Social Media for Hospitality on Salesforce

Social Media has changed the way that you communicate with your guests, competitors and partners, such as agencies or meeting planners. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed you to engage with customers in a much more intimate way. Conversely, or if you fail to engage properly, the conversation will still happen and may exclude you completely. It is critical to make social media as natural an extension of your business as traditional marketing channels, operations or sales.
 
Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook (link) is a free Salesforce.com App which can tie social media into your existing customer relationship management and sales force automation business process. Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook installs directly into Salesforce.com allowing the management of the company Facebook fan page and Twitter account. Facebook Likes are passed to Salesforce.com and users can post to and respond to tweets. Information is stored contextually with the lead or contact associated with the like post or tweet.
Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook
Some of the key features of Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook:
  • Manage the Facebook fan page and Twitter Account from within Salesforce.com
  • Post updates from within Salesforce and maintain a contextual record of the resulting conversations
  • Create leads, accounts and contacts from Facebook Likes and Twitter Posts
  • Integrate marketing campaigns into Facebook and Twitter messaging
  • Standardize messaging with validated accounts and templates
  • Create ad hoc and scheduled searches of Twitter keywords and hashtags
  • Create cases from Twitter and Facebook Posts
Like most Salesforce functionality, Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook can be configured and customized to automate countless business process. This includes configuration of what to do when a search finds a relevant tweet or using a template for consistent messaging. Here are some examples of how Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook can be used to solve common hospitality business challenges:
 
Example 1 – Social Case Management
Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook can create cases when a guest reports a negative experience. This case creation can be manual or automatic and leverages Salesforce.com’s case management capabilities, including assignment rules, escalations, and reporting. In addition, through the use of built-in scheduled searches, cases can be created from posts and tweets with negative sentiment that don’t include the company against which the complaint is made.
The agent can respond directly to the tweet though Salesforce.com and tweet, account, contact and response are all stored together giving a complete view of the customer experience. The hotel can measure the service performance, response time and work load as it would any other channel – phone, email and front desk.
 Tweet to Case
A service issue is published in as a tweet. A scheduled search finds the tweet and a Salesforce.com case is created.
Example 2 – Social Media Conversations
Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook can be used as a platform for establishing and managing social media conversations. A company can proactively tweet or post messages and manage the resulting conversation through Salesforce.com. This has several benefits including measuring the effectiveness of messaging and establishing a contextual view of a customer’s engagement – including phone conversations, email and now, social media.
For example, Hotel ABC decides to post an update about their latest week-end get-away promotion. By using Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook, this post is made to Twitter, Facebook and Chatter for internal users. Potential guests tweet responses and questions in Twitter or Post response and questions in Facebook. The hotelier can manage the resulting conversations in the Salesforce.com platform.
Example 3 – Real-time Market Intelligence
By monitoring customer, partner and competitor market intelligence, a marketer can develop a picture of market conditions and identify potential opportunities. Twitter searches can be set-up with the names of competitors and their products or just those of the general market. By including various terms and hashtags, it may be possible to build a profile of your competitors’ social landscape.
For example, if a customer or customers post negative feedback on a wedding that was held at competitive venue, that intelligence can be used to progress further sales. This can be done by differentiating the offering in a way that highlights the competitors’ weakness.
Example 4 – Account Development
Understanding the activities of your top accounts is key to developing meaningful relationships and providing them with relevant offerings. By creating automated searches that return social media activity for accounts and partners, the marketer can leverage this knowledge to generate additional demand.
For example, search your top accounts or target accounts for company meeting or customer conference announcements. If the customer has a negotiated rate in place, proactively reach out to let the customer know about it. If the customer announces a customer conference at a competitive venue, create a lead for the following year and begin developing a strategy to win the business.
Installation & Configuration
The installation of Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook is straight forward. It’s free and can be installed on Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer orgs. At the time of this writing the Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook App has three out of five stars on the AppExchange and many of the negative posts are related to installation, configuration and documentation. The configuration of the installed application can be a bit confusing and may require the assistance of an experienced consultant. Even more so, developing a strategy for proper social engagement may best be left to those that have done this before.
It is critical to configure Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook correctly. If searches are set up too broadly you can bring in too much irrelevant data while missing the important data. Too broad a search can bring in thousands of conversations with little to no relevance.

Alternative Options

Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud
Salesforce.com offers a more robust offering with Marketing Cloud (Link). Salesforce.com acquired Radian6 in 2010 and Buddy Media and ExactTarget in 2012. The marketing cloud offers social media management, email marketing and associated analytics. This offers much a more substantial ability to engage with customers and should be a consideration for any company looking to engage in Social Media. Marketing Cloud provides many more analytic capabilities. It allows for trends and topic analysis and builds more complex and relevant monitoring than Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook.
Unlike Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook, Marketing Cloud is not free with your Salesforce Sales Cloud license. Let your Salesforce.com account executive know if you’re interested in looking at Marketing Cloud.
Hootsuite
HootSuite (Link) is a leading social media dashboard and management tool. They offer free and paid versions of their social media product . Hootsuite integrates with additional social networks including LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and WordPress. The integration between Hootsuite and Salesforce can create leads, cases and provides bi-directional data visibility. The integration between Hootsuite and Salesforce.com is available on the Hootsuite App Directory and costs $4.99/month.
Other Options
The list of social media monitoring and engagement utilities is extensive and many of them integrate at some level with Salesforce.com. When considering these other options, here are a few questions you may want to ask:
– What social media channels are you monitoring? (take note of the section below on “other” channels)
– Does the solution offer the ability to create cases, leads and contacts in Salesforce.com?
– Does the solution offer analytics and do these analytics incorporate CRM data in Salesforce.com?
– Is the integration real-time / near-real-time?
– What is the cost/licensing fee for the solution?
– Is there additional cost for the integration?
– What is the complexity of installation and maintenance?
Hospitality Social Media Channels
Twitter and Facebook are the leading social media platforms; however, in hospitality the review sites such as TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz and Yelp are where much of the conversation is taking place. Unfortunately, many of these site do not have a Salesforce.com integration and generally may not have a compelling interest in developing one. It is still valuable to track these channels and get the data under management in Salesforce.com, but at this point it will still be partially manual. Below are a few steps that can be taken to automate and track review site postings:
– If the service offers email notification of postings, leverage Salesforce.com Email-to-Case functionality to get the data into Salesforce.com
– Configure Salesforce.com to manage these cases taking into account the unique nature of the case leveraging features such as record type to develop a custom business process
Next Steps
If you’re interested in implementing Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook you can download the application right on the AppExchange. Kloudhaven (site) offers Salesforce consulting tailored for hospitality and can help guide you with experienced advisement.
Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch or call 603-583-0290.

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