What is Social CRM? Tools, benefits, and strategies to implement

Leveraging the power of social media, Social CRM gives you a broader view of your customers’ wants and needs. Here’s how to implement it.

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can track key information about your customers and their interactions with your brands, allowing you to create robust customer retention strategies. While traditional CRM software tends to be bound to email and SMS, social CRM lets you track client behaviour and sentiment using social media.

To unlock the value of your social media metrics and convert it into actionable insights, social CRM is the answer. Social media allows you to interact with prospective clients in real time, enhance customer service, advocate for your brand, and understand where your brand fits with the competition. This guide can help you better understand how to use social CRM to boost business growth, its benefits, and solutions to implementation challenges.

What is Social CRM?

Social CRM, an extension of traditional CRM, integrates social media to redefine customer relationships. Unlike traditional methods centred on offline channels, social CRM harnesses the power of social media and online communities. It aims to provide swift customer service, practise social listening while unifying your sales, marketing, and customer service teams.

The social media focus of CRM allows businesses to actively control brand reputation, share content, and engage directly with clients and prospects. The leveraging of social media data also permits personalised customer service experiences, forming the cornerstone of efficient social selling.

Key metrics of Social CRM

A robust approach to social CRM should give you plenty of data to inform your business strategy. These are the metrics you can focus on to carry out your social CRM:

  • Traffic → Social CRM offers real-time insights into traffic and Click Through Rates (CTR), giving you insight into your effectiveness to convert online visitors into valuable sales.
  • Engagement → with social CRM, you can quantify shares, reposts, comments, and incoming communications across social media platforms. By understanding how audiences interact with content, your business can refine its strategy to cultivate a loyal customer base.
  • Followers → social CRM allows your business to monitor who follows you and how they engage with your brand. This insight will help you tailor your content and engagement strategies to better resonate with your target audience.
  • Brand mentions → social CRM lets you measure how many followers are talking about your brand. It assesses whether these customers are actively sharing their experience on social media platforms and what sort of language they’re using to do so. This metric gives you a feel of your brand visibility and the sentiment you’re championing in the digital space.

Benefits of social CRM

Adding the social media ingredient into your CRM setup holds a vast number of benefits. Here are the main ones to consider:

  • Generate and nurture leads → social CRM supports lead generation, qualification, and nurturing by facilitating a seamless hand-off between customer-facing teams. For instance, social teams can create a targeted ad audience based on previous interactions with your brand across multiple touch points, or they can use social listening to surface opportunities to provide proactive customer care.
  • Deliver better customer care → social CRM provides businesses with invaluable insights into customer preferences, behaviours, and interactions. With this knowledge, companies can personalise customer care experiences, creating a meaningful and responsive relationship with individual customers.
  • Real-time insights and data → through social CRM, you can access up-to-the-minute data on customer interactions, market trends, and campaign performance. This empowers decision-makers to make informed choices quickly, ensuring your organisation retains relevance.
  • Strengthening brand reputation → by actively monitoring social media channels, businesses can address concerns, respond to feedback, and engage with customers in real time. This proactive approach mitigates potential issues swiftly and contributes to a positive brand perception online.

Implementing social CRM – how do you set it up?

Unsure of where to start? Here are the steps you can follow to efficiently implement your social CRM:

  1. Define your social CRM objectives: clearly define your specific goals, which can range from enhancing customer engagement to driving brand advocacy to increasing your follower base. This will help keep your efforts focused and allow you to gather the data you need to cultivate meaningful insights.
  2. Select the right social CRM tools: look for features such as social media monitoring capabilities, seamless integration with existing systems, and scalability to accommodate future growth.
  3. Integrate your social media channels: connect your brand’s social media accounts with your CRM system. This integration forms the basis for capturing relevant customer data, including profile information, activities, and preferences. This unified approach will allow for a holistic view of customer interactions across various touchpoints.
  4. Monitor and analyse social media conversations: track brand mentions, customer sentiment, and industry trends, helping you understand customer behaviour and preferences.
  5. Engage and respond in real time: respond promptly to customer queries, address concerns, and provide personalised recommendations. This can help keep your customers happy and will nurture a positive brand image.
  6. Personalise content and campaigns: use the data you gathered to tailor your marketing campaigns to match individual preferences and interests. Personalisation will enhance the relevance of your content, increasing the likelihood of customer engagement and conversion.

Challenges and solutions

Social CRM is far from perfect and it’s likely you’ll experience challenges as you implement it. Here are a few of the challenges and how to solve them:

  • Data privacy and security → strict adherence to data privacy regulations is paramount to avoid penalties and maintain customer trust. To mitigate this risk, we recommend implementing robust security measures, encryption protocols, and regular compliance audits. We also recommend prioritising clear data governance policies and educating your time on how to handle data responsibly.
  • Data overload → the abundance of data generated by social networking can be overwhelming, creating data overload. To circumvent this challenge, you can establish a strategic focus, so you have a sharper approach to your data analysis. We also recommend choosing your social CRM provider carefully so you know it’ll be capable of interpreting and deriving actionable insights from the relevant data points.
  • Integrations → integrating your social CRM with your existing systems, like your CRM platform or your marketing automation tools, can pose a challenge if they’re not compatible with each other. When choosing a social CRM platform, we recommend looking at their list of integrations or contacting the provider’s sales team to ensure it can integrate with the rest of your software infrastructure.


Social media can offer you invaluable customer insights, so knowing how to leverage it can make the difference between losing clients or expanding your customer base. Make sure that as you pursue your social CRM journey, you choose a provider that fits within your software setup and enables you to track the right metric to meet your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between social CRM and traditional CRM?
    Social CRM focuses on the direct interaction with potential customers and engagement, and makes a point to integrate insights obtained from social media. Traditional CRM focuses on the standardised business process of sending emails, notifications, and newsletters.
  • What is an example of a social CRM?
    Examples of a social CRM platform include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Salesforce. These are good starting points, but keep in mind there are plenty of other options on the market.
  • What are social CRM industry best practices?
    Ensure to select a CRM that suits your needs, have well-defined CRM goals, create an implementation plan, and leverage CRM reports and analytics to make data-driven business decisions.
Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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