Social media is one of the most effective tools to drive growth in businesses. It allows companies to reach out to their audience, establish their brand identity, generate leads, provide customer support, and be an active part of conversations in their industry.

More than anything, though, social media is an important channel of communication between a business and its customers. However, it's not the only one: you're also in touch with leads and customers through email, chats, phone calls, and a plethora of other platforms. This means that it's easy for the conversation between you and a customer to become fragmented between channels – and if the conversation is fragmented, so is the customer experience. 

Frictionless customer experience is key to delight and retain your customers, so how can you make sure that the interactions between your business and your customers are always seamless? 

One of the best ways to ensure this is by consolidating your data among all the apps you use to communicate with leads and customers, and that includes social media apps. Here's how you can integrate your social media with your SaaS apps to have complete and up-to-date customer data across the board.

 

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Social Media and CRM Integrations

Your CRM is where most of your customer and lead data lives, so for a lot of businesses, it's the single most important application when it comes to tracking interactions, storing your customer data, and analyzing it all in one place. It's also an important hub where all your staff can go to find everything they need to know about your contacts.

But a CRM can also be an extremely convenient tool for businesses to manage their presence on social media. A lot of companies can find social media a bit overwhelming, especially when they're just starting out. There are a lot of profiles to keep on top of, direct messages and public posts to reply to, and strategies to keep your audience engaged, just to name a few.

The good news is that most top CRMs on the market today support social media integrations. What you can do with these integrations will mainly depend on the tool you're using, but here are some of the most common features:

  • Schedule posts and form queues ahead of time
  • Track reactions, replies, and follows
  • Update your profiles
  • Quickly respond to customer complaints on social media
  • Build more complete customer records with data from social media
  • Automatically create a new contact in your CRM if you receive a message from a new lead
  • Track prospects' progress and location in the sales funnel

Here are some popular CRMs that integrate seamlessly with the most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube:

  1. Salesforce: Salesforce's Social Studio is a part of the company's digital marketing platform, Marketing Cloud. It integrates with their CRM to allow users to publish directly on social media through Salesforce, manage engagement, provide customer service, analyze integrated data, and more.
  2. HubSpot: HubSpot's social media capabilities come with the Marketing Hub, which also integrates natively with the CRM. Features include publishing posts and building campaigns directly from HubSpot, automatically sharing new blog content on social media as soon as it gets published, monitoring social mentions, and building comprehensive reports with social data.
  3. Nimble: Nimble users can connect their social profiles to the CRM to build comprehensive user profiles with data from social media, coordinate conversations across multiple channels, sync customers' social profiles with their CRM records, monitor interactions with prospects and customers, and more.
  4. Contacts+: Though not strictly speaking a CRM, Contacts+ is still a favorite contact management tool for many businesses. Contact+'s social media add-on allows you to add customers' social profiles to their contact record, as well as to add someone to your address book straight from your social media platforms.

Integrating Social Media and Customer Support

If you're not using social media as an extra tool for customer service, you're missing out on an opportunity to improve your customer experience. The best companies offer omnichannel customer service for an integrated and frictionless experience between them and their customers – and social media is essential for that. 

According to Zendesk's Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, around half of customers say they prefer contacting support over the channels they use with family and friends, which could mean Instagram direct messages, Facebook comments, tweets, or even email. 

In addition, according to Facebook for Business, 76% of people who message a business do so for customer service or support, and 64% of people would rather message a business than call.

With such a range of different channels for customers to look for help, it's impossible to keep track of everything separately. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to connect your customer support software to your social media profiles and provide omnichannel support. This can also help you easily access your customers' entire history with your company when they seek out help, which is especially helpful when the same customer reaches out through a lot of different platforms.

Most popular customer support apps offer this option, enabling you to offer omnichannel support all with one application. You can track interactions via email, phone, live chat, chatbot, social media, and more directly from your support software. Some of the tools that offer this include:

  1. Zendesk: You can connect your company's social media profiles to Zendesk to automatically create tickets from conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Agents can also switch between public conversations on social media to private messaging through Zendesk and answer social media messages in real time.
  2. Freshdesk: Like Zendesk, Freshdesk also allows you to create tickets from queries made on Facebook and Twitter, including brand mentions, and route them to the right agents. You can also respond to customer interactions such as likes and comments straight from Freshdesk.
  3. Intercom: Though Intercom is most known for its live chat and chatbots, it also integrates with social media platforms to automatically forward social messages to the right agents.
  4. Zoho Desk: As part of the Zoho product suite, Zoho Desk integrates natively with Zoho CRM as well as with Facebook and Twitter. Zoho Desk allows you to create new posts, track past publications, route tickets, view comments and reactions, and respond to your followers directly from your helpdesk interface.

Lead Generation: Collecting Leads on Social Media

Last but not least, social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to generate leads and find prospects who can be interested in your products or services. Your prospects are probably already on social media interacting with content related to what you offer, so there's a huge opportunity there to increase your visibility and collect contact data from leads.

For example, you might want to track and analyze hashtags on social media to discover threads, conversations, and mentions to actively participate in the most relevant conversations in your sector. You can also share valuable content and landing pages, host webinars and live hangouts, and more. 

Another effective way to generate leads on social media is with advertising. Companies can share feature ads with their target demographic with a content offer, discount code, or free trial, for example, and the person doesn't need to leave the social media platform in order to take part. Instead, if they're interested, they can click on the ad, fill in basic contact information, and submit, taking them straight to the top of your funnel. It's quick and easy both for your prospects and your marketers and is available on most major social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. 

On Facebook, for example, all users need to do is click on your ad and a form pops up, which is already pre-populated with their Facebook information. Facebook also offers native integrations with CRMs, marketing tools, and customer support tools, so it's easy to have all your customer data in sync between all your tools to build a comprehensive view of your leads and customers.

You can also use HubSpot Facebook Ads integration to connect all of your tools in real time, making sure you can track your leads from the very beginning of their journey. 

Leverage Social Media for an Exceptional Customer Experience

Offering an absolutely amazing customer experience matters now more than ever. It's the key to acquiring and retaining customers, and today's demanding and well-informed customers expect nothing short of a stellar journey with your company, from beginning to end. Providing that means integrating your data across your SaaS apps as well as your social media channels for a comprehensive, transparent, and real-time view of your leads and customers for your entire business – and that's the secret ingredient for becoming a fan-favorite brand.

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Originally published Feb 11, 2021 9:12:40 AM, updated April 21 2021