What is the personal impact of a disjointed tech stack?
Say you order an item online, and it doesn’t show up. You reach out on the company’s web chat feature for help. You get a (delayed) response that requires back and forth. Every new response you receive is from a different agent who hasn’t read your message history. Unfortunately, email brings the same problem: A different agent who doesn’t see your chat history, forcing you to explain your issue from the beginning and wait even longer for a reponse. For good measure, you also reach out via social media. The response is faster, but you get hit with the same canned response multiple times, which leaves you so exhausted. You vow to never waste your time or money with this company again.
This situation, unfortunately, is common—one that results in lost customers and revenue.
Long wait times, systems that delay escalation to a live agent and repeating information multiple times are some of the most frustrating aspects of poor customer service.
In The Sprout Social Index™ 2023, nearly three-quarters of consumers expect a response within 24 hours. If a brand takes too long to respond to resolve a problem, 36% of consumers say they’ll share negative customer care experiences with friends and family. Some 31% won’t complete their purchase, while 30% will buy from a competitor instead.
Without backend infrastructure to create a unified view of the customer journey, your team will struggle to provide a seamless customer experience (regardless of how many tools or agents you employ).
In this article we’ll dig into how to remove these digital silos with the tools that matter most and share use cases to help you identify the right social media management integrations for your team.
How to remove digital silos in an ecosystem of tools
Marketing teams depend on an ecosystem of tools everyday. However, these tools can create silos between departments, miscommunication between teams and information gaps that detract from the customer experience if they don’t work together. The good news is that these challenges are fixable—and don’t have to come at additional cost.
Many of the technologies your team relies on were built to integrate and share data with other tools. Integrations vary per vendor and so does the quality. We recommend looking for integrations that work in one platform, streamline relevant information and have high time-to-value (i.e., an easy set up so you start seeing results fast).
The social media market is saturated with different integrations, which is why Sprout is thoughtful about our approach. We heard many of our customers’ challenges around integrating with social media management tools and took notes. Here’s what we learned:
- Prioritize prebuilt connections. Integrations should be easy to configure, without requiring additional resources.
- Build and support integrations in-house. Rather than relying on an unknown third-party developer who can disappear if something breaks or needs an update, building in-house integrations ensures our customers are always supported.
- Simplicity is key. Integrations should make your life easier, not take months and half of your team to get up and running.
- Some things in life should really be free. Many of Sprout’s integrations come at no additional cost, rather than the exorbitant fees per integration that are common in our industry.
These principles inform how Sprout builds integrations to help our users work smarter, more efficiently and collaboratively across their business.
Which integrations are right for my business?
We get it, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which integration is right for you, and what value it even brings. We will walk through six categories of Sprout’s integrations with questions and scenarios to help you identify which your organization could benefit from most.
1. Lead management & CRM
Win new business by generating leads from social and capturing existing contacts’ social interactions.
Q: How do you currently manage incoming leads from social media? How do you connect existing customers in your CRM to their social profiles?
Leads can slip through the cracks if you don’t have a streamlined workflow from social to a lead management solution. This also can result in missed opportunities to connect existing contacts in your CRM to their social profiles when they interact with you on social media.
Scenario: A user messages you on LinkedIn about an upcoming conference your company is hosting. Even if registration for this event isn’t live, having them in your marketing funnel will help capture and attribute a future sale. While you may already have their email information, now you’ll know their LinkedIn handle, and that they had another touchpoint with your brand specifically on social media around your annual conference.
Sprout lead management and CRM integrations: Salesforce, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics 365
After interacting with a user in Sprout’s Smart Inbox (or via our Service Cloud integration), you can link existing Salesforce contacts to new social profiles in the same workflow. If there isn’t an existing contact in Salesforce, you can create one directly from Sprout to capture the new lead in your marketing funnel. Once a lead has been created or a contact linked, you can see Salesforce Contact and Case info related to this specific user directly from the reply layer in Sprout’s Smart Inbox. You can now also create meaningful customer journeys and audiences in Marketing Cloud based on social interactions with your brand.
2. Help desk
Deliver superior customer service by enabling customer care and social media teams to collaborate and co-manage incoming messages.
Q: How do your social team and customer care team collaborate today? How is customer information and context shared between these teams, or across the marketing organization more broadly?
Customer care and help desk integrations are all about passing customer tickets and information between teams. These integrations can be a great fit if you find that customer inquiries on social media often need to be passed to a different team to answer. They can also give teams visibility into customers’ previous contact history with your organization, so you can offer faster, more personalized care.
Scenario: A customer reaches out about delayed shipping of a product they ordered. In Sprout’s Smart Inbox, you can see the purchase date and order information to confirm that their purchase went through. You can then send this customer directly to your help desk tool from Sprout. The service team agent who gets this ticket is able to see the customer’s communication history on social, and any internal notes you left about their shipping problem. When the agent reaches out, they will have all the context to start immediately troubleshooting.
Sprout integrations: Zendesk, HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365
With Sprout’s Zendesk integration, you can create new or link to existing Zendesk users, create and manage Zendesk tickets in Sprout, edit user and ticket data in Sprout, and even comment on specific Zendesk tickets from Sprout’s Smart Inbox. Note: Zendesk is available at no additional cost for accounts on the Professional and Advanced plans.
3. Social commerce
Drive more sales opportunities by extending your storefront into social networks with the collective power of social commerce.
Q: How do you encourage your social media audience to shop directly from your social profiles? How do you see order history information when interacting with a user on social media?
If you already use Shopify or Facebook Shops, Sprout’s social commerce integration is a great way to streamline order management and customer information. If your business is an ecommerce company, enabling customers to shop directly from your outgoing posts or message responses enhances their experience by removing the extra steps between product discovery and checkout.
