Sometimes writing about the hype surrounding Twitter is like beating a dead horse. Except that the horse isn’t dead at all—on the contrary, it’s the most alive and energetic horse on the Web.
Case in point number one million and one: Twitter recently integrated with Cloud Computing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) masterminds, Salesforce.com. The combination of the two powerhouses highlights the growing importance of real-time search and conversation yet again.
Things Look Good from the Clouds
Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud was released this January. The new-ish platform was designed specifically to enhance customer service, allowing the power of conversation to be easily accessible no matter where it’s taking place. Acting like a social media funnel, the platform enables customers to monitor and manage conversations that are happening about their company on popular sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Salesforce.com Service Cloud Screenshot
In the short time it’s been available, Salesforce.com team members have reported a tremendous surge in momentum. Of the recent addition of Twitter, Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com says, "Today's announcement builds on this momentum by enabling companies to join the conversations happening between the more than eight million users on Twitter."
Join the Conversation. Again.
Eight million. That means chances are the people running the companies that will benefit from this new integration already have a personal Twitter account of their own. As a new participant, Salesforce.com uses familiar and insanely popular territory to offer a refreshingly casual bridge over a gap between end-users and enterprises. The integration gives companies an opportunity to utilize the endless amounts of information passing through Twitter via:
- Search: Salesforce CRM for Twitter helps companies search through the millions of "tweets" happening on Twitter every day to find the relevant conversations - all from within the Service Cloud.
- Monitor: After identifying an appropriate "tweet," a company can capture and monitor the conversation by creating a record in the Service Cloud that tracks the original post and all subsequent replies.
- Join: Salesforce CRM for Twitter empowers enterprises to be active participants on Twitter by enabling them to funnel relevant solutions from the Service Cloud knowledge base into a Twitter post, effectively joining the conversation.
"Customers are already sharing knowledge and having conversations about our company on Twitter. Therefore, we are excited about being able to track these conversations and engage with the Twitter community through the Service Cloud," said Dennis Martin of NJ TRANSIT. "Salesforce CRM for Twitter and the Service Cloud would allow us to reach our customers beyond traditional avenues of communication."
Twitter the Shmoo
Yes, the popular platform, which turned a whole three years old this weekend, is evolving into something bigger and way more game-changing than we’re sure anyone expected it to be. As Twitter continues to romance us with its 140 character ways, the greatest thing that's surfaced is not its benefits for developers and companies, but the simple fact that it can be advantageous for just about anyone on the Web—no matter what their raison d’etre.
In Salesforce.com's case, the benefits are obvious. Aside from better customer care, Salesforce’s approach knocks them into a ring that so many companies are scrambling to be a part of. But then again, as social media-based solutions abound, we can’t help but consider how very public it all is. Combine that with the sheer size of Twitter's audience and suddenly the thought of a simple 140 characters damaging a company's reputation becomes a very unsettling possibility.
How long before Twitter becomes too good to be true? Follow the double-edged sword of a solution here, and let’s see.