Setting up your Twitter channel

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Your Zendesk 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 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).

Tickets created from tweets are also referred to as twickets and you'll see that word used in our documentation as shorthand for 'tickets created via a tweet'. It's important to note however that once a tweet becomes a ticket it behaves just like any other ticket in your Zendesk. 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 by liking them in your Twitter client. This approach allows you to manually choose tweets to convert before they ever reach your Zendesk.
  • 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 twickets 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 your Zendesk 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.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Settings > Channels > Twitter > Edit.
  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 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.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Settings > Channels > Twitter > Edit.
  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.
SettingDescription
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 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 your Zendesk and you can reactivate it at any time. If you unlink an account, it is removed from your Zendesk.

To deactivate a Twitter account

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Channels > Twitter.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Settings > Channels > Twitter > Edit.
  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.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Settings > Channels > Twitter > Edit.
  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 (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 Getting started with the Help Center.

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

Just like with tickets from other Zendesk channels, you can set up business rules, like views, automations, and triggers, to manage your Twitter tickets. In addition to the actions and conditions available for all tickets, there are a few Twitter-specific options you can use:
  • Ticket: Channel values:
    • Twitter returns all tickets from Twitter.
    • Twitter DM returns tickets created from Twitter direct messages.
    • Twitter Like returns tickets created from Twitter likes.
  • Requester: Number of Twitter followers filters tickets based on how many followers the requester has.
  • Requester: Number of tweets is… filters tickets based on how many tweets the requester has sent.
  • Requester: Is verified by Twitter filters tickets based on whether the requester’s Twitter account is verified. For more details, see About verified accounts in Twitter help.
  • Ticket: Integration account lets you pick a specific Twitter handle if you’ve added multiple Twitter accounts. This condition also has options for Facebook and channel integrations like Google Play.
For general information about setting up business rules, see the following articles:

Understanding why your Twitter channel might be deauthorized

Zendesk constantly monitors your Twitter accounts for new public mentions and direct messages. If Zendesk 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 your Zendesk. 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 to view its timeline and tweet on its behalf.

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

  • Zendesk 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

    Let's say my company has two Twitter accounts: @Acme and @AcmeSupport. Many times, customers will mention @Acme when they have a technical issue. If the person managing the @Acme account refers them to @AcmeSupport, Zendesk will automatically create a ticket under @Acme is mentioned. How do we avoid that?

  • 0

    Hey Allen: 

    It sounds like you might need to be more specific with your search terms. Although, if I understand correctly, a ticket is created on behalf of the @Acme mention on a referral? You could use one of the search operators to tweak what is returned. Something like, @Acme -filter:support _which would return @Acme mentions, but not tweets with the word _support in them. 

    https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20457807-zendesk-for-twitter-advanced-search-operators

     

  • 0

    Let's say I setup Zendesk to automatically create a ticket whenever @AcmeSupport is mentioned. However, some customers a more likely to send a tweet to @Acme if they have a problem. So @Acme will reply with something like, "@MrCustomer have you tried our friends at @AcmeSupport?" This will automatically create a ticket under @Acme. If the ticket is not solved and @Acme continues to mention @AcmeSupport, it will keep appending to that ticket and not create a new one.

    Does that make sense? 

  • 0

    Absolutely! Aside from the filter option I mentioned above, I don't have any other suggestions. It may not be possible to filter the double-name mention. You'll have to play with your search conditions a bit. 

  • 0

    Hello,

    Is it possible to filter out other users names if they match your search fields? Example: My company is @ABC, so I have a search set up for "ABC" to see when people mention the company without the "@". The problem is there is a twitter user called "@jack_ABC" and so his tweets appear in my search.

    I have tried to user "ABC -filter:@jack_ABC" but it doesn't work. Is there something I am missing somewhere, or is this not supported?

  • 1

    I also seem to be going crazy, but how do you make the new Zendesk interface automatically create a ticket based on a public mention? I have been unable to find any setting to do this.

  • 0

    Hey Tom: 

    To turn those public mentions in to tickets, edit the settings for the desired Twitter account and make sure C_apture public mentions as ticket_s is enabled. Filtering to that level might be a bit difficult, as you can't really account for who is mentioning ABC. You also can't account for the X number of people that have that string in their user name. 

  • 0

    "Adding Twitter search to the top menu bar (Zendesk Classic only)"

    Will this be upcoming for Lotus at any point? What do you recommend the best/quickest way to view these automated searches at the moment?

  • 0

    Hi Nicole: 

    We'll be adding a similar feature to the new interface at a later update. The best way to manage this at the moment is by creating a custom sidebar link to your searches. There's a bit of work involved, but it does the trick!

