Salesforce Social Media Case Study

Over half of CEOs expect social channels to be the primary way of engaging customers within the next five years. One company that is leading the way with social listening and engagement is Cisco Systems. The worldwide IT leader -- with more than 65,000 employees in 80 countries – has found a uniform and scalable way of managing its social listening/response program. We featured Cisco before when it launched its state of the art social media command center in October 2012. The company, including its marketing leaders, is eager to share their vision and how other companies can learn from it.

Today, we’re also happy to share a new report from Nucleus Research that shows the return on investment Cisco achieved by standardizing its social listening on Salesforce Radian6, the industry leading social listening application within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Understanding the ROI of Social Listening and Engagement

Using Salesforce Radian6, Cisco increased productivity and profits with a consistent and scalable way to manage, understand, and act on social conversations, achieving a 281 percent return on investment in less than one year.

Cisco reduced marketing costs, increased profits and gained a complete view of customers to identify leads, solve service issues, and improve overall engagement with its customers, according to a new ROI case study report published by Nucleus Research.

Cisco’s Use of a Hub-and-Spoke Model

Cisco embraces the customer revolution and illustrates how brands can connect with customers, employees and partners in entirely new ways. As Charlie Treadwell, Social and Digital Marketing Manager, Cisco, said in a recent interview with’s David Thomas, “The foundation of a strong social media strategy starts with listening. Social listening with Radian6 has allowed us to get closer to our customers and focus on how we monitor, respond, and triage conversations as they happen across our organization.”

Cisco uses a “hub-and-spoke” model for its listening and engagement strategy, with five core team members responsible for monitoring on an ongoing basis, ambassadors within each business unit, and a network of subject matter experts that can engage with customers.

Its social media command center tracks ongoing topics, trending, and sentiment, and can also be configured to support short-term listening goals such as a vertical or business unit launching a new product, its sponsorship of the summer Olympics, or its annual trade show, Cisco Live. Cisco’s social listening playbook defines triage for different kinds of mentions and the urgency of response needed and routes the mention to the appropriate employee for action.

Today, Cisco’s command center manages more than 5,000 mentions a day supporting Cisco’s more than 70 Facebook pages and 100 Twitter accounts. Two hundred and forty employees throughout Cisco are using Radian6 mobile applications to engage and triage conversations. Cisco has also invested in kiosks and dashboards outside its main physical social media command center -- in the CEO’s and CMO’s offices, for example -- so executives and others are aware of social trends and listening strategies on an ongoing basis.

The Benefits is excited to announce that Cisco achieved 281 percent return on investment over four different areas its business:

  • More focused use of creative services. By standardizing on Radian6 and having one social listening center that triages all of Cisco’s social interactions, Cisco can ensure creative agency services are invested in thought leadership and innovation in the social engagement space rather than simply managing tweets.
  • Increased productivity. Cisco’s triage system, named ABCs (action-based conversations) and its ability to leverage a broad field of subject matter experts via Radian6 mobile device access enables its employees to respond to social mentions in a time-appropriate way from anywhere, driving greater overall productivity.
  • Reduced market research investments. Because Cisco can mine and analyze customer and partner social mentions in a meaningful way, they can have a better overall view of sentiment and behavior that would be cost-prohibitive to achieve through traditional means such as market research surveys.
  • Increased profits. Insights gained from social listening have resulted in sales opportunities that might otherwise not have been recognized.

Thank you to Cisco for sharing their story with the community. We’re also happy to answer your questions in the comments. How is your organization measuring social listening and engagement ROI? Do you deploy a “hub-and-spoke” model or another strategy? Be sure to download the complete Nucleus Research case study at the button below.

Salesforce was founded on March 8th 1999 and is a customer success platform leading to more socially connected businesses, through helping to assist with customer relationship management. They have helped 12,000 non profits since they have began and all their programmes they offer are online with no software and no hardware. The benefit of Salesforce is they provide services that can be used from all devices which helps when you are on the go. They help to let your organisation grow and to become successful which is not a surprise considering they have had over 150, 000 customers! Their cloud computing solution is famous for fast set up and allows business to manage contacts more quickly and easily.

They believe that success comes in all sizes in terms of business and their social media platforms reflect their desire for wanting to help businesses become successful and innovative. With several Twitter accounts for different sections of their brand, they already show a huge interest in being able to provide maximum support for their followers. For example they have Salesforce, Salesforce Developers, Salesforce Partners, Salesforce Ventures and Salesforce #dreamjob, with many other accounts linked to certain territories and countries around the world. They strongly believe in their products, their services, their values as a brand and their customers and this is emulated in both their content and engagement.


Salesforce’s main Twitter account has 250,000 followers and was created in 2009. Since then, they have produced 1,872 videos and pictures for their Twitter feed. This already indicates a variety of content that is both visual and informative.