Scenario: Like winning the lottery, one of your products just went viral on a TikTok about simple life hacks. You immediately see an uptick of engagement and traffic on your website, but customers seem to have a hard time navigating to this specific product. Add a product link to your outgoing posts to make it frictionless for these trend hoppers to find your viral product directly, rather than getting lost and giving up on your website.
Sprout integrations: Shopify, Facebook Shops, WooCommerce
With Sprout’s Shopify integration, you can look up and link customers through Sprout’s Smart Inbox to existing Shopify customers, or add a new customer to Shopify. You will be able to see all connected customer information and order history in Shopify from within the reply layer in Sprout’s Smart Inbox. You can add product links to outgoing posts and message replies in the Smart Inbox in addition to product templates.
4. Review management
Strengthen your online reputation by monitoring and managing reviews across your business and locations in one centralized stream.
Q: How do you monitor, manage and respond to reviews across different websites?
Reviews, positive or negative, come in at any time. It’s important to not only be aware of every new review, but also make sure whoever monitors the review sites is equipped to respond (or get the review to the right person). With Sprout Review management, you can see incoming new reviews (across websites) in one place for you to prioritize, route and respond to.
Scenario: You are the sole social media marketer of a retail brand with four store locations. On top of maintaining consistent customer engagement across the brand’s core social media accounts, you have to manually check review sites (including Facebook Reviews and Google My Business) for the local brick-and-mortar stores. Responding to Google reviews can increase your visibility in local search rankings, which is critical for driving store foot traffic. Sprout Reviews provides a seamless way to monitor and manage the brand’s customer engagement all in one place. Sprout saves time and keeps you organized, so you can respond quickly and never have to worry about missing a time-sensitive review.
Sprout integrations: Google My Business, Facebook Reviews, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, Yelp
Never miss a review with Sprout’s Google My Business review management. Set up custom notifications every time a review comes in and sort reviews into custom priority inboxes (e.g., negative reviews: two-star reviews and below). Respond in real time to reviewers from Sprout to address a poor customer experience or thank them for leaving a review.
5. Workflow & Digital Asset Management
Streamline production to publishing to maximize the reach of your social content.
Q: How do you currently collaborate with creative teams to produce social media content?
This can be a tricky process depending on what design tools your creative team uses, what format they create creative assets in and how your company shares assets. Integrating your design and asset management tools into your workflow ensures social teams use up-to-date, approved content in the right formats.
Scenario: A nonprofit is reinvesting in Instagram to entice more Millennial and Gen Z engagement, with the goal of cultivating future donors. Having relied on less visual social networks in the past, the social media manager is using Canva’s prebuilt, aesthetically pleasing templates for story and feed posts. Rather than downloading from Canva, saving on their computer, then reuploading to Sprout Social, the manager can pull saved stories and feed posts directly from Canva from the Compose publishing window in Sprout.
Sprout integrations: Dropbox, Google Drive, Canva, Slack, Feedly, Bynder, Adobe Experience Manager
With an influx of emails and daily tasks, sometimes Sprout approvals or assigned tasks can slip through the cracks on your busiest days. With Sprout’s Slack integrations, you can stay up to date by customizing which Sprout notifications you want to receive in Slack and which channels you want to be alerted in.
6. Website & URL tracking
Determine the impact of your digital campaigns to track the ROI of your social content and optimize accordingly.
Q: How do you measure referral traffic from social media?
While there are a lot of incredible link tracking tools out there, having to separately build UTM parameters for your most used links every time you publish on social media can be frustrating. Sprout’s Google Analytics and Bitly integrations bake this link creation step into your publishing workflow.
Scenario: For the upcoming year, your team is launching a global brand campaign that has slightly different promotions for each target market. You need to track the performance of the campaign overall, while also comparing the performance of the more localized efforts. Setting up specific UTM parameters in Sprout, you can break down from social the web traffic and performance each target market drove, while also seeing the overall campaign performance.
Sprout integrations: Google Analytics, Bitly
With Sprout’s Google Analytics integration, you can create tracking rules to automatically append parameters to your links in the posts you share in Sprout. These parameters then add the tracking results in Google Analytics (which you can also see in Sprout’s Google Analytics Report). You can create and edit URL tracking rules within Sprout, which will then automatically be applied in Sprout’s Compose publishing window when the URL in question is added to a post.
7. Business Intelligence
Get a comprehensive view of your data and performance to make data-driven decisions across your organization.
Q: What is the importance of integrating social data into business intelligence?
Social data is the bedrock of business intelligence because it brings context to organization-wide data. It uncovers audience insights needed to interpret trends, develop predictions and create informed, data-driven decisions.
With Sprout Social’s Salesforce integration and Tableau Business Intelligence (BI) Connector, you can leverage the power of social data to create a 360-degree view of your customer and inform wider business insights.
Scenario: Your brand has a highly sophisticated social presence that’s grown to include customer care. You want to analyze agent performance across data sources to inform your marketing strategy, product development and other organizational focuses. Your team currently uses Tableau to aggregate marketing and customer care data, but without social data, a big slice of the customer view is missing.
Sprout integrations: Tableau, Salesforce
Sprout’s Tableau BI Connector combines social data with other data sources in an omnichannel view, offering a unified source of truth through automated and consolidated reporting and analytics. With customizable visuals and metric defintions, you’re able to slice the data based on your KPIs and business needs to create a compelling data story with actionable insights.
Get more from your martech stack
Integrating the tools you rely on most makes your team more informed and efficient, and your customer experience stronger. Sprout is built to remove digital silos, so our customers immediately tap into the robust power of social.
While organizing and integrating your ecosystem of tools can sound overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.
Want to learn more about Sprout’s business integrations? Sign up for a demo today.