Social CRM Chat Highlights for September 11th #sCRMchat

%social engagement %social listening

Welcome back to our weekly recap for our (increasingly popular) Tweetchat where we discuss all things social business – #sCRMchat.

This week, we looked at how small business owners and entrepreneurs can use Social CRM to gain a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Now, we’re usually a pretty engaged group, but this week we reached whole new heights as we tweeted #sCRMchat into 5th place in the national trending topics… and did it without a single moment of fanplatitude.

If you missed it, we’ve waded through the many fantastic insights to bring you some of the highlights from the chat for you below.

#sCRMchat Highlights, September 11th

#sCRMchat is back with a bang! After a week off, we took to Twitter to talk about how small businesses can use social media to gain a competitive advantage – and became the 5th top trending topic in Canada!What was causing the flurry of tweets? Check out all the highlights here, on Storify.

Storified by JugnooMe · Thu, Sep 13 2012 14:13:43

After the Labour Day long weekend, #sCRMchat’s loyal tweeters were swamped with the arduous task of getting their email inboxes under control. With that in mind, we gave them a week off to recover.
This week, we were back with a bang, as #sCRMchat tackled the big question – how can small businesses use social media to gain a competitive advantage? – and ended up as the 5th largest trending topic in Canada. Welcome back, indeed!
With @DannyBrown on hand to get things started, and Community Manager @HelenAndrolia moderating, the tweets were flying fast.
We got the discussion started with the key question – can social CRM help small business edge ahead of their competition?
Q1: Can #sCRM give small businesses an advantage over their competition? How? ^HA #sCRMchatJugnoo
A1. If used effectively, yes. SMB’s often have more fluidity and less rigid process. But strategy still needs to be solid. #sCRMchatDanny Brown
A1: Social CRM can definitely give SMBs an edge over the competition. Add mobile to the mix–a terrific advantage for local SMBs. #scrmchatShelly Lucas
A1. Absolutely… but only if the SMB is truly committed to customer first, building a relationship with online community. #sCRMchatTim Burrows
While the community was in consensus about the advantages social media can give a business, there were some cautionary tweets for the entrepreneur looking to go social.
A1 That said, balancing time and resources becomes even more of a feat w/ SMBs, particularly solopreneurs and single-person shops. #sCRMchatJason Konopinski
A1. However, cost can be factor – some great free options, though means more legwork, premium options can help. Budget can decide. #sCRMchatDanny Brown
With that being said (and a quick detour into a discussion about social media automation), we were on our way to the second question – complete with a minor grammatical error, no less – where we tackled strategies, tactics and approaches for a small business looking for social to give them that competitive edge.
Q2: What approaches can an small business use to evaluate their competition to build or adjust their strategies? ^HA #sCRMchatJugnoo
Q2- the first way I can think of is to watch their activity and communication style- where do they win, and where do they fail? #sCRMchatRebecca Amy Todd
A2 Competitive intelligence. Monitoring doesn’t apply solely to your brand/business. Understand the landscape to identify opps. #sCRMchatJason Konopinski
A2: Monitoring where your customers are and putting a face there. ie. If your customer are on twitter, get your butt on twitter! #sCRMchatBP Social Media
A2 i like reading how they face bad reviews, solve a problem. See if i can offer a better quality response to my own customers #sCRMchatAdriana Munoz T.
@atarayco not only made a good point – the social sphere is a great way to gauge response, and to observe how our competition handles issues – but it was if she knew what our third question was going to be…
Q3: how do we learn from our competitor’s mistakes, and how do we differentiate our own social efforts from theirs? ^HA #sCRMchatJugnoo
Q3. Carefully! Pay attention to how their customers respond. Cautiously differentiate yourself. @JugnooMe #sCRMchatBlade Branding
A3 careful on how you approach another biz’s SM failure, you don’t wanna look like a group of hyenas on their customers #sCRMchatAdriana Munoz T.
And a rush to respond could easily result in a #fail of your own. Always take care before stepping out. ^HA @T_Burrows #sCRMchatJugnoo
@DannyBrown @atayraco Very think line between being responsive and being a being perceived as being a predator #scrmchatGiveForward
There was some debate, however, about whether or not there is truly such a thing as ‘social media fails’ for businesses – just like that old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That topic, however, is far too large for just one episode of #sCRMchat! @RebeccaAmyTodd, however, suggested a great yardstick to determine your choices when you consider going up against a competitor online:
@JugnooMe @Giveforward To me it is intent- are you just swooping in for the kill, or do you actually care about the customer? #sCRMchatRebecca Amy Todd
That’s a great way to determine action: will this serve my customers? Or is it only serving my own need for promotion? ^HA #sCRMchatJugnoo
Ultimately, @GiveForward and @EngagingBrand offered some of the best advice for small businesses looking to use social media to assess the competition, and looking to set themselves apart.
A3: Be you! The best way to differentiate your company from a competitor should be to be the best social you you can be! #sCRMchatGiveForward
@DannyBrown @JugnooMe And in truth profit is the ultimate measurement on how much the customer ‘values’ your offering vs others #sCRMChatAnna Farmery
Have you used social media to give yourself a competitive advantage? Let us know what worked (and what didn’t) in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Please join us next week as we talk about all things social business at 1:00 pm EST next Tuesday, September 18th – you don’t want to miss out on one of Twitter’s fastest growing weekly discussions.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated in #sCRMchat, and helped to trend nationwide! 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and definitely hope to see you tweeting alongside us during next week’s #sCRMchat.

About Helen Androlia

Helen Androlia is a bonafide internet geek, an unofficial karaoke queen, and an expert on all things cats. If you enjoy irreverent hashtags and caps lock abuse, you can follow her on Twitter at @HelenAndrolia.

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