Their content is based on positive CRM stories, advice for businesses and how to be successful. They keep up to date with digital trends, sales and marketing, technological improvements and personal stories that they want to share with their followers. They provide tips, tricks and an insight into why certain things in business work and why they don’t.

5 Productivity Tips Every Small Business Needs to Know:

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 4, 2015

They also promote e books, webinars and events in order to teach and lead people to the right way of doing things in order to be most successful. Their captions are short and simple which is perfect for Twitter. You don’t have to question what things mean as it is stated clearly for you and all that is left is to click on the link provided to find out more.

The new age of service, the mobile movement, and the implications of the Internet of Things.

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 3, 2015

What is also good about their content is you don’t necessarily have to click on the link to be inspired by the post. The images they provide speak for themselves and are of high quality including small quotes and inspiring words. For example, this post on how to integrate work and life, provides a quote in the image which is appropriate for Twitter as people can share before even reading the article provided:

How to Integrate Work and Life by Carie Buchanan, Salesforce’s Woman of the Month:

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 7, 2015

Although their content is often based on providing tips for business, sales and marketing, showcasing new developments in their technology and tools and providing information on events and conferences, Salesforce keep it human by acknowledging special days and events in the calendar year. It is great to show you are a brand that invests time in your customers, their lives, what they are doing and what is happening daily around the world:

Mother’s day

#ThanksMom for…

— Salesforce (@salesforce) May 10, 2015

Personally adapting star wars day to make it relevant to Salesforce as a brand and an informative business, whilst also being humorous: MAY THE SALESFORCE BE WITH YOU:

You cannot hide forever.

— Salesforce (@salesforce) May 4, 2015

Salesforce mostly link back to their website or blog with content. This increases views and website traffic and shows they are always posting and creating their own original ideas. However, they rarely link to other articles or sites produced by other brands/companies, which is both a positive and negative strategy.  This strategy acknowledges their own success and creativity but doesn’t open them up to possible partnerships, or having the potential to access a new audience through other content that is not their own.

When replying to people on Twitter, Salesforce reflect a more casual and friendly approach which contrasts to their professional and informative content. They make replies personal and human creating an authentic and genuine social presence. They even use emojis and everyone loves an emoji!

Personalisation and emoji use:

@johncartonjr Thanks John! We think it's pretty sweet too 🙂 ?

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 8, 2015

Again a very personal approach:

@DanielTemos Congrats on three years, Daniel!

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 5, 2015

What they also do is provide great customer service. If a follower has a query that is better suited to one of their other accounts, they will cc in that account or suggest that the follower is redirected to that account. They even use their own hashtags to encourage users to do the same.

@markogne Good luck getting your #dreamjob, Mark 🙂 cc: @salesforcejobs

— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 3, 2015


On Twitter, Salesforce host chats with successful people in the industry where followers can tweet in questions to be answered by whoever is hosting the event. A woman in tech chat with Geraldine Grey was the latest and proves to be a Twitter success! This shows that Salesforce want to engage with followers and give them a chance to be in direct contact with professionals and have their questions answered, which is even easier through social. Salesforce even retweeted certain questions to their followers so people who were not personally tweeting could still be involved and view the action:

We're thrilled to have Salesforce MVP @GeraldineGray here to host today's #SalesforceChat. Take it away, Geraldine!

— Salesforce (@salesforce) April 28, 2015

A Twitter success and inspiration to followers:

Thanks for an amazing #SalesforceChat@GeraldineGray ! I love this conversation, now it is up to us to keep it going! @salesforce#inspire

— Brittany Link (@SFMCbrittany) April 28, 2015


Salesforce have 6,197 followers on Instagram with the caption – ‘born cloud, reborn social – pictures from the life and times of the Salesforce team’. Automatically we understand we are going to be getting a behind the scenes look into the professionals who run Salesforce and what life is like behind the social channels, events and tech apps.

They do not post so often but I think that is a good strategy for Instagram. Providing snippets every so often allows users to be excited when a photo is released and leaves followers wanting more. Salesforce have perfected the balance and provide just enough content at just the right time.

Firstly we get a behind the scenes look into events and conferences:

We also get a look into the team behind the scenes making them human and real. They show teamwork, happy workers and a fun and bright company culture. In addition to this they provide images of places they have visited around the world either for conferences or in general. This marks their global presence and takes their followers on a journey with them:

I love the Instagram for Salesforce because it allows the company to show their fun side. Twitter and facebook are more informative and are focused on helping businesses and customers. Although there is the occasional fun and humorous post, Instagram really allows this side of them to shine! It is important for a brand like this to use Instagram for these purposes to show what company culture is all about and how they can provide informative content whilst also keeping things exciting in the office and behind the scenes. It also makes their followers feel part of the Salesforce community/family and allows them access into events which they may not have the opportunity to physically be a part of. They even create fun and creative videos to show off events and the people that have attended:


Salesforce have 438,886 followers on LinkedIn making it their 2nd most popular social network. Considering they aim to make businesses more successful through CRM and their customer success platform, LinkedIn is a very necessary social platform for them to conquer and the audience on LinkedIn is very important for them to target in terms of business opportunities and customer engagement.

