Today, I got to look at what I first thought was an unlikely match of my two favorite platforms; Salesforce.com and Facebook. It’s called Faceforce and it augments your Lead, Contact, and Account data in Salesforce.com, helping you build deeper relationships with your customers and prospects.
When I first heard about this mashup, I wondered what value one would offer the other. I like both platforms and though I use both daily, I didn’t see how one would benefit the other. After seeing the apps work together, I understand more of the value and significance of this mashup.
How it works is you first need a login to Facebook. Then you install the Faceforce application into your Salesforce.com org from the AppExchange. You just need to add the S-controls created by Faceforce to your page layouts for Leads, Contacts, and Accounts. That’s literally no more than a two minute process for all three. Select the Faceforce application from AppExchange drop-down and click on the Faceforce tab.
The first time in, Faceforce will ask you to log into Facebook and add the Salesbook application to Facebook. This is the hook that allows the two apps to talk to each other. Once you’re back on Salesforce, you can Search for New Links to find people in your network that are found in Salesforce. Once you match up your contacts to their Facebook profiles, you’re ready to ready to update Salesforce. Before you do that though, if you have Salesforce contacts that you’d like to invite to Facebook, there’s a link to invite them into your Facebook network. Once you’re finished, you’re ready to see more about your contacts.
Now in Salesforce, if you look at a Contact that you’re friends with on Facebook, you can see their Facebook profile right inline with their Salesforce contact record. It even allows you to perform regular Facebook actions such as Send a Message, Send a Gift, Write on Wall, Message, view their Full Profile, and even the curious Poke.
At the Lead level, the S-control will search Facebook for the lead and show possible matches. If that is the person, you can link them to into the lead so you have access to all their Facebook data inline with your lead data.
At the Account level, the S-control will display all the Facebook connections you have with that company and allow you to take numerous Facebook actions, right from the Account record.
The mashup was built by Clara Shih, an AppExchange Product Manager at Salesforce.com in collaboration with Todd Perry, a software engineer at Facebook. She did it because she too is a huge fan of both platforms, but more importantly, she demonstrated a way of mashing up two products, that were never made for each other. Yet, as a user of both platforms, you can now connect the dots, having more information at your fingertips, inline with the applications you use everyday to build deeper relationships with your customers and prospects.
I don’t expect every company to adopt such a mashup, though the tremendous influx of new Facebook users 35 and older in the last months have certainly taken to the concept and are hungry to build their networks. If you’re looking for information on your customers and prospects, you can’t ignore what’s available through Facebook.
What Clara is doing with Faceforce is only going to spark more ideas of how to make use of data available to us. I’m interested to watch what she and others do to enhance this type of integration. We’re bound to see more like it.
I haven’t gone through nearly as many features as are in Faceforce. If you’d like to see a demo of Faceforce, Clara provides a short Flash demo of how Faceforce works. If you’d like to try Faceforce for yourself, you can install it from the AppExchange. Her next experiment will see what you can bring from Salesforce into Facebook. Kudos to Clara for helping us get a taste of the possibilities.