Practical Ecommerce

5 Social CRM Tools for Small Business

Customer relationship management tools have existed for years. Businesses use them to manage customer interactions across channels and departments, including marketing, sales, customer service, and technical support.

One area where traditional CRM systems fall short is their inability to incorporate social network data about customers. This is important because consumers frequently ask product-related questions, and share with friends and followers their product purchase intent, as well as their personal experience using products.

This is where social CRM tools play a key role. They enable merchants to stay connected to customers using social channels, which can lead to increased sales and more satisfied customers.

This article introduces five popular social CRM systems for small business.

1. Batchbook

Like most CRM systems, Batchbook lets businesses manage their contacts and address books, and track conversations, sales, leads, deals, and more.

Where it differs from traditional systems is through social media integration. Batchbook users can access LinkedIn profiles and read Twitter feeds from inside the platform. They can also connect with Facebook to get background information on contacts.

Batchbook integrates with HootSuite to enable the following capabilities.

  • Access Batchbook contact details, communications, to-dos, and notes from inside HootSuite;
  • See customer relationship histories by looking at Batchbook contact details in HootSuite;
  • Save social posts and contact details to Batchbook from HootSuite;
  • Take note of the most engaged social contacts and mark them as “Champions” in Batchbook.

Pricing starts at $20 per month. Batchbook offers a 30-day free trial. Annual plans receive two months free.

2. Nimble

Nimble combines CRM, social media, and collaborative tools into a single SaaS solution. More than any other platform on this list, Nimble is built from the ground up with social media in mind. Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara even refers to it “social relationship management” platform rather than a CRM.

Nimble offers the following features.

  • Automated social integration. Automatically identify a contact’s social profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and then connect, listen, and engage with him or her.

  • Unified inbox. Listen to all of the relevant conversations occurring in social networks and connect from one unified inbox. Retailers can also send messages to individual contacts from within Nimble and/or send messages to their own social profiles.

  • Social search. Search social networks for relevant keywords to find people who may be interested in your company or products.

  • Import social contacts. Contacts can be imported into Nimble. Merchants will see their profile if they are already in the Nimble database and can drill into a contact’s social profile to learn what he or she has been saying or doing.

  • HootSuite integration. Like Batchbook, Nimble integrates with HootSuite.

  • Status updates. You can post status updates to any social network or send messages to anyone in social networks.

Nimble offers a free plan, which has limited features. Premium plans are priced at $15 per user per month. A 14-day free trial is available with no credit card required.

3. BlueCamroo

BlueCamroo is a multi-faceted application that combines CRM, social CRM, project management, customer support, task management, email marketing, and back-office features such as time tracking, billing, online payments, and expenses management.

BlueCamroo’s social CRM component — called “Social Scout” — allows merchants to view and post to their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.

Social Scout also has a robust search component that enables social search based on the following criteria.

  • Sales opportunities. Configure keywords to listen for on Twitter and public Facebook updates that include buying signals, such as “we need,” “I’m looking for,” “can anyone recommend” and others. These can also be added as leads that merchants can respond via Twitter and Facebook if the contact is also a friend.

  • Buzz. Configure searches for customers who raise issues about the company or products and create a “Case” for follow-up.

Lastly, merchants can add social network criteria to contacts in the database and see what they have been posting.

Pricing starts at $29 per month. A 31-day free trial is offered.

4. Insightly

Insightly offers built-in integration with LinkedIn and Twitter, so merchants can display social data from inside the dashboard. Import contacts from LinkedIn connections. Add LinkedIn Profiles to existing contacts. The platform also integrates with Gmail, Google Apps, and Google Drive.

Prices start at $20 per month. A free plan is also available.

5. GreenRope

GreenRope is an enterprise-level CRM that has four core features: contact management, marketing, project management, and calendaring. Social media campaigns can be managed from a single interface.

Pricing starts at $99 per month. A 30-day free trial is offered.


Social CRM tools such as these five enable merchants to integrate social data from customers and prospects into a contact database. This provides a more holistic picture of who their customers are, what they care about, and what they are saying about the company and products, all from within a single platform.

Paul Chaney

Paul Chaney

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Comments ( 18 )

  1. Amber Lancaster February 25, 2013 Reply

    I really like Free CRM

  2. Carlo Sta. Romana February 26, 2013 Reply

    Great rundown Paul, and thanks for that great summary of BlueCamroo’s SCRM features!

  3. Ben Green February 27, 2013 Reply

    I’d like to add , our recently launched social media management tool that addresses the social CRM issues raised above. In addition to many other great capabilities in the social media space.
    Please check us out! Feel free to contact me with any questions

  4. Brad Hodson February 27, 2013 Reply

    Insightly and Nimble are the only apps on this list that I would recommend to small businesses. A small business doesn’t have the ability nor the flexibility to train on a software for days and weeks on end to use some of the other software that you mention. It would just be a waste of time and money to invest.

