Cloudforce – Social Media Speakeasy

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I wanted to do a followup about the Cloudforce conference last week and touch on a few things.

The most important, in my opinion is Salesforce’s attention to “The Social Enterprise”.  What is very interesting is that not only are they selling it, but they are also doing it.

I’m pretty involved with the Salesforce community.  Over the past six months I’ve noticed their ability to respond to community requests and questions increase dramatically.  I’m involved in a few different forums, and my concerns have been heard quickly.  In some instances, they have a quick answer, and in other instances, I am refered to someone who does.  Sometimes, this person ends up being pretty high up the Salesforce food chain.  I’ve been getting the feeling that they are really listening.  It’s a great way to have a relationship!

About a week before Cloudforce, Salesforce invited me to a special event.  It was called the “Social Media Speakeasy”.  I was honored and humbled to be considered one of the brand influencers and graciously accepted.  Upon arrival, I thought I’d be dining with a bunch of Salesforce community members, but instead I was sitting at a table of elite social media professionals.  Community and Brand managers from popular internet startups, to media companies, and some big players in the social media space (a Facebook VP & Radian 6 C level folk).

Besides being wowed and amazed by the fantastic food, even more interesting was the conversation.  People at my table were discussing some pretty high level concepts, tools and techniques.  They discussed challenges that they’ve had in their business.  What was very interesting is that many social media challenges are universal.  From my history in the nonprofit space, it turns out many of the same questions they were asking were the same questions that fortune 500 companies are asking.

It was encouraging to say the least.  We’re all in it together.  Whether our title is “Community Manager”, “Principal”, or “Just Some Employee”, our challenges and responsibilities are the same.  We have all been given the ability to amplify our life and brand.  The tools are there, and now… very affordable.  The question is, what are we going to do with them?  How can we push the envelope?  How do we maximize our potential?

I was very excited to be invited to this event and walked away with a full stomach, a lot of laughs, some interesting ideas, and a few new friends.  I must take a minute to thank the innovators at Salesforce who got us all together in a room together to meet up.  It was an extension of their own Social Enterprise strategy.  Get people together to collaborate, learn, and have fun.  If that was the mission statement of the Speakeasy, than I would consider it a blazing success.  Thanks to my friends at Salesforce, and for all my new friends that I made that evening.

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