What it’s and why your social technique wants it


Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is becoming the expected standard for companies of all sizes. Brands can no longer afford to use social media in isolation.

The valuable findings from social interactions must be available to all departments. In turn, customer data from other departments can be invaluable to the social media team.

Bonus: Get a Free, Easy to Use Customer service report template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts in one place.

What is social CRM?

Social CRM stands for Social Customer Relationship Management.

Social media channels are connected to your CRM system so that all team members within the company receive a complete record of the interactions with the customer or prospect. Including, of course, interactions that take place on social channels.

That means social connections can turn into real leads. First contact with someone on social media is generally not the best time to make a hard sell. But without a way to track that potential lead, it’s impossible to nurture the relationship and work towards a sale in the longer term.

By integrating social media into your CRM, you can also get a more complete picture of the success of your social marketing strategy. Customer interactions on social networks can be clearly linked to business results such as a purchase or a subscription.

Finally, you can use social CRM data to create very targeted custom audiences for social ads. The characteristics of existing customers are the best basis for effective lookalike audiences.

How to set up a social CRM process

Social CRM benefits all departments that work with customers or leads. It gives everyone a fuller picture of the people they are talking to. This includes sales, customer service, technical support, marketing, and even product development.

How to use social CRM for your company.

1. Set up a social listening program

Social listening involves tracking brand mentions, including conversations about:

  • Your business
  • Your products and services
  • Key people in your company
  • and targeted keywords through social channels

… even if you are not tagged.

Finding existing social conversations about your brand or niche is an important part of building relationships online.

That could mean uncovering a customer complaint that needs to be handled on Twitter. Or identify a potential business leader on LinkedIn. All of this information can benefit teams across the company and is a great starting point for adding social data to your CRM.

We have a whole post on social listening if you want to dive into the details.

2. Consolidate social interactions

Your social media and customer support teams may interact with existing and potential customers on multiple channels. Consolidating this information into one inbox ensures that your CRM data is linked to people, not just profiles.

If you’re just starting out with social media CRM and don’t have an existing CRM system, just these first two steps are a good first start. If you have an existing CRM system, skip to step 3.

3. Integrate social data into your existing CRM

Ideally, you will be able to integrate social data into your CRM via platform integrations. We’ll get into the details in the Tools section below, but for now, know this doesn’t have to be complicated.

Social CRM is a growing focus for businesses of all sizes. Therefore, many existing CRM systems already allow easy integration with social tools.

Social CRM Challenges You Should Know About

There can be some bumps in setting up Social CRM. For this reason, perhaps only 10% of marketers surveyed for the Hootsuite Social Transformation Report reported having effectively linked social data to a corporate CRM.

Here are some potential catches to be aware of.

Change can be uncomfortable

Changing the nature of your company’s approach to CRM can be challenging for the sales and customer service teams. They may need to learn to use new tools or just reevaluate how they have always done things.

Make sure you help them understand how social media CRM will benefit them so that they are motivated to embrace the change. For customer service, the main benefit is a more complete customer history, while for sales it is more and better leads.

You may not see any results overnight

Depending on the size of your social followers, you might not get a ton of social data right away. In this case, it can feel a little like you’re spinning your wheels.

Stick to it. As you grow your following, the social data fed into your CRM will improve. This better data, in turn, will help you keep growing your social media followers. It’s a virtuous cycle that may only take a little time to get going.

You might be overwhelmed by data

On the flip side, you might have a large social following or you might already have a lot of conversations about your brand on social media. If so, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of new potential data to add to your CRM.

You need to make some decisions about what types of interactions and data to add to the CRM. For example, you could include interactions that involve a direct question or comment, but not interactions that casually mention your brand.

5 social CRM tools


Hootsuite performs some valuable social CRM functions. It allows you to set up a social listening program and consolidate social messages from multiple platforms into a single inbox.

From the inbox, you can assign social messages to the relevant team members in the relevant department. You will be able to see the entire history of the social conversation and provide full context.

Hootsuite also integrates with top CRM platforms such as:

Kick center

Sparkcentral is a social customer care tool that collects messages from various channels (social media and others) and distributes them to dedicated teams or support agents.

It enables customers to access the service through social messaging apps (including WhatsApp), SMS, and live chat on your website or app.

Sparkcentral can also be integrated with Zendesk, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 so that all customer contacts can be synchronized.

Source: Sparkcentral from Hootsuite


The Salesforce integration for Hootsuite enables you to map social interactions to leads, contacts, accounts and cases. All teams get a more complete picture.

You can trigger Salesforce workflows based on social interactions. You can also create targeted marketing lists based on social data.

Salesforce workflows

Source: Hootsuite Apps


The Zendesk Integration for Hootsuite lets you view, update, and comment on Zendesk tickets in Hootsuite. You can also import social data into Zendesk tickets.

Customer service reps can reply to customers through the original touch point while keeping track of the entire social thread.

Zendesk streams

Source: Myndbend

Microsoft Dynamics 365

The integration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Hootsuite brings social data into your Microsoft CRM. You can create leads and opportunities based on social media posts and conversations. And you can use case management to solve customer problems.

You can view your CRM information in Hootsuite and connect social activities and conversations with leads and contacts.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Source: Hootsuite

4 tips for using social media CRM as a business strategy

1. Use social CRM to understand the real worth of a lead and a customer

When you have a complete picture of how social interactions turn into sales, you can really understand the value of a social lead in the long run. This will help you plan your social media budget, especially the amount you want to spend on social ads.

2. Use social data for effective customer service

More than three quarters (76%) of customers expect consistent interactions from all departments. But more than half (54%) say teams don’t seem to share information: they get different reactions from sales, service, and marketing.

This can be very frustrating for customers:

I was told by your tech support chat 1 hour ago that there was a known outage in our area that is “investigating”. Could you clarify your stories, please? I work from home and if you can’t grant access, I need to get access through someone else.

– Doug Griffin 🇨🇦 🏳️‍🌈 (@dbgriffin) August 30, 2021

Social CRM provides a complete picture of customer relationships with your company, including social connections. Build your social media CRM strategy around this additional data and how it will help you better interact with real people.

3. Qualify leads better with social data

Social leads can help fill your sales funnel. Even better, integrating social interactions into lead and customer profiles can help qualify leads faster and more accurately.

Make sure you have appropriate offers and campaigns to nurture leads discovered through social media platforms. Consider an opt-in newsletter or drip campaign and special offers exclusively available to social leads. This will help build your credibility as you build the relationship as you work through to the sale.

4. Use CRM data to create custom social ad audiences

CRM helps you understand who your customers are. Social CRM allows you to translate this data into highly targeted new lookalike audiences for social ads based on traits like age, location, social behavior, etc.

A lookalike audience based on people who actually bought from you is more likely to result in conversions than a lookalike audience based on fans or followers.

Save time building an efficient social CRM with Sparkcentral from Hootsuite. Quickly respond to questions and complaints across a variety of channels, create tickets and work with chatbots – all from one dashboard. Try it for free today.

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