Using Social Media Channels as a CRM Tool for your Business

Posted by Adeola Aliu | October 8, 2016 | Social, SME Tips

Social media offers a wealth of opportunities for keeping in touch with your prospects and customers, maintaining customer relationships, and building your brand. All this you probably already knew. But did you also know that you can use these social media channels as a customer service tool?

Marketers, entrepreneurs and SME’s need to be where customers are. And they need to communicate through the channels customers prefer. That means participating alongside with different social media channels you’re sure your customers will be active on.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites and instant messaging have become CRM (customer relationship management) tools for businesses. We’ll be talking about how some social media channels can be used as  CRM tool for your business.

1. BBM

Blackberry Messenger is a very versatile tool for all kinds of messaging. It is also an instant messaging application that helps make communication easier. As a business, you can leverage this as a means of CRM for your brand and make it a platform for prospective customers. Customers can communicate with you, ask for support and also give feedback. The good thing about BBM is if you sell products you can always showcase your products on the display image for your bbm contacts/ customers to see.


You can also try out BBM Channels for Brands and invite your most active customers to that channel. Get more users there by offering secret deals and offers only on your channel. With the added flexibility you get on BBM channels, you’d be able to connect more with customers.

Tips to leverage BBM as a CRM channel

  • Your display name should be your brand name and must be uniform on other social media platforms.
  • Leverage on your display picture to showcase products to bbm contacts
  • Try as much as possible to avoid too much broadcast messages (BC), it puts customers off and they could be tempted to delete you from their contact list
  • Get feedback from your customers, ask them if they are satisfied with the product they got from you.
  • Respond effectively and on time
  • Before posting a testimonial, get appropriate approval from your customer. Some customers are not comfortable with brands posting there chat on social media to the public.

2. Instagram

Many businesses in Nigeria have embraced using Instagram to build brands, market products and also sell. Fortunately Instagram does an amazing job of making the process pretty easy.  Apart from showcasing products and buying and selling on Instagram, this platform can also be used as a feedback tool for brands and marketers. Another cool thing about Instagram is, you don’t have to follow the brand to give feedback or make enquires via DM (direct message)

Tips to leverage Instagram as a CRM channel

  • Make sure your bio says everything you want  people to know about your brand and contact details if necessary
  • While it’s important to be clear about what you’re selling, you also need to attract the attention and interest of likely customers with your descriptions.
  • Always reply comments and DM’s as fast as possible, remember you’re active on this platform because of your customers. A lot of people give feedback about brands and say, they have nice products but they never reply on time. You don’t want your brand to be one of those guys.
  • Make purchasing easy by providing enough information about products in each post.
  • Ask for feedback from your customers via DM, ask them if they are satisfied with the product they got from you.
  • Leverage Instagram for business to give customes easier access to your contact details and more.

3. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is another powerful communication tool. It is a good one-to-one platform for direct communication with existing and potential customers. Just like BBM, you can use WhatsApp to send images, audio files, short video clips of your products and text messages to users. Apart from using it for personal communication, you can use WhatsApp for your business in various ways, like leveraging the platform for customer support and to get feedback. With Whatsapp you do not need a pin or access code to communicate with your customers if you already have their numbers. We know some people feel more comfortable to respond to a message over WhatsApp instead of bbm or picking up a phone call.

Tips to using WhatsApp as a CRM channel

  • Your display name should be your brand name and must be uniform with other social media platforms you’re actively on.
  • Try as much as possible to not send a broadcast message (BC), it puts customers off and they could be tempted to delete you from their contact list
  • Take permission from your customers before adding them to any group, customers perceive this as being rude.
  • Get feedback from your customers, ask them if they are satisfied with the product they got from you.
  • Before posting a testimonial, get appropriate approval from your customer. Some customers are not comfortable with brands posting their chat on social media to the public.
  • Respond effectively, ensure you are adequately resourced to handle customer queries. The worst thing you can do is to claim to be active on whats app but not respond as soon as you should.
  • Use WhatsApp web while responding to messages. It could be faster for you if you’re more comfortable with a laptop than a 5″ screen

4. Twitter

Twitter is the second largest Social Network in the world with over 500 million users and over 1.8 million users in Nigeria. And it provides your brand with a great way to interact with customers.  Also enabling you get adequate feedback about your brand/product. This awesome platform is a CRM tool that you can’t ignore. Ultimately Twitter allows you to build up customer advocacy

Tips for using Twitter as a CRM channel

  • Set up Your Twitter bio: Make sure your bio says everything you want your prospective customers to know about your brand/ product. Also make sure your contact details is visible on your bio if dimmed necessary. And update your profile picture. Your bio is how people will immediately judge if your account comes off as spam or not. I advise you use similar display pictures in other social media platforms you’re active on.
  • Keep track of your interactions: It is important to reply to customers as quickly as possible in order to create customer satisfaction. Also make them understand you’re here to help solve all their complaints and issues.
  • Don’t be invisible: Participate at least once a day on Twitter (this can and should include links, retweets, favorites and conversations.) When you post consistently, you stay on your followers’ radar, and they’ll be more likely to continue following you, trust your brand and buy from you.

5. Facebook

Millions of people around the world spend countless hours socializing with friends and connecting with their favorite brands on Facebook. Developing great customer service is like nurturing a friendship on Facebook. To build trust with fans & customers, your business must be perceived as genuine & open with nothing to hide. So the question is do you answer FAQ’s on your fan page?

Also keep in mind Messenger for Business. This was launched a while back and has been said to have very good customer engagement since its launch. Checkout the official Messenger page


Here are a few ways to create closer customer relationships with Facebook

Tips for using Facebook as a CRM channel

  • Update your profile with contact details customers can easily reach you on
  • Shorten your response time to get the responsive badge: Many customers now turn to Facebook when they have a complaint regarding your product or service and they also look out for the response rate badge. It is vital you respond in a timely manner to get the active response badge.
  • Add a personal touch by addressing your customers by name when they leave questions on your page
  • Ask fans for feedback: There are many ways you can do this effectively. This could be done through comments, messages and testimonials. Listen and respond to all feedbacks including the negative ones!


Each day, people are discovering new products and brands they should associate with online. Now is the time to clearly define your own social selling and relationship style/ pattern you want to have with your customers so you stand out from the crowd.

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Adeola Aliu
About The Author

Adeola Aliu

Certified foodie, a social media enthusiast, online community manager at Zoto Nigeria with expertise in campaign planning, community building and management. Adeola sees social media as a virtual world of mouth

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