Marketing software provider HubSpot is out with an integrated suite of tools that it says will “make social media personal again.” Called Social Inbox, it merges a company’s contacts database of leads, opportunities and customers with its social media interactions. 

Chief Marketing Officer Mike Volpe wrote this week on the HubSpot blog that, with Social Inbox, “when you get a tweet from someone, you know if they are a customer or a lead.” He added that, when you know this information, “you can treat them the way you should be treating them.”

Entire Interaction History

The general HubSpot platform includes blogging and social media marketing, SEO, website management, lead management, marketing analytics, landing pages, email marketing and marketing automation.

The company said that, instead of monitoring keywords only and providing lists of anyone mentioning a topic, Social Inbox focuses on people as leads or customers, or by some other specified factor. Additionally, HubSpot says that its analytics looks at the entire interaction history of a social media user, such as pages visited or their status as a customer, as opposed to simply following clickthroughs. The Social Inbox integration will be rolling out to HubSpot's existing customers by June, although the company said earlier access can be requested.

Alerts to Employees

Social Inbox issues alerts to company employees, based on either social media or the contacts database. Alert triggers can include a high-scoring lead mentioning a company on social media, allowing a response to be tailored to the individual’s history, such as customized email or, when that user visits the company's Website, personalized content.

A company’s sales rep can also receive emails or push-notifications when a potential customer mentions a competitor on Twitter, allowing the sales rep to customize the next communication to show differentiation from the competitor. A customer service rep can receive an alert when an identified customer asks for help, so that responses and emails can be directed toward the question at hand.

Active Conversations

The workflow of Social Inbox first involves creating a “new stream” by selecting a list of leads or customers to follow according to some criteria, then choosing topic keywords, estimating the stream volume so tracking resources be allocated, and sending alerts to team members. The stream is then monitored, with individuals tracked as a prospect, lead or customer, and the results are analyzed so communication and publishing responses can be gauged for effectiveness.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based HubSpot’s key orientation is the importance of “inbound marketing,” where customers and potential customers come to you, as contrasted to you pushing marketing to them. The Social Inbox is another component in the trend in modern customer service and social marketing to go beyond raw social media numbers of followers, numbers of mentions and the like, and more towards a qualitative assessment and active conversation with individual users, based on their histories.