Instagram as a Customer Engagement Platform: Using Social CRM tools to Build Relationships

Engagements in-between purchases are vital to building customer loyalty. These touchpoints are usually fed outside the purchase; rarely at the point of sale. Brands that focus on engagement and awareness between transactions are more likely to establish customer loyalty and achieve exponential growth. Using social media as a CRM tool attaches a human to your brand to establish customer relationships beyond the transactional point-of-sale interaction. With the rise of social commerce businesses can use Instagram as a customer engagement platform to reward and reach their target customers where they’re engaged the most, online. Ultimately driving sales by increasing their customer lifetime value. 

From automating responses to personalizing interactions, we take a look at the customer success strategies and tools that can help brands make the most out of Instagram as a customer engagement platform.

Defined: What is a Social CRM

A Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is the integration of social media channels into CRM platforms to optimize the customer experience. It’s a multi-purpose tool that aids in marketing, social commerce, and customer service. 

These tools include features such as social media listening, analytics, and engagement tools. These tools allow businesses to track and measure actionable insights and interact with customers in real-time. More so businesses can identify and target key customer segments, manage customer interactions, and track customer satisfaction. 

With a social CRM, no story mention, tagged post, customer comment, and dm, goes unnoticed. Some CRM’s have integrations that allow you to access this all on the platform without having to open the app.

Instagram DMs as a tool for customer communication and relationship management

Instagram has become more than just a platform for sharing pictures and videos, it’s a channel for customer service experience. 80% of consumers use social to engage with brands. Customer expectations are higher than ever. They increasingly see social media as the quickest channel to reach a brand personally for any questions, product issues, and feedback. Versus traditional call centers or filling out an email submission form on a “contact us” page. 

Customer connection is the new currency. When customers feel connected to brands, 57% of consumers will increase their spending with that brand. By using Instagram DMs as a CRM tool, businesses can answer questions and address concerns in real-time to build better connections. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately sales. Additionally, it can be used to send personalized offers and rewards to their customers, further increasing customer loyalty and driving sales.

social commerce to drive sales using Instagram as a social CRM to build customer relationships

Social Commerce: Driving Sales through Instagram Engagement and UGC

A brand’s main goal online is to convert those scrolling into customers and boost ROI. Apps are now built-in browsers for product discovery. As a result, social media has turned into an eCommerce platform so customers can make direct purchases. This promotion of using social media to sell products and shop within the app is also known as social commerce. According to Shopify, social commerce retail earnings are predicted to reach $80 billion in the United States alone by 2025. Social commerce includes selling products and services on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook to drive sales.

Read More: The Power of Social Commerce 

By leveraging Instagram engagement, businesses can create an interactive shopping experience for their customers that guarantees revenue growth. Similar to a sales associate approaching a customer in the brick-and-mortar experience if they are finding what they’re looking for. Engaging with customers at relevant digital touchpoints where they can shop for your product is a seamless experience that maximizes value. Business Insider found: customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a brand if they have a strong emotional connection. 

Use examples of Instagram as a customer engagement platform include:

  • Featuring customer reviews and UGC on their Instagram profile to showcase existing loyal customers to influence purchase decisons
  • Post Instagram stories and Instagram live to host Q&A sessions, product demonstrations, or flash sales
  • Quickly respond to DM’s to retain customers and increase loyalty

Personalizing Interactions to Manage Your Brand Ambassador Program

Social Media CRM tools can be helpful when managing your brand ambassador program alongside customers to build those revenue guaranteeing relationships. Integrating CRM tools into a social media strategy can be done by first identifying the key interactions that a business wants to have with its customers.

Customer engagement interactions can include: 

  • Commenting on a post you’re tagged in being featured as part of a customer’s OOTD reel
  • Sending a reward via Instagram DM’s for a story mention of an unboxing of a customer’s most recent purchase
  • Running exclusive challenges and contests for your followers to join
  • Finding your next batch of student ambassadors among your followers by posting a story with a link to sign up   

Once those interactions have been identified, businesses can use Social CRM tools to automate and personalize those interactions. As soon as your brand is mentioned in a messaged can be automatically sent as to not miss the opportunity to interact with your customers. Even when you’re out of office. These messages to your brand ambassadors can include a thank you note, as well as a special offer for their next purchase, site credit, or an incentive to keep posting about your brand to earn points towards a gift card reward. 

Additionally you can use the power of CRM tools to track the performance of your ambassadors branded posts on social media and measure the revenue being generated by the success of your customer program. The next step would be to use this information to identify your most engaged and influential customers to create targeted campaigns for your social media strategy as a way to better connect with them. 

The TLDR Takeaway

By leveraging the power of social media as all in one customer engagement platform, businesses can create more targeted interactions with their brand ambassadors to increase engagement. Using UGC in your social media campaigns is a good place to jump start your customer engagement stragety!

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