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The Twitter Effect: 5 key takeaways from Clara Shih’s session with Mike Saldi of Salesforce at #DF13

Over 1.6 billion people on social media… 2X more sharing each year… 14 billion minutes spent on social networks per day.
These figures, shared by Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@clarashih) this week at Dreamforce (#DF13) in San Francisco, underscore the sheer magnitude of social media, and set the stage for an engaging session led by Clara and Mike Saldi (@msaldi), Senior Director, Customer Success at
The packed room listened as Clara told the story of Hearsay Social’s founding, which itself had a series of events on social media to thank. She then spent some time characterizing the business climate today: trust in big business is at an all-time low, partly because social media has given customers a louder voice to air their grievances.

Clara Shih (Hearsay Social) and Mike Saldi (Salesforce) at Dreamforce (#DF13).

At the same time, social media gives businesses an opportunity to amplify their sales and marketing efforts. Here’s how:

1. Empower everyone to be a marketer

People today are more skeptical than ever when it comes to corporate messages. We’re much more likely to engage with content coming from a real person instead of a faceless brand. That’s why, in the age of social media, your employees are some of your best brand ambassadors. Empower them to represent the company and its values by setting guidelines and giving them great messages to share with their networks.

2. Be the expert in your space

If customers don’t want to hear the same corporate messages and see product advertisements, what do they want? Information. Today’s customer wants to be educated, not sold to, so the business that shares the best, most valuable content will naturally rise to the top. And “content” doesn’t just mean your own white papers and blog posts. Tap into great third-party content shared on other sites and blogs; customers will appreciate it.

3. Let your customers do the talking

All over Dreamforce, Mike pointed out, you see customers’ faces and quotes. That’s because Salesforce (and Hearsay Social) understand the power of the customer’s voice. Much more valuable than corporate marketing, advocacy marketing proves that you are a real business having a real impact on how your customers do business.

4. Make your events social

Just as you would through phone, email, and Web, it’s essential to use social media to engage your audience before, during, and after events. Salesforce does this with Dreamforce, Hearsay Social does this with our own events. By making your events social, you not only enrich them while they’re happening, but you ensure that customers keep receiving value long after the event has ended. Keep the conversation going.

5. Record, re-use, re-mix, re-tell, re-share

If you write one blog post, that’s good. If you write one blog post and share it across your social networks, that’s great. What’s even better? Write one blog post, share it across networks, ask your friends and colleagues to read and share it, recreate it in different formats, host an event to discuss the topic… You get the idea. Squeeze the most out of every campaign by repurposing it in as many ways as possible.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the session and participated in the tweets below!