Guest blog by: Joanna Booth, Social Media Makes Sense As more and more SME’s take the step towards developing an effective online presence to support business growth, there is also a growing need for an in-depth analytical tool to help monitor and increase customer engagement. That’s where Microsoft Social Engagement comes in. This cloud based platform lets you work from anywhere on any device to tap into what is going on and being said about your business online. Currently only covering the main sources of social interaction (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Social Engagement CRM will soon allow integration with all platforms (new release due in December); meaning your online reach is potentially limitless. The vast capabilities of Social Engagement match the fast-paced development of the digital world. Insightful analysis makes it possible to get a true understanding of how your business has integrated into the social world and how customers are responding to your brand. Through keyword searches, both inclusive and exclusive, you can hone your requirements to fine tune the data you want to address. Being able to tap into the conversations between customers that are taking place online means SME’s are able to understand the journey customers make from sparking that first interest to finally securing a deal. Essentially, Social Engagement CRM software allows you to really understand just how appealing your company, services and products are to your audience. Multi-platform analysis makes it is easy to see which posts and platforms are driving engagement and which need a bit more help. If one platform falls short of what you want to achieve, Social Engagement will identify this through the Social CRM tool; creating a stepping stone towards optimisation of all platforms. The potential information available doesn’t stop there; the search tool lets you check out how effective your competitors engagement is - giving you the opportunity to evaluate your position in the market and identify ways in which you can get one step ahead of the game. Not only will this benefit your company financially, your relationship with your customer base will strengthen. Social Engagement CRM enables you to forget all the difficulties that can present themselves when trying to access your online customer base. Through the social intelligence tool making it possible to see exactly what is being said, and in turn, opening channels of communication, a clear strategy can be identified to go from strength to strength. Customer Relations Management is key to increasing sales and marketing efficiency and Social Engagement is accessible for all employees to get in on the drive to maximise a company’s online connectivity. By getting your team involved, they will be motivated to deliver amazing customer experiences that can only boost your reputation within the market. However, due to the depth of this tool, it would be fair to say it might not suit every business or user. For start-ups or much smaller businesses I would suggest using a free online tool, such as your Facebook Insights, to start with. Learn to use your social media platforms, analyse what you can on a basic level and aim to develop your presence and insights as you grow. Once you are more established and then I advise looking at Social Engagement to truly delve deep into what’s going on in the social world. Either way, Microsoft’s Social Engagement tool is a great way of harnessing the power of social media to promote a healthy business customer relationship, develop your online presence and drive online sales. Happy Social-analysing, Jo Gu Find out how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help your business to engage with your customers in Social Media: Find out more Joanna Booth, Social Media Makes Sense Joanna is a Manchester born & bred girl with a hunger for entrepreneurship and a thirst to make things change for the better! She has two businesses under her belt; one a platform for students to gain valuable first-time work experiences, the other a social media training business; Social Media Makes Sense. She regularly writes blogs to help other business owners with practical ideas to implement or talks about general lessons she has learnt along the way! Follow her @JaegerBooth.