Facebook Integration Pushes Salesforce.com Social Power


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Discover what working with social media feels like.

Need to get your feet wet with social media?

Many executives know that their social business future involves connecting with customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks and online forums. But many of our customers have been asking us: exactly what does social network integration with our CRM software look like?

One of the best responses is simply to show people what’s possible. Accordingly, here are two examples of how Facebook or Twitter posts can become actionable leads and business intelligence:

Salesforce For Twitter And Facebook

With more customers asking us about what Salesforce.com and Facebook integration looks like, two of our consultants spent two days creating a working mockup of a “suggestion page” on Facebook. The functionality is straightforward: anything that anyone writes on a company’s Facebook page automatically gets pulled into Salesforce.com and creates — as required — a lead, contact or case.

To make that happen, they tapped Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook, a free AppExchange plug-in that lets you work with Facebook and Twitter pages via Salesforce.com. The plug-in allows you to make posts via Salesforce.com, but also to automatically create leads, contacts and cases, based on what people are saying about your company.

Helpfully, the plug-in also supports automatic keyword searches for the two social networks. One great starting point is to monitor for any posts mentioning your brands together with red-flag words — “problem,” “issue,” “error.” Then get in touch — over the relevant social network — to help them resolve the problem.

Now, if our consultants could create this type of mockup in just two days, what might be possible with a bit more work?

Create ‘Social Web-To-Lead’

Interestingly, with a bit more time, you might tap cloud platforms to provide even more social network integration possibilities. For example, Sandeep Bhanot, a principal consultant at Salesforce.com, writes on the Force.com blog about an application he coded that mixes Facebook, Heroku (notably, that cloud platform already has built-in Facebook integration), and Force.com to create social Web-to-lead.

Web-to-lead is the Salesforce.com term for gathering registration or profile information on your business’s website, then using that data to automatically generate leads. What might be a social twist on that? Bhanot offers two quick examples:

  • Contact Me: Clicking a “contact me” button in a Facebook app or page automatically generates a lead in Salesforce.com.
  • Referrals: Give Facebook fans a way to easily refer their friends to you, thus gaining access to that Facebook user’s social graph (a.k.a. friends), which is a gold mine for similarly minded prospects.

Helpfully, Bhanot built an application that demonstrates his approach (see his blog for the relevant code) though he cautioned that it’s a mockup, and not production-ready. Rather, he means it to be “a catalyst for developers to start thinking about coding a Social Enterprise by taking a social ‘lens’ to every application that they develop.”

Experiment With Social Discovery

The two above examples are decidedly bottom-up techniques. But they show how businesses can easily and quickly integrate Salesforce.com with Facebook and Twitter to start getting their feet wet, using social networks to generate customer intelligence.

Of course, businesses have other options, including investing in a full-blown social discovery platform, such as Radian6. Out of the box, Radian6 offers an incredible amount of useful functionality, including numerous ways of monitoring and reacting to social networks. As just one example, you can use the software to monitor LinkedIn forums for ad hoc reviews that customers may already be posting about your products and services, and then automatically generating leads and actionable product intelligence for your R&D teams.

Monitor & Conquer

But many companies haven’t advanced their social CRM efforts to the point where they need or want a social discovery platform, at least yet. Instead, they want to take small steps, to identify the best way to use social networks to make the business better, and this “learn as you go” ethos is sensible.

One great place to start, then, is simply to know what people are saying about your company and brands on Facebook and Twitter. Because everyone else in the world can see these posts, it’s in your best interests to respond to them in a similarly public forum. Resolve these problems, furthermore, and you’ll see positive traction with and emotions from other customers and prospects. Because everyone loves a happy ending.

Learn More

Innoveer helps organizations assess their existing CRM strategy, sales, marketing, service, and collaboration capabilities, to help them identify the best way to overlay social capabilities. Contact us to learn more about Innoveer’s Social Business Framework, based on the best practices of hundreds of CRM practitioners, which we use to help businesses rapidly develop a social CRM adoption strategy.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user bark.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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