Community engagement is a two-way street, and Salesforce facilitates communication with your constituents while also giving your people a chance to reciprocate the connection by sharing feedback, getting involved in community events and initiatives, and building their networks with Salesforce Experience Cloud.
Salesforce Community is a portal designed for a group with a shared goal or mission, and it offers a streamlined way for community members to stay in touch with the community's engagement team or leaders - and with each other. Experience Cloud is Salesforce's digital experience platform that can quickly build websites, portals, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints to engage with customers and digitize business processes at lightning speed.
Salesforce Experience Cloud functions as your content management system.
To succeed in the leap towards digital transformation, businesses need to get their experiences to market fast, create personalized and actionable customer interactions, and make consistent touchpoints across the multichannel customer journey. The Experience Cloud mission and roadmap were developed to meet these requirements, and many organizations use Experience Cloud to streamline systems, align teams, accelerate digital adoption, and crush a year's worth of data in a single quarter.
To foster a strong community, Salesforce community managers can encourage ongoing conversations, ensure questions posed to the community are never left unanswered, and host virtual meet-ups like Q&As and team challenges where members can share experiences regardless of their location. Additionally, community managers can use the community to solicit feedback from members and then implement that feedback when it's sound. By encouraging this dialogue and sharing updates about changes or decisions made as a direct result of members' suggestions, community managers can build trust and show that they value their community's input.
With Salesforce you can develop multiple connected experiences – from the website, to portals, to warranty registration sites. New sites, built on Experience Cloud, can include a customer support site connected to Service Cloud, a building and remodeling site for B2B distributors, and a site for consumers to enroll products and purchase warranties. All with self-service tools that significantly reduce the load on service agents and sales representatives.
In strong communities, people are constantly interacting with each other and exchanging ideas. Replicate this in your Salesforce community by encouraging relevant, ongoing conversations. You can nurture these conversations by ensuring questions posed to the community are never left unanswered. Sometimes the answers will come from your team and sometimes they’ll come from other community members. Either way, it builds confidence in your community as a valuable resource when you keep the conversation going with as little lag as possible. You can also create the atmosphere and goodwill of an in-person community gathering by hosting virtual meet-ups like Q&As and team challenges where members can chime in and share an experience regardless of their geographic location.
Another way to make your community a hot spot is to use it to solicit feedback from members, and then (this is the important part!) implement that feedback when it’s sound. Post survey links, use the poll feature in Chatter (yep, Chatter is available in communities), start discussions, and monitor posts for unsolicited feedback, too. By encouraging this dialogue and sharing updates about changes or decisions made as a direct result of members’ suggestions, you build trust and show your community members that their opinions matter and that they are an integral part of the institution.
Establishing your community as a home base for relevant information and documents deepens your members’ connection to the space as well. And helping your community members help themselves saves your team time, too! Create groups for specific events and topics where members can find key dates and campus news, among other details. Curate file repositories to make popular forms and documents easy to access and download. You can also use Salesforce Knowledge to create a database of articles that answer FAQs or provide step-by-step directions to help your members complete complicated processes successfully. Creating topics in Salesforce Knowledge lets you group articles by topic and/or keywords so your help content is easily searchable, eliminating the dreaded unending scroll and click routine.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to use cases for communities. Once you come up with an idea for how to implement a community at your organization it’s really important to be clear on what you want to accomplish by inviting members into a new community and how you will measure success.
Goals are great, but your metrics are going to be the actual nitty gritty information that you are constantly monitoring to assess those goals. It can sometimes be challenging to identify the correct metrics, especially when you’re just starting out. Here are three very common, fool-proof metrics that you can start with.
First is your content: this is any information that you share in your community. One very basic metric would be monitoring if your content is being used or consumed. You can measure this via file downloads, likes, shares and comments.
Another common metric is community engagement. This can be measured through your overall membership growth as well as user participation tracking with things like posts, comments, and general activity.
Finally, you should measure whether your community is creating value. This metric will depend largely on your goal and what you define as value. One example of increased value as a result of creating a community might be increased participation by members in volunteer opportunities.
Once you’ve identified goals and associated some relevant metrics to track, it can be helpful to set a reporting schedule. As always, needs can vary from one community to another but here are some general guidelines on recommended reporting cadences for community metrics.
MetricFrequencyCommunity GrowthMonthly or DailyMembership RetentionMonthlyContent Downloads/Likes/SharesQuarterlyProgrammatic ImpactQuarterlyCase ImpactQuarterly Salesforce provides all the tools your advancement team needs to build communities that are informative, easy to navigate, and fun to visit. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your constituents engage.