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Use the Salesforce Success Community to Build Your Own Community

 

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Ebsta News
Business is cut-throat, competitive and for the majority of the time, unwilling to answer your vying questions. It is a place that can be, at times, the loneliest of all. So when Salesforce decided that they didn’t want their Users grappling with this loneliness and began the Success Community, it was almost an instant hit. Now, over 10 years on, it has become the business equivalent to a social media platform –  a User specific platform that is kind, helpful and more than willing to answer your vying questions. Here’s the reasons why the Success Community has had such a huge impact on Users and how you can build your own community using Salesforce as your inspiration:

Influencing SMBs

Dominating business leaders like Salesforce can have a direct influence over SMBs across the globe. SMBs are far less likely to take a gamble with an idea in case it fails and they lose money; companies like Salesforce, however, think differently. Since the birth of the Salesforce Success Community, other organisations have seen the need and the value of having a ‘community’ that they can collaborate and connect with and began building their own. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, think back to when the larger companies invested their time and energy into the likes of Twitter and Facebook – most SMBs followed suit over time. Here at Ebsta, we believe in having communities in business. After all, we spend the majority of our time at work so having the support, opinions and knowledge of people that really care, is imperative to constantly improving our Salesforce email integration products and that’s why we’ve began our own community. We engage with our 40,000 customers to ensure that we can bring them the products that answer their biggest challenges; not that makes us the most money. We want them involved in the entirety of our journey from Case Studies, Salesforce email integration training webinars, events and blogs that can share their story like our NPO blog on Bicycles for Humanity. This allows us to build strong, long-lasting relationships and ensuring you gain very real and honest perspectives that can propel both your company and your customers to success.

The Success Community Journey

Building the Salesforce Community was a gradual process; it started in 2005 and has had continuous growth over the last decade. It was initially called ‘CRM Success’ then ‘Success Force’ before finally finding its feet with ‘Salesforce Success Community’. In 2007, Salesforce opened a voting system where members could vote for enhancements to products; involving customers in this way engages them and undoubtedly increases adoption. As a start-up with a small team, we’ve learnt that it’s far more beneficial to get products ‘out the door’ and gauge a reaction from our customers such as features they’d change, ways they’d like them improved and things that aren’t working for them. This way, we can can gain an input from the people that we’re actually building these products for whilst having them part of the Ebsta journey in the process. The consecutive years after 2007 saw the first Salesforce Success Community keynote at Dreamforce followed by the introduction of the prestigious MVP programme in 2010. Both have extended the reach of the Salesforce Success Community and improved its impact on the world of Salesforce. Now, MVPs are invited to speak at Salesforce events, guest blog on partner sites and overall, help, inspire and motivate fellow Users. Salesforce have implemented a way for Users to achieve something by going the extra mile which is not only a positive way of engaging Users but an exceptional marketing tool. MVPs

Breaking the Norm

Before the Salesforce Success Community, Users would take to the likes of Twitter or LinkedIn to voice their challenges with the platform. Although these channels have proven to be successful channels for sharing tips and answering questions, the Salesforce Success Community shows what could be achieved:
  • Answers
  • Help and Training
  • Events
  • Collaboration
  • Ideas
  • Featured Groups
You too can build a community that combines all of these things on a smaller scale. These are just a few ways that you can do this: allow your blogs to be commented on so people can ask any burning questions, start webinars with partners or MVPs to give hacks or solutions to the biggest customer pain points or do a survey or a poll on Twitter to engage customers. (We’ve put together a ‘Resources’ for Salesforce email integration Users) There are, of course, similarities from the successful social media set-up. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you can create groups and in Twitter, you can group things together using hashtags or create an account for a group or on LinkedIn. All of these are effective ways of building your own community and engaging with people. The Salesforce Success Community have done all of this on their own platform with their ‘User Groups’ that are ran entirely by their community. With over 235 User Groups ranging from Admin User Groups to Women in Tech, there’s a group for available to anyone. In the recent weeks, the very first Pardot User Group for London has began bringing Users together to get the most out of the marketing automation tool. With inspiring speakers lined up and a calendar brimming with events, it proves that Salesforce is continuing to expand it’s reach across the world.

Business Communities Popularity

So why are communities like the Salesforce Success Community so popular? There are two ways to look at this –
  • From the business building the community
  • From the members of the community
Take the first perspective of the business building their community. They get to:
  • Speak to more customers
  • Gain insight into customers’ true opinions of your company
  • See customers’ biggest challenges
  • Understand the direction your product/service needs to go in
  • Generate joint partnerships for webinars etc
  • Have the opportunity to tell their customers stories
  • Build events for your Users
  • Encourage people to talk about their community
Take the second perspective of the members from the community. They get to:
  • Have a dedicated place to go to for resources
  • Ask any questions that they want without having to call or email
  • Find any solutions without having to scour the web
  • Build working relationships with like-minded people
  • Give opinions on product changes that can better their work life
  • Get involved with companies that they love
Fundamentally, we all know that nice feeling we get when we’re part of something regardless of whether it’s at work or in our free time and when it can have a positive impact on our work life, it’s an even nicer prospect.

The Ultimate Success

Using the Salesforce Success Community is hugely valuable for any Salesforce User, I for one, have connected with an array of different people in a short amount of time. Building these working relationships has allowed me to collaborate with them on marketing projects and helped me with my early experiences of Trailhead and gained a huge amount of feedback on our Salesforce email integration tools. As an SMB, being able to engage with your customer community is imperative to the success and continuous improvement of your company. Use the Salesforce Success story and make it your own. For top tips on how to get the most out of the Salesforce Success Community, watch our webinar recording with MVP Chris Edwards.

Katrina Holmes

Hey, I'm the Content Manager at Ebsta responsible for creating and maintaining our web content, blogs and our hip 'n' happening social media presence.

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