Salesforce unveils big social cloud solutions

Twitter, Facebook content could spur more sales leads for Salesforce customers

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
November 30, 2011
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The cloud has become this ubiquitous place where people store and share documents, but now Salesforce is on a mission to make social media monitoring a popular cloud activity.

Wednesday, Salesforce announced that its March acquisition, Radian6, will have new features to engage sales leads via Twitter, Facebook and other Web forums. The company was purchased for $326 million and has not been integrated into the standard CRM for Salesforce.

The cloud-technology uses filtering tools to isolate posts that express intentions to purchase or show interest in finding deals on key products and services.

Since Twitter has gained so much traction as a way to gain feedback and report concerns in the customer service realm, this service can search for people that have tweeted negative sentiments about their purchase or brokerage and a Salesforce Radian6 user can reach out to this user and offer sales alternatives.

While many companies have learned how to protect the appearance of their brand on social networks, the use of this information as a lead or sales tool is not as widely utilized.

"Social media is the single biggest change in marketing in the last decade. Social enterprises recognize that social media provides real-time opportunities to delight customers and prospects. The Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud will enable every company to be at the forefront of this exciting industry shift," Marcel LeBrun, SVP and GM for Salesforce Radian6, said in a statement.

Another feature added includes 'The Social Engagement Console,' which brings in third-party data to provide a comprehensive view of social conversations -- including trending topics from Twitter and statistics to see the reach of different links and content.

The tracking of Twitter sentiment and trending feelings about a company or service is not unheard of of the data collection side of social media. Recently DataSift launched with full access to Twitter's entire firehose and is a service where you pay based on the number or returns to recieve from a sentiment, product, trend or other search you conduct for your company.

Organizing and using massive amounts of data to better workflow and customer service is always a challenge for companies and Salesforce is betting that these new cloud features will help their customers gain more perspective and use public content to better their company.

While Radian6 is currently available to any of the Salesforce customers, starting at $600 per deployment, per month, some of the other social hubs and insights are in limited release and for additional fees starting at $60 per month and heading up toward $9,900 per deployment per year.

Some global brands are already using Radian6's social feaures, including Southwest Airlines, GEICO and Pizza Hut.

Salesforce is on its way to being a $3 billion company and boasts more than 100,000 customers globally.

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