Social media is without a doubt the face of 21st-century marketing. Studies show that Americans check their various social media accounts an average of 17 times a day; factor in eight hours of sleep, and that means they’re checking more than once per waking hour of every single day.

Clearly it’s important for small businesses to embrace social media as a form of both marketing and customer service. However, a robust social media presence falls completely flat without access to an equally robust collection of customer data. This is why your social media marketing needs to be complemented by effective CRM. Here are a few simple ways that CRM can enhance your social media marketing and customer service strategies:

1: Facebook Messenger Is the New Phone Call

One of the interesting developments of recent years, especially among Millennials, is just how much people want to avoid calling a company directly. They find more indirect methods, such as emails and messages, much more preferable. Taking this into account, businesses such as Virgin Atlantic and Amazon have found great success in inviting customers to contact them via Messenger for inquiries or assistance.

When your business does something like this, though, having a small business CRM in place is an absolute must. Your CRM allows anyone in contact with customers via a chat bot or email to have instant access to the customer’s detailed file and a record of all previous interactions with the customer.

Better data and a record of past communication leaves everyone in the exchange happy. The customer walks away impressed with the speed and precision of your customer service. Meanwhile, your sales or service team is able to gather even more information about the client and effortlessly input that information into the CRM, ensuring that future interactions with that customer are just as smooth.

Even better, information put into the CRM can help you track some of the emerging trends and issues of your customers so that you have a more three-dimensional view of your clientele.

2: Attract New Leads

Many companies are discovering that social media campaigns are the new email campaigns. Certain customers who are likely to dismiss email marketing out of hand are likelier to respond to the vibrant images and videos of social media marketing.

Of course, there is an art to getting social media campaigns just right. Part of your success is dependent upon finding the right time for customers to receive social media messages – to target people who are in the sweet spot of the sales funnel. The other important factor is creating campaigns that are customized for particular segments of customers.

social media CRM

Customer relationship management is vital for accomplishing both of these goals, which is why it is the key to small business marketing success. Using a CRM remains the best way to create precise segments of your customers so you can understand the motivations of each client. Moreover, CRM gives you a solid visualization of each customer’s stage in the sales cycle, so when you decide to send a social media campaign to their feed, it will be timed just right.

3: Capture New Leads

In addition to helping you craft social campaigns that target your ideal buyer, your small business CRM can help you capture new leads.  Sharing gated content (like an ebook or guide) or presenting an irresistible offer (like a free consultation) is a great way to capture names, email addresses and other info right into your CRM through online forms.

4: Give Your Agents the Power

Chances are that negative customer service experiences of the past may have given your customers a grim view of what it means to contact customer service. That is, they are accustomed to the notion that if they have a genuine problem that needs solving, the first person they speak to will not be authorized to do much of anything. This is a major contributing factor to why many customers avoid phone calls, as they imagine being placed on hold multiple times until they finally reach someone who can actually do something.

A small business CRM allows you to change all of that. Once you allow customers to reach you via social media, you can start to deliberately blur the lines between sales, service, and support. Giving all employees instant access to all of the information and interaction history of the customer means that the first person they contact can, in most cases, be the last person they need to contact. This allows your customers to have a better overall experience while allowing you to streamline your teams for efficiency and speed.

Social media marketing is just one of the ways to reach your clientele. Have we mentioned how much we love email marketing? The best small businesses, though, make social media marketing just one part of a diverse array of marketing and service strategies.