The rise of social media has revolutionized the way customers interact with brands, products, and service providers. While traditional customer relationship management was all about collecting and managing a customer’s data, customer relationships through social media are organic and conversational in nature. While the traditional one-way company to customer communication driven by call center services and direct mail is still relevant to a company’s bottom line, more and more customers are demanding two-way, conversational interaction through social media. Although social media doesn’t lend itself to direct advertising or sales pitches, social media relationships and branding are becoming an integral part of every relevant company’s branding and marketing strategy.
In order to manage this new form of customer interaction, a new generation of CRM software, known as social CRM (SCRM), has entered the marketplace in order to monitor and manage this new evolution in customer interaction. Social CRM systems aggregate the social activities surrounding a company’s brand and products, allowing the company to engage customers and influencers without manually creating and inputting profiles. Because the value of social media interactions are notoriously difficult to quantify – especially compared to traditional customer interactions – having a sophisticated analytics package is necessary in order to quantify and optimize social media campaigns.
HubSpot is one of the leaders in web and social marketing analytics and may very well be the best plug-and-play social CRM analytics tool. HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing software suite that integrates nicely with leading social CRM systems, including Nimble and Salesforce. This integration allows businesses to track leads from their landing pages and social media platforms directly to their social CRM systems.
In addition to tracking conversions and social media analytics, HubSpot has a ton of other features that make it extremely useful for companies looking to organically grow their online presence. Some of these features include search engine optimization suggestions, blogging software and analytics, as well as social media monitoring and publishing. The social media monitoring feature is especially useful for companies looking to gain a foothold in social media, as it creates opportunities to engage new customers, monitor marketplace trends in social media as well as the company’s own brand and products in social media.
With a broad set of features for tracking customers on the web and in social media, as well as convenient integration into many CRM and marketing services, HubSpot is not only a great tool for SCRM analytics, but it can play an important role in other channels of a company’s online marketing efforts as well.
Integrating Analytics Tools Via API
Another possible solution for companies that are able and willing to invest in a bit of development is to integrate a standalone analytics suite with their CRM system. This can easily be done via developer APIs. An API – short for application programming interface – is a set of specifications designed to allow different software components to easily communicate with each other. Virtually all major CRM and analytics tools utilize APIs in order to facilitate integration with other services. Having a developer integrate a stand-alone analytics tool with your SCRM software can offer greater flexibility and a wider range of choice in terms of features. This can be especially useful if plug and play solutions like HubSpot don’t have all of the functions that your company needs. Some popular analytics tools that could be integrated with a SCRM via an API include KissMetrics, Mixpanel, Google Analytics and countless others.
Questions To Ask When Selecting an SCRM Analytics Tool
Because CRM systems are so deeply integrated into a company’s business processes, selecting the right analytics package will require a thorough examination of your business’ goals and needs. What is your business seeking to accomplish through social media? Once you’ve determined this, you can look for the functionality required to accomplish your goals. Will your company need to:
- Track customer engagement and conversions?
- Monitor trends/conversations in your brand/market?
- Locate influencers in your market?
- Aggregate posts for reading purposes?
- Aggregate posts for data gathering purposes?
By asking the right questions, you can ensure that the SCRM analytics tool you select fits with your social media goals. When integrated with the right social CRM system, a good analytics tool will help your organization better engage its customers and maximize ROI.
By author Richard Orban, published on behalf of Capita Customer Management. Capita, besides customer management, is highly effective in all sorts of customer relations outsourcing, such as help desk outsourcing.