Setting up your Twitter channel Follow

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Zendesk Support can monitor one or more Twitter accounts and convert tweets to tickets as needed. All tweet activity between agents and Twitter users is added as ticket comments. Using the Twitter channel, you can do the following:

  • Convert a tweet into a ticket and respond to the user with a tweet, or move the conversation to email
  • Bulk convert multiple tweets into tickets in one step
  • Convert tweets to tickets outside of Zendesk Support by liking a tweet in twitter.com and many other Twitter clients
  • Automatically capture public mentions and direct messages as tickets
  • Append ticket links to outgoing tweets
  • Select which of your accounts agents are allowed to use when sending outgoing tweets

Only administrators have access to the incoming tweets; however, once they've been converted to tickets all agent types have access to them unless you've otherwise restricted their access to certain types of tickets (by restricting them to an organization, or by customizing Enterprise agent roles to exclude this permission, for example).

It's important to note however that once a tweet becomes a ticket it behaves just like any other ticket in Zendesk Support. The one exception to this is that you have the option of replying back to the Twitter user with a public tweet or moving the conversation to email.

Topics covered in this article:

How tweets become tickets

You can control if and how incoming tweets become tickets. Here are several scenarios for managing incoming tweets and converting them to tickets.

  • Likes. Convert tweets outside of Zendesk Support by liking them in your Twitter client. This approach allows you to manually choose tweets to convert before they ever reach Zendesk Support.
  • Mentions and direct messages. Automatically create tickets from public tweets that contain your Twitter account's handle or direct messages from Twitter users that you follow. You may end up with tickets that are not actually support requests and that need no follow-up but you can manage these out of your ticket queue by manually solving and closing or deleting them.
  • Triggers. Use one or more triggers to monitor new support requests that originate from your Twitter channel. You can use the trigger condition Ticket Channel, which has the following three Twitter sources: Twitter, Twitter DM (direct message), and Twitter Like. The advantage to this approach is that you have much more control over the creation and management of Twitter-based tickets. See Managing Twitter tickets with business rules below.

Which approach you take might be based on your overall Twitter traffic or the number of administrators who are available to monitor and convert tweets, or the number of agents you have available to deal with support requests. You may want to use a combination of all of these approaches.

Adding Twitter accounts to your Twitter channel

To start, you need to add at least one Twitter account to your Twitter channel. You can add as many Twitter accounts as you need. For example, your company may have different Twitter handles for different aspects of the company (sales, support, operations, and so on). One of your accounts can be set as the primary, which means that all tweet responses from Zendesk Support use the primary account's Twitter handle.

You can also watch this short video.

Setting Up the Twitter Channel (01:20)

To add a Twitter account

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
  2. Select the Twitter accounts tab.
  3. Click Add Twitter account.
  4. You'll be prompted to log in to Twitter and then authorize Zendesk Support to use your account. Enter your login information and then click Authorize App.

After your account has been authorized, your newly added Twitter account will be listed on the Twitter accounts tab. You'll want to edit the account's settings to control how tweets to this account are handled (see Editing Twitter account settings for descriptions of the settings).

Automatically converting tweets to tickets

As shown in the table above, you can choose to automatically convert public mentions and direct messages into tickets (Capture public mentions as tickets and Capture incoming direct messages as tickets). If you enable these, the option to manually convert tweets to tickets will no longer be available for that Twitter account.

Editing Twitter account settings

After you've added a Twitter account, you should configure some basic settings for the account.

To edit settings for a Twitter account

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
  2. Select the Twitter accounts tab.
  3. Click Edit beside the Twitter account you want to edit.
  4. Update settings as needed.

    The settings are described in the following table.

  5. Click Update Twitter account.
Setting Description
Allow replies via this account This setting allows agents to use this Twitter account when replying to a Twitter ticket.

Agents can select the account below the reply box on a Twitter ticket:

Set as primary If a Twitter account is marked as primary, all tweets from Zendesk Support will come from the primary Twitter account.

You can change the primary Twitter account any of the other Twitter accounts you've added. You can set the primary account by editing this setting on this page or you can switch the primary account on the Twitter accounts tab. Roll your mouse over the list of Twitter accounts and you'll see Remove as primary link, if the account is currently the primary, or the Make primary link if the account is not already the primary.

Capture public mentions as tickets This automatically converts any public tweet containing your Twitter account handle (for example, @mondocam) to a ticket.
Capture incoming direct messages as tickets This automatically converts incoming direct messages into tickets so that your customers can contact you privately rather than publicly. Depending on your Twitter settings, you can either receive direct messages from anyone or only from Twitter users you follow. You can reply to anyone who sends you a direct message.
Track Likes This automatically converts a tweet that you like to a ticket. For example, if you're managing your Twitter stream using twitter.com, you have the option of manually liking the tweet by clicking the heart icon.

Learn more about liking tweets in Twitter help.