  • 0

    Is there any update on direct twitter access (button) to the "new" interface soon?  Similar to @ Nicole Cheek's question back in January?

  • 0

    No updates yet, Nick. The link above is still the best way to handle direct access to your searches. 

  • 0

    I sometimes notice that Twickets aren't converted right away and can take up to 40 minutes. Is this expected? I've enabled Capture public mentions as tickets.

  • 0

    Any update when this will be available in the new interface

  • 0

    Hey Allen, sorry for the delay. Tweets shouldn't take up to 40 minutes to be converted into a ticket. One our agents is following up with you in a ticket to get more details.

  • 0

    Hi Luc,

    I know our agent followed up with you in a ticket, but wanted to post this here in case others are curious.

    At the moment in the new UI you can search twitter under settings > channels > twitter. The search stream is something that will be added in the future, unfortunately we don't have an ETA of when this will happen I'm afraid.

  • 0

    Thanks @Jennifer!

  • 0

    Hi,

    Is it possible to create a ticket automatically from a saved search?

    I would love to see a configuration for a saved search where i can control how frequently it runs behind the scene and then to determine for every saved search if to automatically create a ticket if there is a match.

    Thanks,

    Shai

  • 0

    When will "Twitter Search" become accessible in the top menu bar in the new Zendesk? It's available in Classic but not the new version...unless I've missed something.

  • 0

    Hi Robert

    I'll give you more information on this very soon but it's likely that this feature doesn't get ported to the new Zendesk. Instead we want to offer a better way of doing it using third party social media management tools

    I'll be communicating on the forums very soon about the upcoming twitter changes

    Cheers !

    Maxime

  • 0

    Any idea why Public Mentions end up being tickets even though I have:

    Capture public mentions as tickets

    Capture incoming direct messages as tickets

    Track Favorites

    All set to "NO" ??

  • 0

    Hi Cathy, 

    I had a quick look at your settings and that does seem odd. I've created a ticket for you in our system - look out for an email from us in a few minutes. We'll be able to help you out through the ticket a little better. Sorry for the trouble!

  • 0

    Allen is correct in his observation that "Twickets aren't converted right away and can take up to 40 minutes." I've noticed the same processing delays on my end.

  • 0

    Hi!

    I just linked our twitter account and have found that it creates multiple tickets from one DM. Is this normal? I have also noticed that it takes at least 5 minutes for mentions to become tickets, is that timeframe normal?

    One last thing- I know that mentions that we respond to through Zendesk include a link to the ticket, but DMs do not. Is there a way to include a link to a ticket? (Maybe I just totally missed it!) 

    THANKS! :)

  • 0

    Hi Dan and Lindsay,

    Both of your examples -- of 5 to 40 minute delays in Twicket creation -- run counter to the intended functionality, so I've created tickets on your behalf. Lindsay, we'll get your other questions worked out there as well. I'll see you in those tickets shortly!

     

  • 0

    Hi,

    The built-in twitter search + ticket conversion is really useful.  As we're using the new Zendesk, I already followed the instructions in the doc, but it was really hard to set up (and still no icon) and it looks really weird to have the (complete) old Zendesk page UI in an iframe of the new Zendesk.

    Studying the implementation, even the administrative twitter search page uses the old Zendesk UI page output, but:

    1. The output is loaded into the main content frame.
    2. Additional CSS hides all the page elements (header, logo, navigation, etc) from the old Zendesk UI.
    3. Further CSS overloading restyles the remaining elements to match better with the new Zendesk UI.

    I wondered whether you could not automate the inclusion of this additional CSS for all Sidebar Icons that have a URL of *.zendesk.com...?

    Should be a 1h task, no?

  • 0

    @Sun, thanks for the idea. I'd definitely recommend sharing that over in our product feedback forum. I'd imagine that long term the goal would be to eliminate the need for this altogether when it comes to Twitter searches, but that's a nice approach. 

  • 0

    How do I view a twitter saved search? I'm not seeing it on my dashboard.

  • 0

    Hi Fletcher, 

    Just visit Channels > Twitter > Manage Searches. There, you'll see the name of the one saved search your account has set up so far. Click on the name (don't click on 'edit'). If there are tweets that match your search criteria, they will have been turned into tickets that are visible there. Let me know if that doesn't work for you!

  • 0

    I am using the trial version and it seems that the twitter account I want to manage is not properly ¨installed¨. I have to go back to the first steps tab to be able to access my saved searches. Further, it takes very long for my tickets to update (more than 5 minutes) and it does not let me know when one of the clients has added to the conversation. ¿Is my whole set-up wrong? 

  • 0

    Hi there, 

    I've created a ticket on your behalf so we can investigate what's happening with your Twitter setup. One of our helpful Support Associates will be in touch shortly!

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