Salesforce’s Revamped Social Studio Includes Tighter Integration With Sales And Customer Service

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Salesforce.com is unveiling a new version of the Social Studio, its set of social media tools for marketers.

When the company first announced the Social Studio earlier this year, it seemed like a way to bring its various social media acquisitions under one (metaphorical) roof. (The full name of the product was the Radian6 + Buddy Media Social Studio.)

In advance of today’s launch, Michael Lazerow, the chief strategy officer for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud (who joined through the acquisition of Buddy Media), told me that the big vision is to treat “social as a horizontal layer to everything we do.” In other words, it’s not just about creating tools for a single social media team, but rather including social media features in all of Salesforce’s major products.

“Every salesperson is social, executives are social,” Lazerow added. “It’s really about integrating it everywhere. You still have best practices, and a social marketing team to coordinate that, but the technology and workflow is being embedded into the business.”

In practice, as demonstrated for me by Gregg Johnson (the Marketing Cloud’s senior vice president of product management), this means the Social Studio is expanding beyond Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud, where it started, and integrating with the Service Cloud and the Sales Cloud.

The social marketing steam is still handling most of the initial filtering and interactions, but if there’s a complex or difficult customer service problem, they can now hit the “Send to Service Cloud” button, where it becomes another ticket for the customer service team to handle.

And from the customer service perspective, they get the full social media history of the company’s interactions with a given customer, and they can either respond directly on social, or they can move them into email or one of their other channels. (Lazerow noted that these social customer service features are being provided for free, which he argued is a sign of their importance to Salesforce.)

Similarly, it’s now possible to send potential leads over to the Sales Cloud — where again, the salesperson can see the full context of the company’s social media interactions with the lead.

Part of what’s powering all this is improved social listening — as Lazerow put it, the new interface “brings Radian6 fully into the Social Studio.” In the demo, Johnson showed me the ability to track mentions of different keywords and topics over time, as well as the sentiment of those comments and the influence of the people making them.

Everything that Lazerow and Johnson demonstrated is supposed to be available now, although some of the integrations are still in beta testing and aren’t scheduled to go into general availability until early next year.

“A lot of companies have been talking about this, but no one else has this stack, with an engaged team that invented this space still working on it,” Lazerow said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I’m working harder now than I did as a startup.”