Skip to content

Customer success in the digital era at Dreamforce 2014

IMG_0073_croppedDreamforce, Salesforce’s annual tech show and music festival, took over the streets of San Francisco last week–and Hearsay Social was there in full force.
Not only did our resident DJ/Corporate Communications Manager Ronny Kerr (@ronnykerr) drop the wax at one of the after-parties, but the rest of the team was there to see and be seen and learn about the future of SaaS from one of the greatest cloud companies in the industry.
Keynote speakers hailed from across backgrounds, including Hillary Rodham Clinton (Former Secretary of State), Al Gore (45th Vice President of the United States), Marc Andreessen (Co-founder and Partner, Andreessen Horowitz), and Reid Hoffman (Co-Founder of LinkedIn).
Here are three key takeaways from the event:

Customer focus

Anthony Robbins, a life coach, self-help author, and motivational speaker, spoke with the audience about how businesses should treat customers in the way an individual treats loved ones. If you don’t address issues and work together toward better solutions, then the relationship won’t last.
In his keynote, Salesforce Founder, Chairman, and CEO Marc Benioff announced the Customer Success Platform, which aims to better connect customers through sales, customer service, marketing, communities, apps, and analytics.

Digital shift in financial services

As we discuss regularly on the Hearsay Social blog, there are many changes afoot in the financial services industry affecting how firms do business and how clients expect to be served.
One example demonstrated at Dreamforce: Berkshire Hathaway transitioned its new travel protection insurance to be almost fully automated on digital allowing customers to collect claims almost instantly. In this new mobile-social era, financial services teams need to evaluate digital solutions by first finding the right people to build a process that can pick a vendor that’s a partner and not just a vendor that completed the best-looking RFP.

Industry focus

Another topic that recurred at Dreamforce was Salesforce’s shifting its partner ecosystem to focus on vertical-specific apps. With customer success crucial to the company’s overall mission, Salesforce knows it needs to optimize its platform and solutions for various industries, including financial services, healthcare, and life sciences.
Overall, the theme of the show was all about customer focus in the digital era. Whether it’s managing a pipeline with Sales Cloud, a new product launch with Marketing Cloud or keeping customers happy with Service Cloud, Salesforce’s dedication to customer success is clear.


Not only is Salesforce committed to the cloud, but it is also committed to caring. Hearsay Social attendees and hundreds of thousands of others met Marc Benioff’s challenge to donate a million meals during the show. Salesforce’s mission of improving public education and supporting our military vets was also an inspiration to us all.

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!

How to grow business with Twitter? Join and Hearsay Social at Dreamforce 2013 to find out

UPDATE: The room for this session has changed to Telegraph Hill (4th Floor) at the InterContinental.
In the social media era, everyone at your company is a marketer.
Today’s most innovative companies are taking advantage of this new communication paradigm by empowering their employees to be brand ambassadors and amplify the company message.
How can your business do the same? Find out how the first day of Dreamforce by attending The Twitter Effect: Using Social Sales and PR to Amp Your Growth, a session led by Mike Saldi (@msaldi, Senior Director, Customer Success at and Clara Shih (@clarashih, CEO, Hearsay Social).

These two thought leaders, both from Silicon Valley tech companies, will share innovative ways to leverage Twitter to amplify the value and reach of PR activity to ultimately increase business. Leveraging her first-hand experience from Hearsay Social, Salesforce, Google, as well as lessons learned from empowering over 55,000 financial representatives on social media, Clara will highlight the most effective ways to leverage social media across the enterprise to boost sales and marketing success. Additionally, Mike will talk about how he has seen Salesforce customers succeed in using Twitter to grow their businesses.
Note: You must first register as a Dreamforce attendee in order to view details and register your seat in this session, so click the link below to register!
The Twitter Effect: Using Social Sales and PR to Amp Your Growth
Where: InterContinental San Francisco, Telegraph Hill (4th Floor)
When: Monday, November 18th, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

In addition to the above, Mike will also be leading another session, Executive Sponsorship for Chatter & Communities, which we’re sure will be a hit. If you can’t make Clara’s session, you can still meet up with us. Let us know you’re in town!

Unveiling Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce at Dreamforce ‘12

With tens of thousands of people descending on San Francisco for Dreamforce ‘12, it couldn’t be a more amazing time to be working on next-generation technology in Silicon Valley.
We at Hearsay Social are especially excited today to announce Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce, enabling financial services, healthcare, and retail organizations to fully embrace the socially connected enterprise in the cloud while adhering to industry regulations and corporate governance.
Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce will soon be available on’s AppExchange, and includes FINRA, SEC, FTC, IIROC, FSA, and FDA compliance coverage across the Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Chatter.
[Ed. note: Hearsay Social will have a booth all day today at the Financial Services Industry Day (at the Grand Hyatt) to discuss this announcement and more. Additionally, Hearsay Social will be sharing extra details and compliance expertise in a special Dreamforce session tomorrow, September 19. This session will take place in the Ralston Ballroom at the Palace Hotel from 3 — 4 PM.]

Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce

Fortune 1000 organizations are eager to embrace LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, foursquare, and Chatter, but they want to do so in a way that adheres to industry regulations and corporate governance. We know this because our customers have been asking for a seamless way to compliantly engage in the socially connected enterprise, and this is what we have delivered with Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce.
Ziegler, a full-service investment bank serving institutional, retail, and commercial clients, is one of the first Hearsay Social customers to enjoy the benefits of our new offering. Sid Bhatnagar, Vice President of Business Applications at Ziegler, has already called our new product “an essential component” of his social enterprise’s architecture.
Here are the key product features to expect from Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce:

Hearsay Social Compliance for Sales Cloud

Navigate social accounts, contacts, and conversations in a compliant manner. Hearsay Social Compliance captures and archives social conversations to help your organization comply with business records and communications with the public regulations set by various regulatory bodies in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Hearsay Social Compliance for Service Cloud

Maintain complete compliance while offering a world-class customer service experience. Hearsay Social Compliance automatically captures and archives customer communications as agents are assigned to and resolve cases on any of the social networks.

Hearsay Social Compliance for Marketing Cloud

Boost your brand power by aligning marketing messaging across the organization. Hearsay Social Compliance protects financial firms’ registered representatives from regulatory risk by retaining records of social media interactions deemed advertisements, which require pre-approval by a Registered Principal.

Hearsay Social Compliance for Chatter

Capture and archive conversations for business records and eDiscovery requests with Hearsay Social Compliance.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about Hearsay Social Cloud Compliance for Salesforce, be sure to visit our booth today at the Financial Services Industry Day (at the Grand Hyatt) or catch our presentation at Dreamforce tomorrow, September 19. The session will take place in the Ralston Ballroom at the Palace Hotel (directions below) from 3 — 4 PM. Or simply get in touch if you’d like to see a demo of our new product.

Thanks for coming to our session at Dreamforce 2011!

It was a true honor and pleasure coming back to #DF11 last week. It sure was a lot less hectic this time as an outside guest speaker versus running these sessions in my former life as an SFDC employee! SFDC really outdid itself this year – over 45,000 attendees and unveiling of the social enterprise. Hearsay Social was in great company along with fellow social media mavens Charlene Li (aka @charleneli), Jeremiah Owyang (aka @jowyang), Gary Vaynerchuk (aka @garyvee), and many others.
On Thursday, Marcus Nelson (Director of Social Media at, aka @marcusnelson) and I presented to a standing-room only crowd on the latest case studies, how-to’s, and tips on Facebook marketing and sales.
In case you missed it, my presentation slides are below. I walked through my five favorite real-world examples of brands succeeding on Facebook.
After the session, I did a book-signing. (In addition to featuring guest chapters from both Charlene and Jeremiah, The Facebook Era was recently translated into its ninth language, Russian!) For those who were unable to get a book, here is the listing on Amazon.
Thank you again for coming out and look forward to seeing you at my next event (see complete list here).

Clara Shih Dreamforce Clara Shih Dreamforce

Clara Shih Dreamforce & Hearsay Social Mashup – no empty seat at Dreamforce panel

Clara Shih & Marcus Nelson DreamforceFirst, an incredible fact: Facebook users throughout the world spend a total of 500 billion minutes on the social media site each month, up from 150 billion total minutes last year. That means that each of Facebook’s 750 million users spends, on average, more than 11 hours on Facebook each month. Yes, you read that correctly: 11 hours.
Yesterday, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih presented with’s Director of Social Media, Marcus Nelson, at Dreamforce. I had the pleasure to attend, but I had to stand, as there wasn’t an empty seat in the room as the two spoke about Facebook 101: Maximizing Your Time and Money.
Marcus began the session by pointing out what you should know when your company is getting started on social media. My key takeaways:

  • People share things on social media because they expect that you’re listening and engaging with them. If your customers follow you, they expect you to take an interest in them, too.
  • A content strategy is crucial. Your content needs to provide value to your customers; content that strictly sells or funnels your customers into your sales pipeline doesn’t encourage your customers to engage with you.
  • EdgeRank (Facebook’s algorithm) affects the reach of your posts. It ranks on relevancy, which is based on your affinity to the author (the frequency at which you visit a profile), weight (the number of comments and likes a post has,) and decay (the amount of time since a post was made). Facebook only ends up showing the top 3-5 most interesting posts at any given time.
  • Most fans never even see posts on your Business Page – they only see them in their feed after the initial post. In fact, 96% of your fans never return to your Facebook Business Page.

Clara then took the stage and, armed with her research from writing The Facebook Era, highlighted a few tips for companies trying to promote their Business Page:

  • You must think and act like a consumer. Social media sites are for sharing and interacting. What do you like to see or read about? Why would your customers be any different? Listen to what they’re saying and make sure your posts are relevant to them.
  • Facebook Business Pages are the new company website for SMBs.
    • If you run a small business, you probably don’t have the time or resources to set up and maintain a full blown website. Instead, use Facebook to spread the word about promotions and interact with your customers.
    • Medium to large brands should use Facebook Connect to offer a more personalized experience on their websites. This allows your customers to see which of their friends “like” your Page or are interacting with you, building trust by association.
    • Schedule and target your posts. When do you notice that your fans are commenting on or “liking” your posts? Maximize your reach by scheduling your posts during these optimal times.
    • Encourage fans to return to your Page. Do you offer a daily news item? A customer photo of the day? No more than 1 in 5 posts should ever be about your company or product.
Clara Shih Facebook Era Book Signing
Clara stuck around after her session to sign copies of her book.