5 Ways To Leverage Social CRM To Drive Community Interaction and Member Engagement

Published: May 20, 2012

Register for “5 Ways to Leverage Social CRM To Drive Community Interaction and Member Engagement.”

Avectra VP of Marketing, Patrick Dorsey, previews some of the webinar’s trending takeaways in an exclusive Q&A below:

DemandGen Report: There has been explosive growth on LinkedIn, and discussion groups are primary forums for conversations. What are the realities and challenges around social growth for today’s organizations?

Patrick Dorsey: The reality is that many of today’s organization do not have a clear strategy. Social media, like LinkedIn, is a tactic. Social CRM is a strategy. Social CRM is not about technology. It is about a fundamental cultural shift to support and grow your business. And I believe a social CRM strategy starts with listening. Your members, customers and/or prospects are out there talking about you, about the important issues in their industry and their daily challenges and successes. You need to understand what is being said, why it is being said, where it is being said and then respond. I refer to this as: Listen. Learn. Engage.

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• Develop a clearer understanding of what issues motivate individuals to join, buy from you, or participate with your organization—or not.

•Monitor not just your relationship with each individual but also what each individual is saying about the relationship.

• Improve customer service and retention thanks to a new ability to immediately respond to individual concerns and interact with them on their own terms.

DGR: Many organizations manage a variety of communities and groups across different channels, such as social networks and blogs. How can they take the next step to bring these conversations into their overall strategies?

Dorsey: The proliferation of social platforms and shifts in individual behavior and expectations are transforming the way organizations must serve their members and customers to achieve their business goals. Correctly merging the social web with your CRM and business strategies will build long-term loyalty, trust, and value-one engagement at a time.

While many organizations are beginning to recognize the impact and potential of the social web, most struggle with how to incorporate inbound and outbound social activity into their existing CRM business processes and workflows. For many, social media interactions and traditional transactional data continue to live in silos prohibiting the level of engagements necessary to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Breaking down these silos is the first step towards leveraging social data to participate in the conversation with customers, members, partners and/or prospects.

DGR: How does social CRM help organizations operationalize their overall social media strategies?

Dorsey: A well-executed social CRM strategy will demonstrate the intrinsic value of the relationship between the organization and its universe of members, customers and prospects. It will also articulate why their continued relationship is not only valuable to them, but also essential. Each organization will need to see which social media tools best fit their  strategy and help them create the appropriate culture and customer experience.

DGR: What are some of the key benefits of implementing formal processes to apply social data to the overall strategy mix?

Dorsey: While I am a firm believer of setting objectives, measuring results, testing and then optimizing, sometimes the human element of business tells me not every piece of data, result or benefit can be measured. When I hit that proverbial wall and feel overwhelmed with the increasing amount of social data available, I remind myself of something Gary Vaynerchuk said when someone asked him, “What is the ROI of Social Media?” His response: “What’s the ROI of your Mom?”

Why is this important? Because at the end of the day, my goal is to create a remarkable experience every time an individual interacts with Avectra. And in fulfilling this mission, the true impact of our social CRM strategy is recognized. Now, I have the social media tools and the social media data to not only make the individual’s experience valuable, but valuable in their terms.

Sure, ROI and the benefits of “social” might eventually be measured in new business and revenue. But applying social data to our daily customer interactions simply allows Avectra to “humanize” our business. It allows us to respond to and interact with individuals, on their terms, so they build personal and emotional connections with Avectra. That’s why I am confident the ROI will be realized, whatever the definition.

Click here to register for the webinar “5 Ways to Leverage Social CRM To Drive Community Interaction and Member Engagement” Wed. May 30 at 2 p.m. ET

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