Twitter on CRM

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In March, Salesforce.com added a Twitter integration to its Service Cloud, allowing customer service representatives to search, monitor, and participate in Twitter conversations about their companies, and add any relevant information to a corporate knowledge base.

Of course, CRM magazine has been on Twitter for a while—you can find us at @CRM and @destinationCRM, and we capture a handful of tweets in our monthly “CRM on Twitter” feature—but it’s good to see that others are catching up. The immediacy of the tweetstream can’t be ignored by businesses looking to protect their brands, and CRM vendors are beginning to find ways to make it work for their customers.

In no particular order, here are some noteworthy examples:

VendorIntegration with (or use of) Twitter
Salesforce.comIn addition to Salesforce CRM for Twitter, the company’s @asksalesforce is a direct line for news, suggestions, and help. A third-party Twitter client for Salesforce.com users is Toucan, an AppExchange offering (http://sites.force.com/appexchange/apex/results?keywords=toucan#).
MicrosoftMicrosoft partnered with Federated Media to create ExecTweets (www.ExecTweets.com), a resource to find and follow the top business executives on Twitter. Microsoft itself has several Twitter feeds that can
be used to follow its respective CRM teams, including @CRMOnline and @MSdynamicsCRM. The Dynamics CRM development and marketing teams use Twitter extensively on a less-formal basis to track buzz and commentary from customers and partners.
SugarCRMSugarCRM has had Twitter integrations for several months, both in its core product and as developed by its open-source community. Sugar Feeds is a Twitter-like system that operates within SugarCRM. GetSocial (http://www.sugarforge.org/projects/getsoctwitter/) is an integration
by Josh Sweeney. The company also has a number of handles, including @CRMoutsiders (the marketing blog), @sugarclint (Oram, one of Sugar’s three cofounders), and @CRMist (feed for the Sugar Developer Zone). There’s also @AskSugarCRM, an anonymous helper—even the company doesn’t know who runs it.
SAPSAP Business Suite 7 has a “sentiment engine” that monitors Twitter chat
to see what people are saying about products. There’s a series of YouTube videos by Jonathan Reed (@jonERP, http://jonERP.com) showing how to
get SAP market research via Twitter.
OracleOracle maintains several handles, including @oracle, @oraNA (news aggregator), and @oraclemix (social network and blog for the Oracle community). For a list of Oracle folks (including employees, customers, Oracle experts, and interested parties) who are on Twitter, go to http://wiki.oracle.com/page/Oracle+Tweeters?t=anon. ORA_tweet is an integration created by Lewis Cunningham (@oracle_ace) that sends Twitter updates from within an Oracle database (one such update might inform users when and how a process has been completed).
NetSuiteNetSuite says it uses Twitter (@NetSuite_Inc) to monitor customer satisfaction, address any questions/concerns, resolve problems quickly, provide product tips and tricks, send out information on NetSuite events and news, and build relationships.
MaximizerNo integration at present, but has a corporate Twitter account, @MaximizerCRM, for communication with clients, prospects, partners, analysts, media, etc.
SageAct! by Sage and SalesLogix both claim to be Twitter-integrated, with real-time
data visibility and triggers via representational state transfer (REST);
David van Toor, the public face of Sage’s CRM efforts, twitters at @dave_vt.
RightNow Technologies
RightNow customers Telstra-Big Pond and Beauty.com have Twitter on the brain: The former emails people who have used certain words on Twitter, directing them to a Twitter-specific Web page where they can complain all they want; a customer/incident record is created in the RightNow system. Beauty.com (part of Drugstore.com) has a custom Twitter feed (@BeautyAdvisor) that follows customers who are looking for advice on any cosmetics-related questions, with a direct link to a Beauty.com online chat session window. @RightNowNews is the company’s own Twitter channel.
AcxiomThe data giant is integrating social networking sites—perhaps Twitter most visibly—into its own marketing and sales efforts. A recent email marketing campaign was titled “Acxiom all a-Twitter on Social Networking Sites,” and promised that “[i]t’s never been easier to get the latest Acxiom news anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Delicious.com to find out what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why it matters to our clients and to our industry. Get access to videos, press releases, shared articles and information, and instant updates at your fingertips. Follow us, friend us, link us, see us.”

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