Last week we discussed what a social CRM program is and how it relates to today’s world of social media. We even went as far to say that, “social engagement with your customers is not an option any more, it’s a requirement.” This is, of course, true. Social media has become ever present in today’s world, and it is one of the most frequent avenues for companies to communicate with customers and potential customers.
In particular, Twitter and LinkedIn have become increasingly important to businesses. Twitter is useful for quick communications sent out to a huge amount of people (as of January 1, 2014 Twitter has over 645 million active users and 190 million unique visitors every month) and it provides an easy method of communication with them through 140 character messages. LinkedIn has been deemed the more professional site and can work to communicate with other businesses and customers in a more professional setting.
Understanding how social media can affect your business is vital in today’s world, and with that said, here are some of the pros and cons of implementing a social CRM program.
Pro: As mentioned above, the user base for social media is extremely large. With 645 million users of Twitter alone, you don’t want to miss tapping into that market. Utilizing both Twitter and LinkedIn can let you communicate with two separate and fairly different groups of people.
Pro: Social media can let you communicate and connect with your customers in ways that other types of marketing don’t necessarily allow.
Pro: A social CRM program, such as the one built into SugarCRM, integrates social media right into your CRM software. Out of the box, SugarCRM can interface with Twitter and LinkedIn so you can monitor those social media easily and immediately with your CRM software.
Pro: SugarCRM supports modifications that can allow for other social media sites to work with the program. Last year, HootSuite released an integration for SugarCRM, so you could use HootSuite and all its functions within Sugar. There are also ways to integrate Facebook with Sugar if you would like to use that site too.
Con: Social media can take time to learn, understand, and in some cases, integrate with your CRM software. If you’re not willing or able to spend this time, it can be difficult to get the full use out of a social CRM program.
Con: The other big con here is money. As with time, it can cost money that you might not have to set up and learn about social media and social CRM if you or someone on your staff is not already familiar with it.
This should give you a good overview of the pros and cons of implementing a social CRM program, but we think that the pros outweigh the cons. Now that may not be the same for every business, but if you are able to invest time and money into it, we think you’ll see that the pros clearly outweigh the cons as well.