Community Management Best Practices in Salesforce: How to Make It Run Smoothly

Community Management Best Practices in Salesforce: How to Make It Run Smoothly

You’ve just become a proud Salesforce community creator and would like it to thrive for a kickoff. The crowd is getting bigger, topics are appearing, and discussions are burning. However, things get hectic and you might feel like something needs to be added to the puzzle… 

Here is a mind-jogger: profound knowledge of community management with Salesforce.  

If you land on this article, you are about to get down to the rock bottom of Salesforce communities and how you can manage them wisely. Are you ready to transform into a been-there-done-that expert? Let’s dive right in.

What is community management?

community social tools community management salesforce

Source: Freepik

Community management represents the multi-layered ways you build, develop, and operate an authentic online community. It all hinges on your business priorities, initial goals, and its specifics. Yet still, a primary objective is constant: gathering fellow thinkers, interacting with them, and kindling a sense of belonging and loyalty among them.  

Salesforce communities may come in diverse flavors. You can shape everything from centralized digital hubs to branch-specific forums to self-service and partner portals. But then again, there’s no one-size-fits-all community – you have to factor in your company objective.

Every so often, the concept is mixed up with social media management. It’s true to a point. On the one hand, they are alike in how you moderate member comments, tag people and add or delete new members. On the other hand, Salesforce communities are much deeper. 

If you run such a community, the following tasks may fall into your hands:

  • Splitting your space into two separate units—external (customers) and internal (teammates and partners);
  • Leading a strictly self-service community, such as an FAQ portal or a forum, where users can find the answers to their questions without waiting for customer support to reply;
  • Connecting third-party services to pull out analytical data if need be;
  • Expanding the community with personalized experiences for every audience.

A logical question might cross your mind before we peek under the hood: what are Salesforce communities? These are certain networks in the Salesforce ecosystem that exist between organizations, their employees, consultancies, and AppExchanges companies. 

Consequently, the prominent example here is the Salesforce Trailblazer community – a place where professional Trailblazers connect, master their skills, share ideas, and provide help to each other. Additionally, there are major Salesforce events, such as Dreamforce, that have already nurtured numerous like-minded people around the world. 

What’s in it for you if you manage a community? We are about to unveil that. 

The benefits of good community management

The name of the game in community management with Salesforce is delivering the best experiences possible to users, making sure they are interested in whatever you have to offer, feel heard, and receive the maximum value of the network. If you do everything smartly, the odds are you reap the greatest benefits:

  • Positive word-of-mouth; 
  • Enhanced customer loyalty; 
  • Real-life, honest customer feedback; 
  • Better understanding of the users’ pain points, demands, and wishes; 
  • Opportunity to polish your product or service based on the Salesforce community users’ insights;  
  • Increased rapport within your community;
  • Improved brand reputation.

Сommunity management strategy: best practices to make it happen

laptop communications

Source: Freepik

Now that you have studied the basics, it’s high time you started to gather patrons around your organization. Even if you don’t have the faintest idea of where to begin with, we have got that covered for you. Comb through this quick cheat sheet to launch a stellar Salesforce community: 

1. Sharing & Caring

As the well-trodden saying goes, sharing – is caring. With Salesforce community portals, you can provide digital experiences to your audiences smartly. First, make sure your network is safe and sound for spreading the information and has all the resources needed. Second, keep in mind that the process can go both ways – for employees and customers/partners: 

1) For employees – design a community where your coworkers can communicate with each other on projects, stay updated on the business news, exchange company-wide knowledge, or discuss intricate customer cases.

In the Salesforce Experience Cloud ecosystem (former Salesforce Community Cloud), one of the examples for these purposes would be Chatter – a modern, Facebook-like social network for sharing expertise, files, and data across an organization.

2) For customers/partners – community management in Salesforce is also set to building relationships and collaborating with brand ambassadors, discovering customer pain points, or pruning customer/partner onboarding (in specific cases).

2. Rating & Acknowledging

Acknowledgment can go a long way for your community members. Consider a rating system for your online hub so that members feel heard and their input is highly appreciated.

Such a system resembles gamification which is the process of assigning points, ratings, or titles to community members for their contributions, such as writing meaningful comments or posting content. 

One of the prominent examples in this context is the Product Hunt community. If you show a day-to-day activity as a newbie, are engaged in discussions, and comment on the folk’s content, the system assigns you Tastemaker badges. This drives you and allows you to show off your products afterward. 

3. Measuring & Planning

Managing a community can’t happen without carefully identifying the most common KPIs. In this case, track member satisfaction, content creation, and overall engagement. During the process, you’ll see areas for improvement that let you configure your bottom line.

Suppose you are a SaaS company, hosting tons of webinars and online events for your community members monthly. What metrics should be taken into account? At the very least, keep close tabs on the number of registrations, levels of engagement during an event, and the number of successful marketing campaigns (pre- and after an event). 

Based on the data retrieved, you can draw adequate conclusions and organize the next community meeting accurately.       

4. Reviewing & Moderating

You can’t launch a community and call it a day. Appoint moderators to check on the hub and members regularly. Plus, moderators should add this activity to their daily routine and you’ll be surprised by the benefits you might yield in the long run: 

  • Rule out irrelevant comments or spam as it sometimes happens;
  • Ensure that the community is running smoothly and people get the assistance they wish for; 
  • Replenish the hub with FAQs missing based on the members’ insights and fine-tune the sense of community.

If you have moderators, the guardians of the community, in place, community management will be a snap for you. They’ll keep your network safe, respectful, and always on topic. Another important question is who should these guys be? It’s simple: your most engaged members! They should realize the values you’re communicating and uphold the pre-defined guidelines.

5. Collaborating & Connecting 

Collaboration is an indispensable element in every Salesforce community. Thanks to the platform’s robust components (such as Feeds), you can avouch collaboration among your digital hub. 

The renowned beauty company, L’Oréal USA, has successfully built portals to provide beauticians and distributor reps with product demos, industry-specific tips, and training materials. 

Collaboration is now not an issue for the corporation because all the parties involved (community managers aka beauty experts included) are as agile as possible, can work together on a dozen processes, and market the products with flying colors.

Bottom line 

Flawless community management in Salesforce is non-negotiable for growing a thriving, human brand. Lucky you! Now you have a full-blown picture of how to implement that after reading this piece! 

So, before the ink is dry on the page, make mental notes: 1) share information across your community wisely, 2) update it regularly, and 3) help users collaborate to nurture a successful network of like-minded people.

The post Community Management Best Practices in Salesforce: How to Make It Run Smoothly appeared first on The Startup Magazine.

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