February, 2011 by Jason English, Regional Director, Bluewolf

Poor Jay Cutler.

Not only did the Chicago Bears quarterback play one of his worst football games on the biggest stage of his career, the NFC Championship Game, but he was called out by fans, the media, and members of his football fraternity.

And those players chose social media, primarily Twitter, to voice their distrust of Cutler when he left the game due to a mysterious leg injury. Was he dogging it? Did he quit on his team? Why isn’t he using crutches or have his knee wrapped in ice if he’s so hurt? It’s the NFC Championship Game!!!

The convergence of social media and the National Football League will continue this Super Bowl Sunday, but with an interesting twist.  Salesforce.com plans to spend millions on two commercials touting. its social media for the enterprise offering called Chatter.

How interesting.

Apart from a few airline magazine ads in the early 2000s, this is salesforce.com’s first direct-to-consumer advertising blitz. Talk about going big. They’ve held off on traditional advertising methods all these years…so why the Super Bowl? And why Chatter?

At Bluewolf, we are still making our way through the rights and wrongs of using Chatter day-to-day. It’s obvious that salesforce.com is “all-in” with Chatter. Their messaging the last six months proves it. The fact they are spending millions on commercials for the Super Bowl proves it too.

So in the spirit of the Super Bowl here are a few tips on implementing Chatter (these tips were just unveiled a few months ago):

Salesforce Chatter Tip 1:  Define Business Rules
Draw your box and make it clear to your users what’s inside the Chatter box and what’s outside. Companies that have simply turned Chatter on (because it’s so easy to do) have struggled with really driving effective usage because there’s a lack of clarity on what Chatter should be used for. Do I use it to simply post questions to my colleagues? Am I really expected to post status updates on what I’m doing in my job?

Some valuable use cases for inside the Chatter box include defining business rules around things such as:

  • Using it to collaborate around a sales opportunity
  • Using it to post updates about a service request
  • Using it between colleagues or managers and direct reports as the primary mechanism for asking them to follow-up on next steps related to a prospect or account.

The point is, if you don’t clearly define what’s inside your Chatter box, there will be confusion on when to use it and when not to use it, and likely no one will end up using it.

Salesforce Chatter Tip 2: Clarify Using Chatter vs. Email
Similar to #1, but define what is Chatter-worthy versus what is still email-worthy. It is very easy to mix the two. When do I check or send an email versus posting something on Chatter? Generally speaking, people hate checking and responding to email. With Chatter, you’ve added another layer of interaction and another tool for your team to monitor. You’ve got to make it clear when to use email and when to use Chatter.

Salesforce Chatter Tip 3: User Adoption Training
Don’t forget the training. No one needed to be trained on Facebook, I know. But Chatter is a different ballgame in the sense that it’s supposed to help you be more productive where we all spend the majority of our lives – work. How to properly setup a profile, what Chatter Groups make the most sense to join, and what kinds of status updates are appropriate to make will all drive effective usage. User-adoption-training doesn’t have to be an all-day affair, but if you incorporate these 3 tips into your training, there will be clear direction moving forward.

One thing I wouldn’t put inside your Chatter-box is calling out colleagues, even if it looks like they’re not being good teammates.

Apparently, that’s what Twitter is for.

SOURCE: Bluewolf (Sima Thakkar | Bluewolf | SEM Manager | 415.692.4405)

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