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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.