Social Engagements

Wednesdays With Will: The Importance Of Social Engagements

By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
As a Business Owner or Director of Marketing, you recognize the importance of protecting your company’s brand and reputation. With the rise of social media over the past decade, everyone has been given a voice on the internet and you better believe they are going to use it. This can be perceived as either a good thing or a really bad thing. It can also be a moving target since public sentiment can change at the drop of a hat. Today we are going to discuss the importance of social engagements with your current clients and would-be clients.
Since there have been businesses, there has been a desire to know what prospective clients want without them having to tell you. In some respects, social media has become a vehicle for just that. With multiple social outlets available, people can now share their sentiment on a particular topic very easily. That information is now available for the world to see, in most cases, but you need to know how to find it and how to leverage it.
In my previous posts, I briefly touched on Social Engagements through Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how it relates to Sales, Marketing, and Services teams. Today we will be taking a deeper dive into what it is and how it can assist you with brand management. Let’s start with a quick example.
Imagine your company manufactures a popular line of household appliances. It’s November and your newly designed coffeemaker has just been released for the holiday season. Your marketing team did a stellar job raising awareness and excitement about your high-end coffeemaker so it has become the “must have” present for the holiday season. Some of your customers couldn’t wait for the holidays and decided to start using it immediately. To their dismay, the coffeemaker kept shutting itself off before the desired amount of coffee was brewed. They took their dissatisfaction to the internet and posted on social sites how it was a waste of money and that they recommend others steer clear of your product. This scenario could strike a major blow to your quarterly sales projections as well as your company’s brand. Luckily you have Microsoft Social Engagements.
Determining what is being said and by whom is the first step to resolving the situation. Social Engagements gives you the ability to see what is trending regarding your products and organization across multiple social platforms such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, news syndication, videos, and any other source that supports RSS. It’s supported in 19 different languages so international brands can benefit as well. Based on your chosen topic and most active contributors to a conversation, you can determine the key influencers. From here you have the option to drill down even further to uncover the number of posts, trends, their location, and sentiment of these authors. You can also redisplay data to show influencers with the greatest reach by Twitter or news articles.
Being aware of social sentiment and being able to view what is being posted on social networks is important. Having the ability to easily interact with them is empowering. This brings us to the next step. Social Center allows you to view and respond to posts from multiple social outlets all through a single pane of glass. If you prefer, you can delegate these social interactions out to your team for response based on designated priority level. These great features help improve team workflow allows you to react quickly, remedy the challenge, and mitigate any potential damages.
I’m sure you have better things to do with your day than monitor the social sites. Through Trend Alerts in Social Engagements, you can set notification for when specific events occur regarding the topics you care about the most. Data is only as powerful as how meaningful you can make it. The Social Analytics in Social Engagements displays information that is easy to view as well as maneuver through.
Let’s put everything together using our earlier example with the coffeemaker. By using Microsoft Social Engagements we would be alerted that our product is trending through Trend Alerts. From here we can look at Social Analytics to determine what is being said based on geographic location(s) as well as the top influencers having conversations about it. After a solution to the coffeemaker malfunction has been determined, we can now reach back out to these influencers, using Social Engagements, letting them know about the resolution. At this point we can use Trend Alerts once again to be notified of improved sentiment. This information can be shared across your Marketing, Sales, and Services teams.
At the beginning of my post I mentioned that social media gives everyone a voice and this can be perceived as either good or bad. The realty of the situation is knowing what is being said about your company or product is always a positive. If something bad is being said, this gives you a chance to make it right. How a business handles customer service defines them in their customers’ eyes.
There is more to discuss when it comes to the Social Engagements portion of Dynamics CRM but I like to keep these articles short and to the point. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss these topics in deeper detail. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…

 

About the author:

Will has over 16 years of experience in business development, team management, and project management. Will has worked at Managed Solution for over four years and is currently advising businesses on best CRM practices and implementations. Will’s focus is on process improvement and analytics specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Will is a Microsoft Certified Professional, with certifications in Presales Technical Specialist – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Sales Specialist- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Application, Sales Specialist- Office 365, Sales Specialist- SMB Infrastructure and Sales Specialist- Datacenter.
Other articles by Will Marchesano:
For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691.

Marketing

Wednesdays with Will: From Marketing to Smarketing Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM

By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
As a Chief Marketing Officer, VP of Marketing, or Director of Marketing you are always looking for new, exciting, and most importantly, efficient ways to build your company’s brand awareness and cultivate new business leads. The little time you have between creating and managing email campaigns, improving your SEO, scheduling webcasts, organizing live events, and countless other tasks, you sometimes wonder if all your efforts are having the effect you desire. What if there was a way to not only gauge the impact you are having but simplify most if not all of these facets to marketing?
Based on the challenges I identified above, you may think I currently work in one of these roles. The truth of the matter is that I work closely with the individuals in my organization that comprise our marketing department, or as they call it, Smarketing. You may now be wondering, “what the heck is ‘smarketing’?”. I’m glad you ask. We define it as marketing smarter and by that we mean, “how can Marketing make the biggest business impact requiring the least amount of time and resources?”. To accomplish this our marketing team leverages a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
Many of you have most likely heard the term CRM or are currently using one today. In the past, this technology was usually associated with the sales team of your organization. There are many manufacturers out there that offer this platform with Salesforce being probably the most recognizable. But how does it relate to marketing and making your life easier? As you may have noticed, the way people buy today is not the same way they bought 10-15 years ago. Today, the average buyer is at least 57% through the decision making process before they engage a salesperson. The role of an effective marketing team may be more apparent now than ever.
Most organizations have been able to adjust to the shift by the way they communicate and engage with their prospects and clients. In doing so, many are using multiple disparate systems for different tasks such as creating and managing campaigns, nurturing leads, managing clients, tracking appointments and opportunities, taking notes and creating follow-ups/alerts, gathering analytics, etc. Each workload serves a purpose but also consumes a lot of time and, in some cases, money. Luckily there is a streamlined and centralized way of accomplishing these goals with ease of use and management. We have found Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be more than up for the task.
Using Social Engagements in Dynamics CRM, you are able to get insight as to what people are looking for by what is trending on multiple social network sites. That information is gathered and displayed in an easy to understand dashboard. This can be useful for determining the message or communication to your target audience in your next campaign. Once a lead has been captured you can then assign it to a designated nurture path. Lead scoring allows you to determine when a lead has “graduated” from one nurture path and is ready for the next stage. Campaigns can be created and managed directly through Dynamics CRM allowing you to track the cost for running different campaign types as well as analyzing how successful each were. This is a great tool for determining the effectiveness of a campaign as well as how to reallocate your spend more dynamically. If you work in a team setting, the built in approval workflow will help with developing your campaigns. What better way to keep everyone on the same page than a staged process?

 

 

Remember, every business is different as well as their needs and requirements. If you’d like to determine if Microsoft Dynamics CRM can solve your challenges let’s discuss. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…

 

About the author:

Will has over 16 years of experience in business development, team management, and project management. Will has worked at Managed Solution for over four years and is currently advising businesses on best CRM practices and implementations. Will’s focus is on process improvement and analytics specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Will is a Microsoft Certified Professional, with certifications in Presales Technical Specialist – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Sales Specialist- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Application, Sales Specialist- Office 365, Sales Specialist- SMB Infrastructure and Sales Specialist- Datacenter.
Other articles by Will Marchesano:
For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691.

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