How to get the most out of Salesforce Chatter

Getting back to it after DreamForce 2012 one question kept coming up the more that I talked to customers and partners of SalesForce.  What about Chatter?  How do we use it when there are only 5 of us working in an office?  Why would we use it?  What are other companies doing with it?  And so on.

Chatter, for those of you new to Salesforce gives you a way to collaborate with people at work and “Because status information about people and important projects is automatically pushed to you, Chatter makes it easy to connect with the people and information you care about most.”

What I really wanted to focus on in this article are some good, solid use cases for using Chatter as a small or mid-sized business.  Keeping in mind that one of the biggest struggles is simply deciding to turn on Chatter in your Salesforce instance and trust me when I say that most people actually spend a great deal of time evaluating this, thinking about it, discussing it before ever turning it on.  Think about it, if you could turn on a technology that allows other to see what you are doing, updating and editing and commenting about would you do it?  Today let’s have a look at some use cases for using Chatter as a small or mid-sized company.

1. Following Big Opportunities or Accounts

Chances are if you are a small company you’ve got some big customers.  How you define “big” is up to you but regardless of that Chatter gives you the ability to follow accounts or opportunities that are important to you.  If an opportunity changes and you are following it you will be notified of the change.

2. Collaborating with your customers in private groups

Now that you can have Chatter groups in Salesforce you can make them private so that only people invited to that group can see things posted to it.  Even if you only have 5 customers today using Chatter allows you to setup groups for customers to disclose information to a specific group of people without giving them access to your full Salesforce system.

3. Bookmark important things to you in Chatter

If you want to keep some important posts at the ready in your Salesforce instance I would highly suggest using the bookmark functionality in Chatter.  In one click on a post you like you can bookmark it and have access to it in your Chatter profile so that its ready when you are.

Even if you are running a small company and using Salesforce you can use Chatter in a very productive way and just remember that you don’t need to be afraid to embrace Chatter.  You’re employees will love it, you’ll get work done faster and you’ll be more social in your business.  Also, here is a link to some more use cases for Chatter that you may find useful.

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