Having acquired the social-media monitoring firm Radian6 earlier this year, Salesforce.com is now rolling out the Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud. The company said the new offering, integrated into Salesforce's platform and apps, will help companies to fundamentally change how they do business in the era of social media, by transforming social conversations into "meaningful engagements."
To accomplish this, the Social Marketing Cloud offers key functions of Social Monitoring, Social Insights, Social Engagement, Social Workflow and Social Web sites. Linking this platform to existing customer information creates what Salesforce describes as "a social hub."
Volume, Analysis, Engagement
One of the biggest challenges of using social media is the sheer volume of conversations. Salesforce said Radian6's Social Monitoring technology allows companies to capture 150 million sources of social media, in 17 languages, across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, other online communities and other sources.
After volume, of course, there's the need for cutting through the chatter to find useful information. The Social Insights component uses intelligent dashboards and sophisticated analytics to find relevant conversations and conduct analysis. Social Insights is designed to accommodate third-party tools from Klout, OpenAmplify and OpenCalais, as well as provide additional data about demographics, influence, geolocation, sentiment and topic categorization.
To engage with customers and potential customers, the Social Engagement Console also uses outside data, including Trending Topics from Twitter, Bit.ly stats about shared links and other information. The Social Workflow component helps to organize the massive traffic via analysis and rules, including the ability to create social-media campaigns based on customer interests.
And, to create Web sites for more extensive information and contact, Social Web sites provides drag-and-drop tools for developing, editing, and managing sites without bothering the IT people. The content management system enables the addition of social features, such as Twitter streams.
In recent years, Salesforce has been positioning itself as a leader in cloud-based, socially enhanced services. At the Dreamforce 2011 annual event in the summer, for instance, the company said that "companies are completely changing the way they collaborate, communicate and share information with customers and employees in the cloud -- transforming themselves into social enterprises."
This transformation, the company said, leverages social, mobile, and open cloud computing. The key components of transforming a company into a social enterprise, according to CEO Marc Benioff, are socially oriented customer profiles in order to follow what customers are looking for, a social network for employees, and a social network for customers and the dissemination of products.
In addition to the $300 million acquisition of Radian6 in May, Salesforce has been busy acquiring or announcing other social media assets. In September, for instance, it bought Assistly for $50 million, in order to allow corporate customers to quickly provision socially-based customer service as needed.
Salesforce said that Radian6, started in 2006, has a customer base of more than 2500 companies, including AAA, GE, GEICO, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, and others.
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