches into conversations to really interact with this audience. Begin by answering questions and providing suggestions to customers who are already talking about your brand.

    When replying to questions feels natural, you can begin guiding the conversation by asking questions yourself, and posting content designed to grow the conversation around your brand.

  4. Implement customer suggestions.

    Now that you know where your audience is and what they're saying, it's time to take action, whether it's through content or actual organizational changes. If customers are confused by what time your business closes, or angry that it isn't later, try posting your hours more clearly in social media, or experiment with staying open later on certain days. Look at what customers already love and build more conversations around that.

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Social CRM For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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