Microsoft Social Engagement connects with customers all around the globe through social media. It is now  better powered by its new feature Link2CRM, which allows a social post to to link to Dynamics CRM by creating a social activity record. You can turn these Social Activities to various CRM record types (e.g. Case, Lead, Contact, etc) automatically through a workflow.

In this post, I will give you a walkthrough on how Link2CRM works and how we can automate the process of creating CRM record types through Automatic Record Creation and Update Rules in Dynamics CRM.

Connect Social Engagement to Dynamics CRM

First of all, you must have an existing connection in Dynamics CRM. Navigate to Settings > Connections. Under Microsoft Dynamics CRM tab, you should have your existing CRM instance added.

crm instance

 

The properties of the CRM connection record should have record details associated with the entities to which you would like the social posts to associate. In this scenario, we added Case (incident) and Lead (lead) entities. These will be shown as options for the Link to CRM button – we’ll see it later on.

link to crm

 

Associate Posts to Dynamics CRM

On the Analytics page of Social Engagement, click the Posts tab on the right corner of the screen.

social engagement

 

Clicking the Post tab will show all the posts from different social sites being captured by the system.

post tab

 

Hovering over a record will show options on the right side. Click the Link to CRM button.

link to crm button

 

On the Entity dropdown, you will see the Case and Lead which we added previously as we set up the Record Details of the CRM Instance. Set value for the Notes. Click the Create button.

create button

 

Upon clicking the create button, it will now create a record under Activities > Social Activity entity.

social activity entity

 

Set Up Automatic Record Creation

You will notice that it did not create a record directly to the Case. This is because there is still a need to create a workflow to send them. If you open the newly created Social Activity record, you will see the Additional Parameters field where the JSON being sent by the Social Engagement is being saved. You can see the userPreferredTargetEntity property which holds the schema name of the user’s choice from the MSE dropdown. For example, if you picked Case, the value will be “incident”, and if you picked Lead, the value will be “lead”.

By default, Dynamics CRM supports creating records from the following activities, also called source types in the context of record creation and update rules:

  • Email
  • Social activity
  • Task
  • Phone call
  • Appointment
  • Service activity
  • Custom activity

These activities can be converted to any default (system) entity records or custom entity records. For example, you could create a lead, opportunity (system record), or incident (custom record) from an incoming email.

Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/dynamics/crm-customer-center/set-up-rules-to-automatically-create-or-update-records-in-crm.aspx#bkmk_SetUpChannelProperties

We will use this information as we set up Automatic Record Creation rule, so we can create a record from the choice selected by the user in the entity dropdown in MSE.

dropdown in mse

 

Navigate to CRM > Settings > Business Management > Automatic Record Creation and Update Rules.

update rules

 

Create a new record.

create new record

 

Fill in the form with the necessary information. Click Save.

click save

For the additional properties lookup field, add a record and set the following values:

Name: MSE Post Payload

Source Type: Social Activity

Create a Channel Property record associated with the current Channel Property Group record.

Name: userPreferredTargetEntity

Datatype: Single Line of Chart

Application Source: MSE

Click Save record.

Creating the Channel Property will make use of the JSON payload set on the field as conditional parameter in the rules we are about to build.

mse post payload

 

After we’ve created the Channel property, we can now create two rules – one for Case and another for Lead. Click the Add button in Specify Record Creation and Update Details subgrid.

subgrid

 

Fill out the form with the necessary information:

Name the record as “Create Lead from MSE post”.

Choose Channel Properties for the condition.

Set the condition to “userPreferredTargetEntity” equals “incident”.

Set the action to create a case.

create case

 

Save the record and repeat the steps for creating a Lead record.

lead record

 

Once done, Activate the records and we can now test the newly created rules.

Testing Record Creation and Update Rules in MSE and Dynamics CRM

On the Analytics page of Social Engagement, click the Posts tab on the right hand corner of the screen.

testing of record creation

 

Clicking the Post tab will show all the posts from different social sites being captured by the system.

all search copies

 

Click Link to CRM option and fill in the form with the necessary information:

Instance: SMS

Entity: Case

Notes: This will be associated to Case record in CRM.

Click Create button.

create button2

 

Upon linking the post to CRM, you should now be able to see a newly created record under Activity > Social Activity. On the Additional Parameter field, userPreferredTargetEntity should have a value of incident since we chose to associate the post to Case.

In addition, on the regarding lookup field, there is now a case record associated.

case record related

 

To verify, we should see a newly created case record once we navigate to Case entity.

navigate to case entity

 

On the post under MSE, you should now be able to see the CRM record details.

crm record details