Salesforce of Nature

Salesforce is a big hit. They’re a global CRM company listed on the NYSE who came first on Forbes ‘Most Innovative Companies 2013’ for a second year running.

It’s a convoluted cloud-computing company to examine. Look for a simple breakdown on Wikipedia and you find the caveat “This article may be confusing or unclear to readers”.

At a recent Social Media London session, @MarianCramers gave us a quick rundown on the ‘Marketing Cloud’ product she works on at Salesforce. See this youtube video on it.

You’ll have to look through the Salesforce website to delve into their offering, as it’s huge, but what I did find was that there is a lot a social media person can take from their success stories and case studies. With a massive spectrum of clients (GE, Virgin, Ford, and pretty much everyone) and the acquisitions they have made (Radian 6 just to name one), there’s a lot of pies for a multitude of fingers.

What I find meaty are the blatant social media tips like; “Blueprints for the Perfect Post”, a slideshare that is literally what the title says, the thorough “Facebook Business Pages – Successful B2B Case Studies”, with B2B FB post breakdowns from ten companies, and the “7 essential customer tweets: what they are, when to use them” no mess, no fuss. And anything from this page. Yum yum.

What did Marian tell us that we can use in social, is an appropriate question for the crowd that night. Salesforce listen to social sources for marketing opportunities and the feedback given about the product or service you offer. The idea that it’s about the sentiment around your product/service – that’s a cracker. The question is; how do they use it and how does it fit into their lives? Not, do they like it, but the context in which your product is consumed. Her advice is to build a broader view of your business in the world, to have a more holistic view so you can come up with ideas that are out-of-the-box and practically free to the business.

Some bullet points –

  • For B2B, forums and LinkedIn are most effective
  • You don’t need to worry about SEO anymore than across-department discussions
  • She doesn’t come across Google+ and doesn’t see it taking off anytime soon
  • You have communities already, you just need to know how to tap that
  • Connect with influencers on their preferred channels to build relationships, gain insight and encourage further brand adoption

With a Masters in both Political Science and International Business Economics and Management, Marian speaks with credibility when I asked her for an example on how social can change the world for the better.

“I’d like to see those horrible unpaid internships like at HP, Unilever and Shell, instead of having them in-house, build communities outside who sit in a satellite with people from different disciplines, to actually focus on the work.”

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