Salesforce.com Chatter Etiquette

By February 21, 2013Latest News

One of the most common problems our clients encounter when starting to use Salesforce is employee/coworker interaction with the platform. While features like Chatter are meant to increase inner-company communication, when not in active and efficient use they obviously do not have a lot of benefit. Often when a a company is introducing a CRM for the first time, employees are hesitant to adopt it–or perhaps too eager to do so, over-posting in Chatter and resulting in an pw0810-chatterunproductive and inefficient environment.

There is a happy medium, and the good news is that it is easy to attain, with a little “best practices” training. Send out a quick email to your users and keep up good Chabits (rimshot) yourself, and in no time your Chatter productivity should be back on track.

Here are some tips to make sure your company is using Chatter to its fullest:

  • DON’T over-share

What qualifies as “over-sharing” is dependent on your company and its unique dynamics, but generally YouTube videos, pictures of your recent vacation, and long posts do more to harm your Chatter stream than good. Keep your updates to the point and relevant to your role or industry to keep the stream as efficient and useful as possible. This is a great way to ensure that everyone will see the benefits of Chatter and want to use it, as they will recognize its power as part of an office’s infrastructure.

  • DO post in Chatter + email (as needed)

Sometimes, in the beginning, it is necessary to post a useful update in Chatter, then email the link to the post to the relevant parties with a short message such as, “Please read this post, important update!” Remember that tagging relevant users in a post gives them an email update (under default settings), but to get attention it may be useful to take this approach at first. This reminds users that Chatter is your preferred means of communication, and that checking it often will keep them informed as an employee.

  • DON’T use offensive language

Chatter may feel like Facebook, but it is not that informal. Keep your language professional and courteous to avoid poor communication. Remember that your HR reps likely have access to this feed too, so if it something you wouldn’t want them to see it’s wise to keep it off of the stream.

  • DO follow your coworkers on Chatter, as well as any relevant hashtags, leads, or accounts.

You will get automatic updates any time there is activity on a followed lead, account, or hashtag that you follow–so follow liberally! Additionally, it’s a good idea to be plugged-in to your coworkers, so follow not only those in your department, but those you have worked with in other departments, are¬†acquainted¬†with, or…simply want to follow. Depending on the size of your company, it’s certainly not unusual to follow everyone you can find. Just as we’ve seen with Google+, when there are not many users, a platform can suffer in popularity; getting people involved by following others and starting to post is the best way to kick-start your Chatter stream!

  • DO use Chatter to give advice and to troubleshoot.

One of the best ways to use Chatter is to post problems you’re having with a case and help your coworkers solve theirs. We at Eustace do this all the time when we’re having issues that another team member could help with. It’s a great way to maintain company solidarity and quickly solve day-to-day problems.

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Need more help using Chatter? Try this YouTube playlist from Salesforce.com.