Salesforce.com has come out with a new social enterprise that will easily connect businesses with their employees and their customers through social, mobile and open cloud technologies. On August 31st during their ninth annual user conference CEO Marc Benioff announced many new services and products that were to speed up social app adoption in the enterprise. These products include Chatter Now, Chatter Approvals, Chatter Customer Groups, Chatter Service, and Data.com.
“Our social enterprise vision fundamentally changes how companies collaborate, share and manage information,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO.
This new vision was described as a three step formula. The first step was to create a social customer profile that keeps track of the customer’s social media efforts. These efforts include what they are ‘liking’ on Facebook, what they tweet about on Twitter, who their connections are on LinkedIn and everything else they do on social networks. The next step was to create employee social networks that will deliver information straight to users, instead of the users having to look up information themselves. To help employees at work easily collaborate with one another across the company for a more effective way to engage, sell, and service customers, the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Chatter, Data.com and Force.com help companies to build the private employee social networks. The final step to the formula was to build strong relationships with their customers across the popular social channels by building customer and product social networks. Using Salesforce Radian6 and Database.com companies are able to listen to the web, engage, and analyze what their customers are saying about them. Companies are also able to create apps where people can interact with their brand. These apps can be accessed through any device and use social and mobile technology. With the customer and product social networks, companies can bring their products into any conversation allowing consumers to not only ‘like’ the product, but also to become friends with the product.
Salesforce’s three step formula was established in order to help companies transform into social enterprises. They are doing this by introducing new apps for their Chatter social networks applications including Chatter Now, Chatter Customer Groups, Chatter Approvals, Chatter Service, and Chatter Connect. “One of the biggest things to come out in the past 18 months is the ability to share files right within Chatter,” said Kraig Swensrud, Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce.com. More features that were announced to come out later in the year were Data.com, Touch.salesforce.com, Heroku for Java, and Database.com. Touch.salesforce.com is part of their mobile technologies that allows users to access salesforce.com from mobile devices, mainly smartphones. Users can use this app to run other apps on their devices but still store their information in a cloud.
At the end of the annual conference Marc Benioff told of a new Salesforce License Agreement that would give customers predictable pricing. The agreement included access to Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Radian6, Force.com, Heroku and Database.com. This new social enterprise is not only about connecting companies and employees to their customers through social networks, but now also through mobile devices. They have expanded the way people can connect with others through salesforce.com.
Foursquare is new type of social network that allows users to find where their friends like to hang out at. This location based network is accessed through any mobile device with a GPS system and is a fun way to share tips with friends about what to do at places you have visited. Using your phone you can ‘check-in’ at the various places you visit and Foursquare rewards you with badges, mayorships and points.
Foursquare is a fun way to chat and interact with friends. It is easily accessed by downloading a Foursquare app to you mobile device, or creating an account through Foursquare’s website. In order to eligible for mayorships, it is required to upload a profile picture for your account. When you are rewarded a mayorships, that means that you have checked into a certain place more than any of your friends have in the past 60 days. By becoming the mayor of a business you will be recognized by others on that business’s Foursquare profile page. There are some businesses, like Starbucks, that reward their mayors with discounts or freebies. Companies also use Foursquare as a digital loyalty card to track users who visit their stores. Even if you are not the mayor, if you have visited the store ten times, then some companies with offer you discounts for being a regular, loyal customer.
To check into a place you simply just open the mobile app from your phone and Foursquare will use the GPS to show you stores near your location that you can check-in to. If the place that you are looking for is not on the list of stores, you can easily add it to the list directly from your phone. While using Foursquare you can also link it to your Facebook and Twitter to easily find friends to connect with. Once you have checked into a place, you have the option of sharing your location with your Foursquare friends and also include it on your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Whenever you check- in to a place and do not want to share it with friends, Foursquare will show your location as “off the grid” so that friends will not know your exact location.
What has said to be one of Foursquare’s best features is users ability to leave tips on a store’s venue. People can leave tips for restaurants about the best dish to order, or what is something that people should not order. People also leave tips about things to do at a certain place, or how they can get discounts, and even where clean bathrooms are. Users have the ability to give whatever advice they want about the place they are checked in to. Once someone checks into a place, a pop-up will appear with a past tip from another person who had recently visited the same place you are at. When you leave a tip for others to read, it can be done directly from you phone. If you receive a tip, you have the option to save it, or close out of it. Also if you decide to try the advice that others are giving, you can click a button that says “I have already done this” or you can add a tip to your to do list that will show up the next time you visit that place.
The points that are given to you each time you check into a place are a fun way to compare yourself to the other 1.5 million Foursquare users to see where you stand against them. The more times you check-in to one place, the more points you will be awarded for being there. These points do not stand for anything other than having fun and seeing other Foursquare user’s information. Badges are rewards that are earned when checking in to a place multiple times, or certain places that are sponsored by a company. For example, if you follow the History Channel on your phone and check-in to three of their recommended places, you will receive the Historian badge, or if you check-in to twenty five different stores, you will receive the explorer badge. Like the points, the badges are just a fun way to interact with friends and show off how many badges you have obtained.
To learn more about the features of Foursquare and what all it has to offer, check out this video from the Foursquare website.