Want to integrate your company’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds into your Microsoft CRM system so you can view one consolidated feed, react to social conversations by creating CRM Leads, Contacts and Cases, and post your own social messaging to all 3 channels in 1 hit? If that’s you, then Webfortis have an Add-on for Microsoft CRM that you should take a look at.
Here’s an overview…
Installation and Configuration
Webfortis offer a free 2-user license of Parrot so to trial Parrot you simply submit your details here, then download and install:
Parrot users are licensed separately from CRM,. You can have 100 CRM users but only 2 of them activated for access to Parrot. The 2 user limit won’t be a problem.
The product is provided as a CRM Solution file that you simply import into your CRM system. What you then see is a Parrot menu option added to your Workplace, which renders the Parrot application within CRM and integrates some Parrot commands into CRM’s ribbon:
Next step is configuration. Parrot wants access to your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts so it can download your feeds and post on your behalf (when you request it to). So we click on the Parrot Settings button on the Ribbon and add our Accounts:
Jump back to the Parrot Timeline screen and you can now activate those new accounts via ribbon buttons:
Once you have authorised Parrot to access your social networks those feeds will now appear in Parrot’s ‘Timeline’. You will see all of your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds consolidated in the 1 view for easy monitoring:
So Feature #1 is this consolidated view of your social networks inside your CRM system.
Feature #2 is the ability to post to all of your social networks at the same time, from Microsoft CRM. The post composer sits above the Timeline. You can easily toggle which of your social networks you want your message to post to and you can see the number of characters remaining (constrained to the lowest limit of the networks selected):
Feature #3 is the ability to search LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter’s feeds for keywords. Search results appear in Tabs and you can have several on the go and can pin them for on-going reference:
Now so far, apart from having all of this sit inside you CRM system, we are not seeing anything too different from what Hootsuite offers, and Hootsuite sets the standard for social network dashboards:
Except, we are in CRM, and where that really makes a difference is with these little buttons here:
That’s right, with a click of a button you can create a new Lead, Case, Contact or Account in CRM based on a social media post. That’s Feature #4 and I think its kind of interesting.
If we create a Lead for Mark Smith’s LinkedIn post we get a CRM Lead record like this:
The Lead record retains an association back to the social media entity it originated from – in this case the profile of an Individual on LinkedIn – and this linkage is leveraged on the Lead form to provide an integrated view of that profile, in CRM:
That’s enough from me for today. Hopefully this has provided you with a useful overview of the Webfortis offering. I recommend having a look at Parrot. Best case scenario: it will meet your requirements. Worst case scenario: it will provide a useful perspective on what is possible and help you refine your social network integration requirements.
(p.s. How cool is Hootsuite’s enterprise Owl in his little suit and with his handsome side parting)