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The ACT! user and Social Media

by russbc on ‎01-21-2009 04:17 PM (23,152 Views)

It is with great pleasure that I join you on this newly formed ACT! Leadership Blog. As our GM Sam Hunter aptly points out, ACT! is a product with a long history and a strong base of passionate users. It is my hope that this blog will be a lively and passionate forum where ACT! stakeholders, be they Sage employees, ACT! Certified Consultants, business partners or ACT! users can come to ask questions, exchange ideas and voice opinions.

 

For my part, I will focus on marketing as it relates to ACT! and the people who use ACT! I’m going to jump right in and throw out a topic that is getting tons of attention and mindshare right now: social media. By social media, I am talking about social networking sites and services like LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and many (if not thousands) more. While new sites spring up everyday and even the big boys like Facebook are grappling with their revenue models, it’s clear that they are catching on.

 

So, what about this social media thing? The buzz about is that more and more businesses (small, medium and large) are starting to use social media in their marketing tactics. Do you currently, or do you have plans to use social media in your marketing? How do you use it? What role do you think ACT! should play in this new online world?

Comments
by ksmith
on ‎01-22-2009 10:50 AM

Russ,

 

Thanks for asking! I do feel that LinkedIn and Plaxo have begun to catch on for business purposes - for prospecting, networking and connecting with other professionals. ACT! could help to harness the power of these tools by enablign contact information to be entered and updated via LinkedIn and Plaxo.

by russbc
on ‎01-22-2009 03:42 PM

Thanks for your reply. I definitely do see utility in connecting social business networks like LinkedIn and Plaxo with ACT! I have even heard of some companies making it a matter of policy that employees establish LinkedIn profiles and join certain groups.

 

What if you could have things like status updates, job history and other relevant content from these sites automatically appended to your contact's record in ACT!? Or, as you suggest, a bi-directional link existed between ACT! and these sites much like Outlook integration?

 

Does anybody else see utility in this sort of thing?

by
on ‎01-24-2009 04:49 AM

It's definately the way to go. I personally find LinkedIN and Twitter to be essential.

 

LinkedIN - join the ACT! Fanatics Group at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=49896

+ How about a lookup of people who have changed their profile (obviously only those ACT! users in your LI network)

+  Be able to update your status AND see the last x status update of a contact

+ If poss in LI API - read the connections list and, where the contacts exist in your database, add an item to something like the 11.1 Relationships tab

 

Twitter is also becomming pretty popular and has a pretty easy to use API - http://twitter.com/GLComputing

+ Display last x  tweets from a contact in a tab

+ Reply to a contacts tweet or send a direct message in ACT! and record it

 

Regards,

Mike Lazarus

by Bronze Super Contributor benhamilton
on ‎01-26-2009 05:50 PM

Hi Russ, I'd agree that being able to get involved and interact with our contacts via social media tools is becoming more important.

 

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, GoogleChat - if we can help our clients interact with their clients from within the one interface to these services that would help them build their relationships. I see this as quite important.

 

Being able to view a persons prior tweets, blog posts, job/project history allows for more meaningful converstation. 

 

 

by
on ‎01-27-2009 08:10 AM

Here's another idea for connection - integrate Groups with those on LinkedIN or FaceBook, etc.

 

How about a Blog tab from RSS feeds ... and a Dashboard  to display the most recent, filtered by user request

by russbc
on ‎01-27-2009 09:01 AM

Thanks Mike & GL,

Good suggestions. Your ideas merit further research.

 

Question: What if Twitter Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn status updates could be captured and permentantly appended in some way to that person's ACT! contact record? You could review a log of your contact's updates going back as far as you'd like. Is this sort of thing just a "neat, interesting feature" or an "awesome really useful feature"?

by
on ‎01-27-2009 04:46 PM

I think it would be really useful to those who use social media... it would also encourage more ACT! users to use social media and reduce the range of competitors with a matching feature set.

 

The social media areana is also quite a viral one, and it's one of ACT!'s historical quirks that it sells better by word-of-mouth than from any other marketing excersise.

by Copper Super Contributor dflood
on ‎01-28-2009 09:49 PM

How come there is a twitter account for the Sage MAS community forum and not one for our ACT! community site. http://twitter.com/tellmasteam

 

Can we get a www.twitter.com/tellact

 

Cheers, Darren.

by kjosephs
on ‎01-29-2009 03:55 PM

Darren,  thanks for the suggestion.  I will look the recommendation. 

