Strategies to Establish Your Social CRM Goals - dummies

Strategies to Establish Your Social CRM Goals

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

Even though you’ll see social CRM’s benefits over time, not overnight, you should still establish goals for a long-term strategy. Here’s the main question: Why do you want a social media and social CRM strategy?

Your strategy will vary drastically depending on how you answer that question, and your answer might lean toward one of these two approaches to social media:

  • Relational: If your answer is something like this, “We want to improve our communication with our customer and enhance our support offerings,” you have more of a relational approach to social media.

  • Transactional: If your answer is something like this, “We want to leverage social media as a marketing tool to drive more business,” you have more of a transactional approach to social media.

We believe that social CRM is about interactions — relationships more so than transactions. If you make improving customer communication a priority, transactional business objectives will naturally follow. Lead with customer service goals, and sales will follow. With social CRM, customer support and marketing go hand in hand. If you lean toward the transactional approach, keep that in mind and think about how you can shift your focus.

Keep in mind that social CRM is still evolving. Take time to plan out your goals, using what you’ve learned from past marketing initiatives and business strategies, and don’t set yourself up for disappointment with unrealistic goals. The goals that follow provide a good starting point.

  • Get employees on board. Inspiring your employees with your new social business model should be your first priority. Take the time to provide proper training, and make sure your employees fully understand the value of social CRM and what it means for the organization. They should view social CRM as an exciting new opportunity, not a chore they must perform.

  • Listen to customer feedback. Make sure you’re really listening to your customers’ feedback, not just monitoring conversations. Set goals about what you want to do with the information you collect. Think about how you will use it to improve your organization and customers’ interactions with you, both online and off.

  • Start social conversations. Don’t just wait for customers to come to you. Strike up conversations with them first! This can greatly improve customer perception and interaction with your brand. The more conversations you start, the more you have, which means more data for you to learn from.

  • Collect social data. One of the great benefits of social CRM is that it helps you segment your audience. You can easily identify who opens e-mails, clicks your Facebook ads, replies to your tweets, and comments on your blog posts. Collect, filter, and apply that data to better reach your customers where and how they want to be reached.

These are all realistic goals initially. As you learn your own best practices, you can then establish more goals. Just keep in mind that in order to establish clear goals, you need a full picture of your audience. Start with basic goals to gather this information, and refine from there.

Keep your goals flexible. You may find that they change as social media platforms evolve or your business grows. Create goals you can build on. For instance, a goal of replying to 25 percent of social conversations may be a great starting point, but you should revisit it periodically and aim for higher percentages. Let your goals grow with your organization, and with social media as a whole.