Do you still need to be convinced of the value of social media for business purposes? Perhaps you connect with individuals on LinkedIn and read the occasional tweet, but social media generally is still on the back-burner in your business.
Following his post on mobile technology, Datel CRM Consultant Danny Owen says there are compelling reasons for integrating social media with your Sage CRM or Sage 200 CRM customer relationship management solution.
Every company using social media to build awareness of its business and stay in tune with the marketplace will need to choose platforms that match its objectives and audience. Here, I’ll look at some of the most popular ones…
With 230 million active users, Twitter is rapidly becoming today’s platform of choice for publishing company news. This makes it an ideal vehicle for keeping a watching brief on your customers, prospects, competitors, suppliers, and partners. Who’s launched a new service or opened up a new branch? Who’s formed a new partnership? Who’s been acquired?
It’s also a great way to push out your own news and to retweet news of benefit to your customers, such as a new product release. Here at Datel, for example, we might retweet information about a forthcoming new release of Sage software.
Linking your Twitter account with your CRM system means that:
The record for each company and person on CRM can also be linked to their Twitter account, enabling a live feed of information into CRM direct from the person or business tweeting, with tweets being saved as notes on your CRM database
Users will be able post tweets, search posts and complete all of the most common Twitter tasks from within your CRM system
You can track brand or company mentions (your own or a third-party) within CRM and feed this back to your sales force, to keep them up to speed on anything that might affect customers’ perceptions of your business and product range, or news about the customer’s own business.
You possibly use LinkedIn at a personal level to build your network and keep in touch with old colleagues. There is scope to use it as a powerful business tool:
Some businesses mine their network to check out ‘who knows who’ and who could offer an introduction to a new customer or a referral
Others are using it to track movements within the customer’s organisation
Using LinkedIn with your CRM system means that if you open a person's record in Sage CRM, an embedded window displays vital contact information such as name, position, company, profile picture and key connections direct from that person’s LinkedIn profile. This is a useful tool in identifying prospects or simply to research a customer before a meeting.
It’s worth noting that LinkedIn will not record that you have been viewing someone’s profile from within the CRM application, so they will be unaware that you have been checking them out.
Facebook is probably still best-suited to business-to-consumer communications. Its demographic is currently changing, as teenagers are leaving in droves and greater numbers of older users are joining. Where a company has a Facebook page, using Facebook integration makes it is possible to view profiles and walls from within CRM, to give your users insight into its activities. This can also be done at...
Yammer gives your company its own private social network. We use it within Datel as a great way to share news company-wide, collaborate on projects, and bring our collective expertise to answering customers’ questions. Rather than having a long email trail as different people chip in, all of the information is easily viewed on Yammer. Whereas few of us look forward to tackling our email inbox, people seem to enjoy working together on Yammer.
If you link Yammer with Sage CRM, this will firstly encourage internal collaboration and employee engagement. At the same time, customers, suppliers, contacts, leads, opportunities and cases held within your CRM database can be tagged within posts made through Yammer.
To give an example: if a customer places – or cancels – an order that is captured on CRM, this can be fed through automatically to Yammer to inform a closed group of those who need to know.
Referring back to my previous post on giving staff remote access to your CRM system, social media sits well with this. For example, sales people and account managers visiting a customer can instantly refresh their knowledge of the company and the contact they’re about to meet with, and get up to speed on recent events posted on Twitter via their mobile device. Meanwhile, staff working remotely can keep in touch with colleagues and collaborate with them on Yammer.
I hope you have found my two posts on using mobile technology and social media in your business of interest. If you're a Datel customer, please contact your Account Manager for further assistance. If you'd like to talk to Datel about possibly moving to new business management technology, please call 0844 417 0745.