    On the other hand, my recommendation for a small business CRM is JobNimbus ( Easily the simplest, most powerful CRM out there, and it’s only getting better since it’s launch a few months ago. They understand CRM way better than other vendors out there, which means you’ll get the highest return on your investment from using them.

  5. AlisonGell June 2, 2013 Reply

    Way to go Brad Hodson who works at JobNimbus ( and thinks it’s smart to rubbish competitor products while boosting his own.

    JobNimbus may know something about CRM, but you obviously know nothing about building trust in social channels before you attempt to deliver a sales pitch.

    The author of this article – Paul Chaney – chose 5 social CRM solutions to write about as "suitable for small businesses". I have used or created trial accounts on all these tools. Paul is right. Brad, who is obviously only interested in boosting JobNimbus, is wrong.

  6. Brad Hodson June 13, 2013 Reply

    Hi Alison,

    I suppose my tone was overly condescending, though I assure you it wasn’t meant to be. I have also tried these software and can’t give them a recommendation because I understand small businesses from several industries and capability doesn’t always match the requirements of the system.

    Small businesses in the majority of industries need maximum simplicity in order to get worthwhile ROI, otherwise the CRM investment just holds them back.

    From personal and crowd-sourced experience, I know Nimble and Insightly to be superbly easy tools for small business, as are our own efforts manifest through our CRM software JobNimbus. We’ve worked very hard to learn from the software available and users of said software in order to build the right app that will be most useful for small businesses of any industry and level of tech-savvy.

    I apologize for my tone and rhetoric. It was not my intention to insult the other software, as I know they’ve worked hard to make it a valuable tool for their customers. I appreciate their work and the help they provide to businesses that they serve.

    Again, my apologies.

  7. Marie Talcod July 22, 2013 Reply

    This is an interesting list. Open source software solutions grow in popularity even if they are still considered by some as ‘false economy’ solutions. I’m currently working at TALCOD (French Open source and Web agency), and all the customers seem satisfied with the solutions that we base on CiviCRM. I do believe that open source solutions have a bright future.

  8. Kraig August 23, 2013 Reply

    Another option is Quickbase by Intuit, which is easy to use and very customizable. I built a company-wide CRM app using it over the past three years for a 3.5 million/year company, which now uses it daily. Plans start at just $299/month and it’s a great option for small businesses. Check out their fully functional free trial (no credit card needed) at and learn how to get started at

  9. Sandhya Ramesh September 17, 2013 Reply

    Great list! I especially like that you include Green Rope and Blue Camroo in it. I do think they’re pricey for small businesses though. I wouldn’t want to pay $99/month for a CRM! Nimble is a really good choice when it comes to price. Agile CRM is great too: it is priced cheaper than all the products here, and has inbuilt marketing/email automation with social integration.

  10. Liza November 27, 2013 Reply

    This is a good article for those who are still in dilemma on what CRM tools they would use. It gives us an overview about each tool which is really informative. Since this article covers only 5 CRM tools, I would also suggest reading where reviews about other CRM systems have been posted by the users. I hope you would find the information presented useful. Thanks for this nice article. It’s really helpful.

  11. Carlo Sta. Romana December 11, 2013 Reply

    By the way, BlueCamroo’s made it as a finalist for CRM Idol 2013:

    Give it a look! And a vote!

  12. sam February 21, 2014 Reply

    hi great article ! i highly recommend they have great prices vs both are great but snapforce is cheaper

    • Michael October 23, 2014 Reply

      Is Snapforce an actual legitimate company because I can’t find them incorporated in any state?

  13. Jillian March 6, 2014 Reply

    Another great software that can be used is Snapforce CRM.
    For more information visit

  14. Jeff April 23, 2014 Reply

    Nice round-up Paul. Another Social CRM I’d add, my favorite in this category, is Contactually. It has great automations for managing all your relationships, integrates with Google Apps, integrates with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, and the Zapier network of apps, automatically updates and syncs your contacts with Google Contacts, and is updated rapidly based on customer requests. I actually use a handful of CRMs that have different feature sets, but always fall back on Contactually as my favorite go-to app:

  15. Masoud April 27, 2014 Reply

    I think these systems mainly are Social Media Management Systems than Social CRM!!!

  16. Joe Smithy April 29, 2014 Reply

    I thought BlueCamroo would be a business helping hand. Instead, it has just added overhead. This company does not deliver on what they promise. There are far better solutions offering much greater value.

  17. August 31, 2015 Reply

    CRM software encompasses everything from the basic address book included on a standard cell phone to a powerful, cloud-based business intelligence system. Heavy competition in the CRM software space can sometimes lead to conflicting views about how to leverage customer relationships.