Salesforce.com Launches Social Marketing Cloud

Salesforce.com's Social Marketing Cloud uses the assets from the company's Radian6 acquisition to provide a complete, Web-based social marketing platform.

Salesforce.com (NASDAQ:CRM) Nov. 30 introduced its Social Marketing Cloud, an effort to get ahead of the rest of the market by using social media to market and sell products to customers.

The Social Marketing Cloud leverages and builds on assets from Radian6, a social media monitoring company Salesforce.com picked up earlier this year. As the leading provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software in the cloud, social media monitoring is crucial to the company's clout among Web-based businesses.

Salesforce.com is propping up the Marketing Cloud with five pillars, which Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and his lieutenants will detail at the company's Cloudforce event in New York City later this morning. This new cloud strikes at the heart of Salesforce.com's strategy around social, mobile cloud software for businesses.

Marcel LeBrun, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce.com's Radian6 unit, discussed Marketing Cloud pillars with eWEEK ahead of the event.

The first component of the Marketing Cloud is Radian6's social monitoring software, LeBrun said. Radian6 "listens" to more than 150 million sources, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs on the Web, to help customers get a handle on not only what is being said about their company, but what is being said about industry rivals.

Social monitoring's function is delivering chief marketing officers (CMOs) information to get a competitive advantage by knowing the way their business is perceived. Salesforce.com is charging $600 a month for social monitoring software.

The next pillar is social insights, or the ability to go deeper into industry knowledge about a brand. Social insights pulls capabilities from some of the best insights technologies in the world.

The Marketing Cloud will include influence analysis from Klout and intention analysis from OpenAmplify, as well as OpenCalais' mentions of places, products and other objects. Customers can pay for those insights, which are priced at $60 per user per month and are available now.

The next pillar, social engagement, is another Radian6 technology. LeBrun said his team has added a software extensions library, such as hottest memes or topics; Facebook management capabilities to let employees respond to conversations on their Facebook page from Radian6; and one-click Salesforce.com integration.

This last effort lets any conversation happening in Radian6 be turned into a contact or a case on Salesforce.com with a single click.

A brand-new product, and the next pillar, is the social hub, Salesforce.com's stab at a workflow and process automation application. This is an important component that connects social applications to other enterprise systems that customers use.

"How do you scale the 20,000 conversations per day and get precisely those conversations about this product to that product manager?" LeBrun said.

Social hub, which is available in limited release for $1,200 per user per month, will build a social profile and contact record inside Salesforce.com CRM about anyone talking about a particular product.

The last pillar, SiteForce, is a development platform based on Salesforce.com's Heroku platform. This is a drag-and-drop development tools studio that lets businesses build their Websites entirely in the cloud. SiteForce costs $9,900 per year.

This article was originally published on 11-30-2011
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