They post more often than they do on Facebook which is appropriate as they need consistent content on a business based platform. Their content is the same as for Twitter but is mostly based on how to optimise selling, marketing and advertising. They get a lot more engagement than on their other platforms as well as comments and engagement from business owners and employees. This is good as it encourages discussion about Salesforce, what they can provide and their knowledge about the industry as well as relevant and up to date news.

This is the platform in which Salesforce have really built a community and strong, personal relationships and connections. This is where true followers come to find out about Salesforce and have positive things to say about what they do and what they provide. This is shown by the 350 likes on the Fortune 500 post!


The Salesforce Facebook page has 450,000 likes! Firstly, Salesforce post a lot less often on this platform than they do on Twitter. They sometimes cross post but often use individual content for their Facebook page. I have noticed that a lot of the content on the Facebook page is about events and conferences. This fits well as Facebook is a platform where you can create events, attend and buy tickets so reminding people about these events is appropriate.

There is a  lot of post discussing app trends and how to engage audiences. They also use video and acknowledge more brands on Facebook than they do on Twitter. An insight into how brands use Salesforce’s solutions to understand their customers and build better relationships with them.

The Facebook page gets little engagement considering how many followers there are. Similarly to Twitter, content is based on news, technological updates, events and marketing and sales. Salesforce use Facebook to keep people up to date and save the best content for Twitter.


Salesforce have 56,430 subscribers on YouTube and it is one of my favourite Salesforce social channels! They have an abundance of videos showcasing a variety of things.

These include:

  • How to use apps
  • Analytics
  • The making of apps and programmes
  • Success stories from big brands
  • Highlights form Salesforce
  • Video for students
  • Demos
  • Webcasts
  • Event and conference snippets
  • Interviews
  • Expo shows

Salesforce have thought of everything for their YouTube content and provides general information, how to videos, success stories and behind the scenes event videos. Not only this, but their videos are inspiring and creative showing how business can be successful in a world of development and technology. Videos are exciting and show just how successful both salesforce and their customers can be.


Salesforce have 3,612 followers and 14 boards on Pinterest. Their categories are fun as well as being related directly and in directly to Salesforce. However, I feel like Pinterest has been slightly neglected when it has the potential to have a huge following. For any brand, Pinterest can be hard to conquer especially if you are quite a serious business dedicated to CRM and strategy. However, Pinterest provides brands with an opportunity to think outside the box and act outside of their comfort zone. You have the opportunity to experiment, expand and play around. You could potentially reach a whole new demographic through Pinterest and this is what Salesforce can focus on. Some of the current boards are displayed below:

The boards they already have are a good mix of business, fashion, trends and culture. However they can expand and pin more to reach a new audience and become interesting and current on Pinterest. More boards about travel and destinations could be added as they are a global company and often visit different places for events and conferences. An events board, fashion, food and lifestyle are very popular too which is something Salesforce should consider. Pinterest is about fun and cool pictures that everyone can relate to. As long as you have a few boards directly related to what your brand does then you shouldn’t be afraid to expand into other concepts and worlds. This is a chance to be creative and show a visual side.


In conclusion Salesforce’s content is informative, exciting and related to exactly what they offer as a business. They really know who their audience is and what they expect from Salesforce as a brand. They have a balanced mix of informative, motivating and visual content that can be shared regardless of the link or article provided.

Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are my favourite because the content is the most interesting. Twitter is constant and content is always new and original whilst Instagram allows Salesforce to showcase a different side of the company. They can experiment with behind the scenes, fun images and creative video.

They have built strong and valuable relationships with followers on LinkedIn and Twitter, creating a community that is both informed and intrigued by the content that is shared by Salesforce. This is important as they are optimising engagement and creating bonds, essential for a company that represent improving CRM.

I would love to see Salesforce pay more attention to their Pinterest boards and create some more exciting short versions of video as their YouTube channel is such a success. Also to engage with and retweet other brand’s content more on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps short videos in the form of Vine or even Instagram would really show an interest in providing some more visual content whilst keeping the nature and ideas of what they are trying to say the same.

Salesforce have an amazing following because of the content they provide and the time they take to provide an interest and build relationships within their communities. Their content is helpful and always provides information to increase success of both individuals and teams. They know what they want and they know how to put that across on social media.

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