As social media tools and social media mature we will see new and innovative ways of generating sales through social media.
Yesterday Hubspot announced the launch of their social inbox. I can’t say it’s particularly innovative but it makes perfect sense. It links social conversation to leads and customers so you engage and track the most relevant conversations.
About Social Inbox
When you have a lead in your CRM database and your customer talks about a competitor product it makes sense that your sales guy is notified of this so they can take action. Any social content that your lead or customer is sharing is important as it’s a chance for you to engage with them. That could be just retweeting their content, answering their concerns or interacting with them to build a relationship.
Maybe there’s also conversation that’s happening on line that is not related to a lead or opportunity that you should be considering. Maybe somebody is thinking about buying a product or solution that you offer. By listening you can jump in and steer that conversation to your products and services.
“The promise of HubSpot was always the notion that customers expect and deserve more lovable marketing. Over the last five years, social media marketing has been far from lovable; in fact, brands were typically using social media to push out contests, sweepstakes, and promotional content—tactics that are impersonal for customers and ineffective for marketers. HubSpot Social Inbox allows marketers to create, share, promote, monitor, respond, and integrate social media into their overall marketing approach. Social Inbox is a powerful vehicle for marketers that results in a singular narrative for customers.” – Hubspot CEO, Brian Halligan
The social inbox provides the functionality which allows you to find and engage with conversations that are new opportunities for your business or are related to opportunities you are currently progressing.
Is this competition for Salesforce?
In 2011 Hubspot raised a lot of cash and Salesforce were one of the companies that contributed. What’s interesting now is that with the launch of this new functionality do you really need Hubspot and Salesforce to work together? It looks to me like now you have sufficient functionality in Hubspot to remove Salesforce from the equation.
Salesforce is a Customer Relationship management tool that added social media functionality. Hubspot have an module for integrating with Salesforce where information can be shared in both directions. As Hubspot continue to link their social data with leads and customers it will make better sense for a company to use one tool or the other.
Hubspot have typically focussed on the small business market but it’s likely they will do more in the Enterprise space. There is certainly room for both companies so maybe neither are concerned but it’s going to be interesting to watch.
We’ve covered tools on this blog recently that provide similar functionality to the social inbox. Nimble is all about following real people and conversations wherever the occur and Needtagger is about listening to find opportunities.
With Social Inbox this attempts to add similar functionality to Hubspot.
What is your opinion of Hubspot Social Inbox? Do you think they will start competing more head to head with Salesforce?