At HubSpot, we’ve been using social media as part of our inbound marketing strategy since before Twitter was born and back when Facebook was only accessible to students. Since then, we’ve accumulated a half-million Facebook fans and a quarter-million Twitter followers, been among the first businesses using Google+, and dove into Pinterest, Instagram, and more. Today, social media is one of the key inbound marketing channels we use to grow our business.
But something has always been missing from our social media strategy. We’ve used lots of different social media marketing software products, including our own software. All of them do some cool things and make your life a bit easier, but they're all built from the wrong perspective -- from the perspective of the social networks.
If we've learned anything from the advent of inbound marketing, it's that the customer is in control, and your whole company needs to adjust to that change. A Twitter handle is not a person; it's just one way to interact with that person. As a company, you want to engage that person, not just their Twitter handle, in the best way possible.
So why do all the social media marketing products manage usernames and accounts, and not people? Why don't they tell you which tweets are from your customers, and which are from your leads? Why is there no way to see the other interactions you've had outside social media while you're responding in social media? Why is there no way to prioritize and filter social media posts based on the relationship you have with someone? Why is social media so disconnected from the rest of the company, making it less human when the vision was for it to be more human?
Announcing Social Inbox: Social Media Based on Humans, Not Handles
Today we’re announcing a completely new suite of social media marketing tools built around humans, not social media accounts. We're calling it Social Inbox, and it will roll out to all HubSpot customers in early June. Our vision is for social media to take its rightful place in the company structure, integrated with all the other channels of interaction, and bringing the humans -- not the usernames -- to the center of the interactions.
This video explains more about how you can use Social Inbox to make your social media interactions more human again, and the value of integrating social media with your contacts database.
With Social Inbox, HubSpot takes your contacts database of leads, opportunities, and customers, and merges it with your social media interactions. So when you get a tweet from someone, you know if they are a customer or a lead. And when you know who someone is, you can treat them the way you should be treating them.
Social Inbox Custom Notifications
Social Inbox goes even further, and allows you to get alerts based on data from both social media and your contacts database. What does this mean? It means there are now some very powerful ways that your company can use social media integrated with your contacts database.
1) Your marketing manager can be alerted when a high scoring lead mentions your company on social media. Before responding, she can see that lead's entire profile, from interests to recent behavior on your site. She can then use that to respond in a relevant way, or enroll that lead in a workflow that will send them interest-based email and personalize the content they see next time they're on your site.
2) Your sales rep can get emails or push-notifications whenever an opportunity she's currently working mentions a competitor on Twitter. She can respond right away and bring up points of differentiation between your company and your competitor on her next call. If you're a Salesforce user, each mention will include information from the opportunity's Salesforce record and a link through to see the full profile.
3) Your customer service rep will be notified whenever a customer asks for help or advice. He can respond and then add that customer to a set off follow-up emails to make sure that all of her needs and questions have been addressed.
HubSpot has always made it possible to measure the ROI of social media by showing you the effect it has on generating new leads and customers. You can still do that, but with the benefit of not being blind while using social media. With Social Inbox, you can make social media more personal and more targeted again.
How to Get Social Inbox
Social Inbox will be rolling out to all HubSpot customers in June. If you're excited and want to get started earlier, you can request early access here. Check the notification center within your HubSpot Account or the HubSpot Academy blog to read more about this release.
If you’re not a customer, but would like to see Social Inbox in action and go over how it could work for your company, you can get an early demo here.