Our staff is really big on accountability and for some of our staff like the student minsitry and college ministry, having those kiddos or people of the opposite gender having a staff member's number for one on one texting at all hours is not the safest idea. 

So we decided to use SMS conversations to create a way for our staff to use Twilio numbers for texting. 

Here's how we did it! 

1. Buy a Long Code from twilio that has texting capabilities. 

2. Create a new SMS Pipeline. You can do this by going to the Admin Tools-> Communications ->SMS Pipeline and then add a new one called  'Conversation Numbers'

3. Configure it with the webhook: https://rock.hillsideonline.com/Webhooks/TwilioSMS.ashx?SmsPipelineId=2 (Change the pipeline Id to match the Id of the new SMS pipeline that you just created.)

4. Add an SMS Conversation action to the pipeline like this with the same settings. You will have to change the phone number to match the phone number you purchased from Twilio for that staff member:


5. Now you need to add the number to Rock. Go to Admin Tools -> General Settings->Defined Types-> and find SMS phone Numbers. Add the new number with these settings and chose the staff who will be using this number as the response recipient:


You will see the numbers like this after you add them. Make sure to change the security so that only that staff member has view access and rock admins!:


6. Go to the SMS Conversation Page  in Rock by going to the person icon->SMS Conversations. Here we add a new SMS Conversations block to the page and configure the settings to only be used for that staff member's Number. Then set security on that block so only that staff member can view it! (And Rock admins as well ;)) There will be potentially a lot of blocks on this page, but if security is configured right each staff member will ony see their texting and Rock admins will see all of them! 


7. Now you are ready to go! If someone texts this number the staff member will get a text from the number you set up that looks like this with the person's name (if they are in rock) and a fancy code:


Staff can either reply on their phone by typing the code and a response, or they can go to the SMS conversations page in rock to reply!


To an outsider this number looks and acts totally normal no matter how staff respond! 


Bonus/Advanced Stuff! 

  • Our staff LOVE this because if someone texts after hours, it all comes into one text feed on their phone which allows them to know its work related! 
  • Our staff LOVE that they don't have to give out their personal number now. 
  • We also have the twilio number configured to an SIP so that if someone calls the texting number it gets transferred to the staff member's work extension!