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Ben Mallison of The AdminHub contacted me recently about a new concept called Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) – I had never heard of it before, but wanted to find out more.  As I am an avid social media networker I thought I should get the low-down on this new concept.  Ben has written a great article about this and I wanted to share it with all my blog readers.  The link to the original article is here – What is Social CRM?

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What is Social CRM?

What is ‘social Customer Relationship Management (CRM)’?

‘Social CRM’ (or SCRM) is a term I guarantee you will start to hear more and more. Social CRM is an extension of traditional CRM but with more focus on the ‘social’ element of the process(es). Business is built around relationships and social CRM looks to bring social media platforms into the CRM process in order to grow relationships, listen, engage and turn communities into customers. You may hear SCRM referred to as ‘CRM 2.0’ or ‘Enterprise 2.0’.

How does social CRM affect companies and their customers?

Social networks allow businesses to build communities, listen and engage in conversions whilst having the ability to innovate based on prospects’ and customers’ insight. Businesses can themselves provide industry-specific insight and support to prospects and customers and then start to build and strengthen relationships. We all buy from people we like and trust, social media can be a great way to nurture relationships and turn contacts into long-term customers. These platforms give the customer new ways to communicate with you and can provide you with a new way of understanding your customer-base. The more you know about someone the easier it is to sell to them, social media allows businesses to get on a level with their customers and understand more about them, which can only be a good thing! With Social CRM customers have more control over the relationship, they have wider channels down which to express positive or negative comments and they have more of a say in how companies should provide their products and services.

Social CRM – The Market

According to Gartner, Inc. the social CRM market value will surpass $1 Billion in revenue by year-end 2012, this market is currently experience aggressive growth so it is possible for the market value to considerably exceed this amount by year-end. Gartner, Inc. also predicts that by year-end 2013 B2B organisations using social CRM applications will represent 25% of all projects worldwide. We know that social CRM is an extension of traditional CRM; contentmanagementconnection.com estimates that the social CRM market is equivalent to 25% of the CRM market, in USD value.

What does all this mean for small businesses?

Its common knowledge that all of the fortune 500 companies have invested heavily in social business strategies. However these platforms, strategies and processes are not reserved for industry’s giants. Small businesses can successfully adopt social business strategies by using social tools and processes. Social media platforms are great tools for researching, marketing and growing your products, services and brand. For the most part, the use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin is free. The ‘social’ approach to CRM really puts the ‘R’ (relationship) back into CRM – make sure your business is involved!

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