CRM Gets Social... What Does That Even Mean??

Services for Real Estate Pros

 It’s no secret that these days, that social media management is becoming more and more essential.  So how can Social CRMs help you?  Social CRMs -- which merge social media and CRM functionality -- seem to be the new darlings of the CRM world.  But you don’t want a CRM with social integration just because it’s going to be popular.  You want it because it will impact your business and your customers in a positive way.  

In reality, Social CRMs are not really new, but more of an evolution of CRM applications.  CRM applications started as a way to centrally collect and manage data on customers – to improve internal processes and better communicate with the customer.  However, the customer was still external to the process, not central to the process -- and humans don’t like to be treated like numbers.  Social CRMs help promote active collaboration and more personal engagement with customers.  When used effectively Social CRMs may help you turn your customers into advocates. Like all technology, Social CRMs can run the gamut in terms of price and functionality.  So how should a small real estate business or single agent approach Social CRM?  Here are a few things to think about:

Do you even need a Social CRM at this time?  Determine how important social engagement is to your business.  If you don’t have a strong social media presence right now, a Social CRM with all the bells and whistles may not even be a worthwhile investment.  Once you have a social presence, then that may be the time to leverage a Social CRM.

Assuming that you have a social media presence, make sure your CRM application has integration with the social channels you use.  For example, if you use LinkedIn, and your CRM application does not support LinkedIn, then it’s not going to add a lot of value for you.

Use cases for a CRM application can be wide and varied, so make sure the way your CRM interacts with a social channel works for you.  For example, if you are using your CRM application for sales, then bringing in contacts from a social channel may be enough.  However, if you are using your CRM to improve your customer service then you may need the ability to not only bring in a contact from a social channel, but include a picture as well as any customer comments or questions. 

Do you have to pay extra for the social media integration? Many CRMs offer social media integration as part of a free account or a free trial.  Others may offer it as a paid upgrade.  Whatever the case, make sure you are comfortable with the vendor’s terms.

Insightly offers a free CRM solution with social media integration.  If you use the internet to power your real estate business, then you can use Insightly to capture key personal information from Linkedin and Twitter social channels.  With the click of a button you can import and link someone’s profiles to their contact information.  You can also add a picture and relationships to that contact, so you know what they do, who they work for, what they look like, even who they are married to.  Insightly makes it easy to make the most of your social connections.  More details in our online knowledgebase.

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