by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 28 September 2012
If you thought being social was restricted to social networks, think again.
Well-known SaaS platform Salesforce.com just upped the ante at its annual Dreamforce conference last week.
Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, proclaimed that business was social and that the social revolution was "unlike anything we've experienced before." Hence, the Social CRM platform has included several social features in its new release.
This includes Chatter communities with Chatterbox, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a social networking platform for marketing, Data.com social key, a platform to access and analyze data from social media and touch, a mobility application optimized for tablets and phones on the Salesforce.com platform, and Salesforce Sales Cloud, a feature to connect with customers and build sales in a social networking environment.
During his talk, Benioff referenced a McKinsey study that listed benefits of a social enterprise. Here are three benefits listed in the study that should benefit you as a small business user.
Crowdsourcing: In its various forms, crowdsourcing can mean several things. You can crowdsource opinions and product ideas about your business or even co-create new features for your business using social platforms. The idea, of course, is to have a social platform upon which you can build your business and products.
Enhance productivity: In recent times, social networks have gained a bad rep for killing productivity. However, such research tends to see the glass as being half-empty. Many small businesses are scaling and ramping up quickly using social media platforms. For example, you can integrate your customer-relationship databases with Chatter, Salesforce's social application with microposts and chatposts. In addition to fostering online conversations, such applications can be used as problem-solving tools, where replies and responses are crowdsourced.
Image: Justin Sullivan/AFP (http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/we-will-know-everything-about-you-retailer-20120920-2686x.html)