Removing Twitter accounts from your Twitter channel

You can remove a Twitter account from your Twitter channel by deactivating it or unlinking it. If you deactivate an account, it is inactive in Zendesk Support and you can reactivate it at any time. If you unlink an account, it is removed from Zendesk Support.

To deactivate a Twitter account

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
  2. Select the Twitter accounts tab.
  3. Click Deactivate beside the Twitter account you want to deactivate.

    The Twitter account is deactivated. It will not turn tweets into tickets and you cannot reply using it. You can reactivate account at any time. 

To unlink a Twitter account

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
  2. Select the Twitter accounts tab.
  3. Click Unlink beside the Twitter account you want to remove from your Twitter channel.
  4. Click OK to confirm.

    The Twitter account is unlinked.

Appending ticket links to outgoing tweets

Another option for your outgoing Tweets is to append a shortened URL to the ticket you created from the tweet. This allows the Twitter user to access the ticket page in the Web portal via their Twitter account. In other words, remote authentication is used to log in through Twitter to Zendesk Support (end-users must sign in to Zendesk to see the ticket page).

Once a Twitter user has access to the ticket page, they can add a longer comment than they could have in Twitter given the 140 character limit of a tweet. They can also update their user profile (adding their email address for example).

Note: If you started using Zendesk on or after August 21, 2013, this option is not available until you activate your Help Center. See

You have the option of allowing the agent to decide if a shortened or the original URL is used in the response. And, you can choose one of several URL shortening services to use.

To append ticket links to outgoing tweets

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
  2. Select the General settings tab.
  3. Enable the ticket links by clicking Yes next to the Append ticket links to outgoing tweets? option.
  4. If you want agents to decide when to use shortened URLs, deselect the Always include shortened ticket URL option. It is selected by default.
  5. If you want to change the URL shortening service, choose from the options listed or select Custom and then enter the URL of the shortening service you want to use.
  6. Click Save tab.

Managing twitter tickets with business rules

A number of conditions are available to manage your Twitter tickets using business rules.

Like the other Zendesk Support channels, you can detect a ticket's source using the Ticket Channel condition in automations, reports, triggers, and views. There are three Twitter source types you can use in the Ticket Channel condition: Twitter, Twitter DM (direct message), and Twitter Like.

If, for example, you wanted to create separate views of each of the Twitter source types, you simply choose the Ticket Channel condition and then select the type.

In addition to the Twitter channel source types, you also have three other Twitter conditions that are available in triggers:

  • Requester's Twitter followers are...
  • Requester's number of tweets is...
  • Requester is verified by Twitter
The first two conditions help you to determine how active and potentially influential a Twitter user is, which may influence how you manage their tweets. For example, you might want to set Twitter tickets from more highly visible Twitter users to Urgent so that you respond as quickly as possible. Here's an example of what a trigger like that might look like:

The Requester is verified by Twitter condition is a special type of Twitter account that has had its identity verified by Twitter (by submitting proof of business, for example). Knowing that a Twitter account has been verified may be important to you in determining how to handle Twitter tickets. For more information, see FAQs about Verified Accounts in Twitter help.

And of course, you can also adds tags to your Twitter tickets and use them to manage your Twitter tickets through your workflow.

Understanding why your Twitter channel might be deauthorized

Zendesk Support constantly monitors your Twitter accounts for new public mentions and direct messages. If Zendesk Support cannot connect with your Twitter account, it will send an email notification to all admins on your account .

If you receive notification that your Twitter channel has become deauthorized, you need to reauthorize the affected Twitter account in Zendesk Support. To do so, click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Twitter.

Common reasons your Twitter channel might become deauthorized include:

  • The password on your Twitter account has changed.
  • The Twitter account no longer permits Zendesk Support to view its timeline and tweet on its behalf.

    This can happen if the Zendesk Support Twitter app has been removed from your Twitter account’s list of allowed apps.

  • Zendesk Support receives a consistent response from Twitter indicating that we are not authorized to access your Twitter account’s content.

    This should only happen due to an error in Twitter’s platform.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to identify tweets with images for special routing through triggers? We auto-close most of our twickets, but do look at ones based on string search. We'd like to start monitoring ones that have images attached to the tweet as well.

  • 0

    Hey Jeremy!

    The only thing I can think of is to set up a trigger to test for a specific string in the comment text. I'm not 100% sure if all image links are truncated the same way once they make it into Zendesk, but using the first portion of the link (ie: https://t.co) could work.

  • 0

    Say, is the integration working correctly?

    We've just tried to add a couple of new twitter accounts to Zendesk, but each time we've been faced with this error message.

    It says in the message that you guys have been notified, but just in case anyone else is having the same issue or if it's just us.

  • 0

    Hey Adetona! Sorry for the delayed response here!

    It does look like there was an issue where the Twitter authorization was having some issues, but they have since be resolved. If you're still having problems, let us know so we can take a look!

  • 0

    Indeed!

    I can confirm that the issue appears to be resolved as far as we're concerned, we tried adding the accounts about the day before yesterday and everything seems to be working.

    But thanks for the confirmation none the less!

  • 0

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