Salesforce: Casting a wider net via the social Web

April 30, 2012

Many large organizations are upgrading to SlideShare Network for a rich, branded social media presence. Here, Kendra Mayfield speaks with Jennifer Burnham, Marketing Director for Social and Content Strategy at about why the global cloud computing company decided to upgrade to a SlideShare Network.

With more than 100,000 customers, has transformed the enterprise software market with cloud computing and, now, the shift to the Social Enterprise.

Social content marketing has become an integral part of Salesforce’s larger marketing strategy. While traditional channels, like email and in-person events, still play a big role, the company is increasingly making content more shareable on the social Web. The goal? To cast a wider net with potential customers and have a conversation with them where they’re already interacting.

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“I see SlideShare as a virtual bookshelf, or a library in the cloud, where we can make our best content more discoverable to a diverse audience,” said Jennifer Burnham, director, Social Strategy and Content Marketing at Salesforce.

Salesforce produces hundreds of presentation decks, tutorials, eBooks, infographics and white papers. Previously, teams were setting up Slideshare accounts on their own, “says Jennifer. “With this decentralized process, we didn’t have a coordinated brand presence or a clear picture or pulse on what content the different teams were publishing. “

The company turned to SlideShare to create a custom, branded Salesforce Network on SlideShare. The decision to upgrade was easy: Salesforce could enhance visibility for its sub-brands, drive more traffic to the main channel and create brand consistency.

“We love how simple it is to upload the content, embed it on our blogs and website. We recently launched a resource page on with embedded presentations hosted on Slideshare.”

Jennifer said. “Also, SlideShare is easily shareable and viewable in mobile, which is important for us.”

SlideShare in Salesforce’s social media operations
Salesforce’s social media strategy is centered on three areas: content, engagement and measurement.

Creation of content happens across multiple teams. Any content to be created is logged into the company’s internal Content Calendar built inside If the team has their own Channel in the SlideShare Network, like Radian 6 or, they upload post the content directly. If they don’t, the social media team can post it for them through the Content Calendar process.

Engagement starts with the social media team promoting new content on the blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and more. Further conversations happen through Salesforce’s social media “Command Center”—a team of dedicated community managers who use the Radian6 Engagement Console. After being made aware of new SlideShare content through the Content Calendar, they coordinate with internal teams to promote it and regularly engage with prospects and customers, using the content as an object for conversation.

Measurement is aided by SlideShare Analytics to track social media engagement for content posted to the SlideShare Network. In addition, Radian6 is working on providing SlideShare as a data source for social media monitoring of brands (Salesforce and Radian6 customers) across the large and growing social content network.

Lead generation, content interaction
Advanced tools like private sharing have enhanced Salesforce’s internal collaboration. Presentations, documents and videos are uploaded and shared with privately for review by teams. This staged private content fosters conversations on Chatter, and is set to automatically go public on SlideShare just in time for a Salesforce email campaign to prospects that directly promote the asset.

But the greatest benefit the company has seen with SlideShare, Jennifer says, is the “interaction and discoverability of content” with prospects, partners and customers.

“With SlideShare, we’re able to expand the reach of of our best content to people who may not necessarily be familiar wit our brand, and visiting our website or attending an event,” Jennifer. ‘In essence, by posting a deck to Slideshare, we are extending the reach and lifetime value of that content.”

SlideShare’s lead generation features have helped Salesforce generate and assess the quality of hundreds—if not thousands—of sales leads. The Sales Cloud team, for example, posted the “Social Sales Revolution: 7 Steps to Get Ahead” eBook on SlideShare and received 16,900 organic views and gathered more than 300 qualified sales leads. These leads have generated additional pipeline and closed deals for the Sales Cloud team.

SlideShare has become a key part of Salesforce’s social content marketing strategy for its annual user conference, Dreamforce. The company encourages Dreamforce speakers to upload slides during—and after—their presentations, and tag them with keywords so they’re easily discoverable. Attendees who can’t attend a session can go to SlideShare to see the presentation and discover what they’ve missed. “Our Dreamforce session decks get thousands of views far after the conference has ended.”

Dreamforce, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s “Welcome to the Social Enterprise” keynote deck received more than 122,000 views on SlideShare—far more than it would have if it were solely presented live or posted on the website. The “Social Goes Mainstream: A Look Back at 2011” presentation received 43,000 views and climbing.

Salesforce is also starting to cross-promote its content across social channels. So, users can watch a Dreamforce session on YouTube and see a link to the presentation deck on SlideShare.

What’s next?
So, what’s next? Salesforce is building out its channels across its product set and international regions. Its also exploring how to integrate SlideShare with its live events strategy. For example, for Dreamforce 2012, the company and speakers will post decks in real-time during the conference, and build buzz ahead of the show around big ideas and thought leadership.

Also, now that Salesforce has realized lead volume and quality with SlideShare, they are automating the import of leads using the SlideShare API (there are connectors for Salesforce and Eloqua).

“We consider Slideshare one of our top social channels and an integral part of our social content strategy,” says Jennifer.

Want a SlideShare Network for your organization? Contact the SlideShare enterprise sales team.