On the Second Day of Winter ’12 Marc Benioff Gave To Me – Social Contact in Salesforce and New Features and Enhanced Usability.
Okay so by now you’re probably getting the theme behind this Seasons Winter ‘12 Release blog posts, so grab a warm glass of egg nog flavored Kool-Aide and let’s look at what Social Contacts will mean to you.
Salesforce has made major improvements to all of the Clouds in this release and Sales Cloud was undoubtedly a strong beneficiary. While it’s hard to pick my favorite, although I did via Twitter, the ability to view your Contacts Social Media stream is definitely high on the list of Wins. This feature does need to be turned on by Admins, but no fear, you can easily find it by typing Social Contacts into the Quick Find bar (my favorite feature from Summer ’11) under setup.
At Riptide, clients often come to us wanting to better take advantage of the Social-Sphere. A great starting point is reading what your Contacts have posted to social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Now before making that sales call you can see if there is a pressing issue at the office that has been Tweeted about or if the CEO you finally scheduled a meeting with just celebrated his or her granddaughters 1st Birthday. When trying to build strong and long-term business relationships it is essential to be able to come to the table pre-armed with solutions as well show interest on a more personal level.
Now in the spirit of full disclosure there are some features that are conspicuously absent from the Social Contacts feature. Salesforce will only retrieve and display the information from your contacts social stream but it cannot be saved or reported on. While this may make the information less actionable on a historical basis I believe the true essence of this feature is to be actionable immediately not tracked over time. With that said, the brilliant acquisition of Radian6 by Salesforce early this year already provides a powerful tool for full scale social media management.
The other missing link in Social Contacts is LinkedIn. While integrating Twitter and Facebook feeds directly into Contact records is huge, for B2B users LinkedIn is must. Now Salesforce has already stated that they are planning additional social platforms in the future and we can imagine that LinkedIn will be towards the top of that list (Google+ you’re getting on the radar).
At Riptide, I can already foresee this feature being part of the basic foundation of our Chatter/Social rollouts to clients. It will provide clients with easy to use, current and actionable information which is a must have for sales professionals. For all of you other Klout fans I will tell you that I definitely give @Salesforce “+K” for this feature.