Dreamforce 2009: Using Twitter Effectively for Marketing and Sales

Using Twitter Effectively for Sales and Marketing This session, my favorite of the whole week, included two awesome marketers at Salesforce: Tricia Gellman and Rasmus Mencke. Tricia narrated the event and Rasmus gave a demo of Salesforce for Twitter. In the demo, we learned that while Salesforce for Twitter is part of Support Cloud 2, it should be an important part of your marketing toolkit. The application searches Tweets by keywords and then allows the Tweets to be added to campaigns or turned into leads.

Outside of the demo, the session focused on two main points about social media:

  1. Know your purpose – know how and why you are going to use Twitter
  2. Engage by adding value – Twitter can create meaningful conversations

Unfortunately, the tough part is getting this done.  At this event, Virgin America’s Porter Gale described the many ways they use Twitter to reach their audience.  Virgin America utilizes Twitter in the following ways:

  • Resolve customer complaints – they watch for Tweets that indicate dissatisfaction and try to resolve the issue
  • Promote their brand – they share news of their company and events
  • Product management – they changed what beer they carried because of Tweets
  • Product launch – they announce new products and encourage others to share the news
  • Promote safety – they have made their safety video fun and available online for viewers to share
  • Improve employee morale – employees are excited about how positively people are talking socially about their company

To encourage these online conversations they:

  • Have Wi-Fi on their flights – This encourages Twitter use while keeping customers happy on flights
  • Invite influencers to headquarters for tours to build brand loyalty
  • Send out social emails with “Tweet this” at the bottom of the page
  • Conduct interviews on planes, even having people Tweet in their questions

By doing this they are encouraging people to continue the conversation, sharing more about Virgin America with other people.

She also shared some fun ways to get people talking about your company.  Some examples of what they have done to start conversations include:

  • Naming their planes creatively, causing people to talk about it socially
  • Linking pictures or videos to their Tweets
  • Doing extraordinary things – look for Tweets that create rare opportunity for service
    • In one example, someone didn’t like a sandwich on a plane and expressed their frustration with a Tweet.  Virgin saw the Tweet and brought the customer a new sandwich.
    • In another example, someone Tweeted they were on a plane and were celebrating a graduation.  Virgin shared the news and had someone else on the flight buy them a bottle of champagne.
  • Giving money to charity if people talk about your brand online. In one example, Virgin gave $1 for every tweet to a charity at a conference.

What I liked about this session:

Porter is inspiring to listen to; a true pleasure. Even with a sore throat, she was able to captivate the room and get them motivated about how to use social media as a part of their marketing efforts. Of all the sessions at Dreamforce, this is where I learned the most.

During the session the topic of how Twitter should be used by sales was not covered in depth.  For those that were looking for this information, check out this guide to Social Media for Sales.