 

Kim

by
on ‎02-02-2009 12:55 AM

Kim,

 

IMHO a Twitter Leadership account would be a great way to:

* Notify people of new blog posts to this area (I already include this in my Twitter account with Twitterfeed)

* Let people know of good news stories that Marketing and PR find on the 'net

* Send short tips and tricks of ACT! usage to the user community from support

* Request users for betas

* Publicise case studies

 

It's a great way for pretty much nil cost marketing.... ROI becomes Return on Involvement :-)

 

Individual staff could have their own accounts (with details on their Profiles here) and a central "offical" one like many other software vendors are now using.

 

If, as Russ indicates may be possible, ACT! gets the power of proper integration with social media, having accounts like this already linked to the product will make the ability to communicate with the users base and keep them informed in ways that marketing would previous drool to achieve.

 

Sage can, and should, take a leadership role in helping users move to Social CRM by doing this right... it will build on the loyalty of the user base and assist Sage in helping the users achieve all that they can through the product.

 

My 2c worth

Mike Lazarus

by Copper Super Contributor dflood
on ‎02-02-2009 05:43 AM

Russ, I wouldn't say it was absolutely necessary to have all the micopostings and statii updates stored in the database, although it would be a point of product differentiation with other apps that require you to be online.

 

I think because being online in business, particular when you are enaged in social media is a given then a blended offline/online solution should suffice. I.E. having 'your' data stored in your database but having 'their' data stored in the cloud but just displayed in your database.

 

How you do this at the UI level is critical. Perhaps having a Social History tab to go next to the history tab that aggregates all a contacts various microposts and statii updates.

 

In whatever way it is executed I'm sure that social media functionality will be as important to the day to day activities of contact and relationship management as email integration, task management and calendering is today.

 

Getting ACT! dialed for the early and late majority that haven't yet realised that they want and need this functionality presents a great opportunity for ACT!.

by kjosephs
on ‎02-02-2009 07:53 AM

Thanks, Mike.  There is no question on the benefits.  When I think about the communication possibilities, my head spins.  It is exciting to have so much technology we leverage.  There are many tools available to aid in the feeds and distribution of information.  We need to internally identify the method(s) we will use, the appropriate employees to manage the flow of information, and other logistical items that ensure we are distributing pertinent information, timely, and with responsive monitoring.  We are working on these times and look forward to sharing information on our progress soon.

 

Thanks,

 

Kim

by raa29642
on ‎02-09-2009 01:56 PM

I would absolutely agree.  We need an ACT Feedback account as well as Tech Support account for Twitter.

 

Question: What if Twitter Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn status updates could be captured and permentantly appended in some way to that person's ACT! contact record? You could review a log of your contact's updates going back as far as you'd like. Is this sort of thing just a "neat, interesting feature" or an "awesome really useful feature"?

 

Yes!, yes!, yes!, yes!  Finally, an ACT! update that would be well worth the $169 typical upgrade price tag!  (-;

by Copper Super Contributor pfernald
on ‎03-06-2009 06:12 PM
I like the idea of links so you can see if someone is alread Linked In and learn more about them before you call.  I know this is in Snapshot and I use it more and more.  I like the idea of being alerted when there are updates but not certain that I would want to clog up my history with them as I'd just read the alert and take action from there as needed.
by
on ‎03-30-2009 07:27 AM

If it's any help, I posted some thoughts at:

http://blog.glcomputing.com.au/2009/03/act-by-sage-and-social-media-social-crm.html

 

Regards,

Mike Lazarus

by russbc
on ‎03-30-2009 09:14 AM

Hello Mike,

 

Excellent post (http://blog.glcomputing.com.au/2009/03/act-by-sage-and-social-media-social-crm.html). What I hear you describing is a desire for bi-directional data flows between ACT! and various social media. I think this approach would have several advantages, chief among them would be that contacts in your ACT! database could update and scrub their own data.

 

 We are definitely exploring these sorts of functionality for future versions of ACT!. One of the obvious challenges to pulling in data from Twitter, Facebook, etc. is that you could very quicky bring in massive amounts of data, much of it being "social chatter" e.g. "Ted is grilling shrimp tonight!" Any successful integration with social media must address the issues of weeding out the wheat from the chaff, so to say. That being said, this is a direction that must be pursued.

 

- Russ Carpenter

by
on ‎03-30-2009 05:07 PM

This was why I thought you could display the most recent X posts but only permanently store selected posts (like Twitter favourites)

 

Regards,

Mike Lazarus

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