Hootsuite Adds Social Chops to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Hootsuite on Tuesday announced an integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Yammer.

The collaboration will let enterprises use social content in meaningful ways for social marketing, social selling, social customer support, and internal collaboration, noted Kevin Zellmer, Hootsuite’s vice president of corporate and business development.

There are more than 150 business-ready integrations in the Hootsuite App Directory, he noted.

Enterprises will be able to “integrate social interactions into the entire customer journey,” Zellmer told CRM Buyer.

The Hootsuite dashboard now lets users identify and create leads, opportunities, contacts or cases and input them directly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Plus, they can add social data to customer records within Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a more detailed overview of customers.

Hootsuite “has the strongest ecosystem in social media management,” claimed Zellmer, “and this integration is an extension of our platform that enables our customers to access business solutions they already use within Hootsuite.”

How the Integration Works

The integration is designed to give customer support, marketing and sales reps a more detailed overview of customers, and to improve their interactions.

Users can document social conversations as notes or activities for leads, contacts or opportunities. They can query previous cases or create new ones.

They can publish content found on their own social networks directly into their public and team SharePoint sites. Users also will be able to bring content from SharePoint sites into the Hootsuite dashboard, so it can be viewed and acted upon in conjunction with data from social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Microsoft Yammer for Hootsuite aims to make it easier for staff to collaborate over customer interactions occurring on social media. For example, they can use Yammer to discuss how to answer questions and comments posted by users on social media.

Dynamics CRM users who want to leverage the integration must have Hootsuite Enterprise, Zellmer said. The integrations — with Microsoft Dynamics Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Office 365 Yammer — are free to Hootsuite Enterprise customers.

Integration Implications

“Microsoft has made significant advances in its social listening capabilities over the past couple of quarters by building on the capabilities it acquired,” observed Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

This integration with Hootsuite “rounds out the other end of the social CRM piece, enabling companies to more effectively track and integrate outbound social communications within CRM,” she told CRM Buyer.

Hootsuite is “a great product with multilingual social listening capabilities that are more advanced in that regard than most of [Microsoft’s] competitors,” Wettemann said.

The integration is part of a larger trend of CRM vendors “looking to complete the loop from social listening to social communication, and this is one more step in that direction for Microsoft,” she pointed out. “To truly understand the value of social and how it can best be leveraged, it needs to be linked — both from the outbound and inbound perspectives — to CRM.”

Working through social media is one of three core areas Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 will emphasize to empower customer service agents. The others are engagement center experiences, and insights and information.

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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