Many businesses are utilizing traditional customer relationship management (CRM) processes to manage business contacts and clients in an organized way. According to a 2011 Computer Economics study of North American companies (produced in June of 2012), 51% have invested in CRM tools

It’s great that companies are interested and investing in these systems, but not many are actually using the data collected to form real business relationships. Instead, they’re focused on collecting data to better meet customers’ needs. Social media sites are now being tapped into by CRM services to bridge that gap so businesses can connect with customers on a more personal level. For example, Facebook’s solution to CRM was to launch Custom Audience, a feature that allows businesses to target specific individuals with Facebook ads.

Here are a few CRM systems that integrate a social element into a traditional system.

  • Batchbook is a great social CRM tool for small businesses which integrates Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
  • Salesforce has incorporated links to social media sites in many of their products like the Service Cloud and the Marketing Cloud.
  • Nimble is a social relationship manager platform that helps small businesses attract and retain customers.
  • SugarCRM integrated social media, email, online collaboration, and document sharing into their products.

Many CRM platforms have either simple integrations with a few social networks or contain a multitude of tools for community management. By adding social integration into a CRM system, businesses have better connectivity to their customers as well as  faster response rates which translates to better customer relations and sales.

Do you or have you used a CRM? What was your experience? Lets us know in the comments!

[cc image credit Sean MacEntee]