Chatter, like any social network, is better if more people are using it. That’s why we give every Salesforce customer unlimited free Chatter licenses. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small company with 50 employees or a large, global organization with 500,000 employees. Chatter is free for everyone. There are hundreds of ways to use Chatter. See examples on how you can use it at your company.
Use the Data Loader to add all your employees to Chatter at once. To find the Data Loader, click Setup > Administration Setup > Data Management > Data Loader, then follow the instructions.
If you want to add employees one at a time, click Setup > Administration Setup > Manage Users > Users > New User.
Turn on Chatter invitations to let employees invite co-workers to join them on Chatter for free. Invitations are limited to the domains you approve. To turn on invitations, click Setup > App Setup > Customize > Chatter > Manage Your Chatter Settings.
Your strategy for rolling out Chatter will be as unique as your organization. It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the number of users and their comfort with social media tools. Below we outline a sample Chatter rollout strategy for a mid-sized to large organization. Use this plan as a starting point to design the right timeline and plan for your own Chatter rollout.
Spend a few minutes learning how to turn on Chatter (see section above) for your company, exploring the different setup options, and seeing how Salesforce will change — both visually and functionally — for your users.
It’s a good idea to educate and inform your executive sponsor(s) about Chatter, so they can help establish a Chatter culture and make sure your deployment is a smashing success.
Set up a call or meeting with key Salesforce stakeholders to discuss the Chatter rollout and address any questions. This will ensure that the right people are on board and will help your deployment be more successful. You might even want to use Chatter to create a “Chatter” group, invite your executive sponsors and stakeholders to join, and post links to relevant materials to the group. This is a Chatter use case in itself!
Webinars are a great way to highlight what your company can do with Chatter. Include business use cases, do’s and don’ts, and examples of how other companies are using Chatter. Be sure to record your webinar and make it available for playback on demand for anyone who misses the live event.
Turn Chatter on for your organization outside of business hours. Then send a communication to your users linking to Chatter resources and telling them where they can go for more information and help. If you created a Chatter group, invite everyone to the Chatter group so they start to understand how to use it.
Set up a live call or meeting where users can ask questions and share feedback or suggestions. This is also a great forum to share additional resources and showcase great examples of how your colleagues are using Chatter. Invite attendees to share their Chatter stories.
Showcasing your company’s own great Chatter examples is the perfect way to educate users and build momentum and excitement. Share Chatter stories via email, departmental or company-wide meetings, or any methods of communication that are popular in your company.
On the AppExchange you can find lots of great add-ons that make Chatter an even more fun and productive tool. Check it out. You might discover apps that will take your Chatter usage to a whole new level.
Before you launch Chatter, tell your employees and organization that it’s coming. Here are some different ways you can communicate about Chatter.
Explain through email, webinars, or phone calls why Chatter is a game-changer for your organization.
Here’s an example:
Chatter can help make Acme a more successful company and a more cohesive community by:
Part of your pre-launch communication strategy could be to use a drip email campaign. Send an email one month before the launch date to your whole organization about Chatter and its benefits. Send another every week until launch with new information to get everyone excited.
Another part of your pre-launch communications could be to highlight how to use Chatter through videos. Either you can record your own or use one of the ones we’ve created.
During launch, have fun spreading the word about your Chatter deployment. Try putting up posters in offices that describe how to use Chatter, throw launch parties with cakes and balloons, set up dedicated webinars to train people, or even hire a photographer to take profile pictures for employees.
Post launch, we recommend redirecting all collaboration to Chatter. Encourage employees to stop using email distribution lists and communicate through Chatter groups instead. Suggest that conversations about group projects take place on Chatter. Post company-wide communication to Chatter in place of sending emails.
Tell your users about Chatter. This is a great way to get everyone excited and explain how to use Chatter.
When executives start using Chatter, employees will see how the tool works for your company. Executive adoption is the best way to ensure high user adoption.
Chatter needs support from leaders. Gaining executive support for your Chatter rollout is critical to helping employees understand the value it adds to your company. Finding individual Chatter champions is also critical. They’ll bring the Chatter conversation to life and show people great ways to use the application.
The support of an executive who believes in Chatter means more people will adopt and use the application. The executive will lead the way in using Chatter and inspire others to do the same. The executive sponsor will also promote Chatter to the rest of the executive team and help fuel the excitement.
Executive sponsors are often in senior roles, such as a CMO, CIO, VP of Sales, VP Customer Service, head of HR, or even a CEO.
For ongoing success, it’s critical to find individual evangelists who love the technology and can act as torchbearers. These Chatter champions will help guide the way for other users who might be confused or apprehensive about using the application. The champions can also act as experts by answering questions and showing others how to use advanced functionality in groups, accounts, or mobile devices. Chatter champions post updates daily, which inspires others to use Chatter.
Who can be a Chatter champion? Anyone who's excited about Chatter and interested in using the application can be a Chatter champion. Typical Chatter champions are employees who are well-known or long-time employees at the company, employees with lots of expert knowledge, or employees in social media roles.
If you really want Chatter to take off, try empowering your executive sponsors and Chatter champions to give out rewards (iTunes gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, etc.) whenever they see someone doing something cool on Chatter — like connecting two employees who didn’t know each other, answering a question that closes a deal or helps a customer, or collaborating on a project to deliver it ahead of time.
By doing this, you make the statement that Chatter is the best way to collaborate and communicate at your company, and it will inspire people to use Chatter in new and innovative ways.
Tips to help make your deployment a success. Now that you’re ready to get started, here’s a simple checklist to ensure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s.
You can load new users one at a time, or all at once using the Data Loader wizard.
Enabling the “Owner” field will ensure that users are following the records they create.
Use the Data Loader to automatically have users follow key company leaders. You can read more about the Data Loader here.
Create an “All Chatter” group for all users to ask questions and share best practices. You can use the Data Loader for this.
Post these documents to the System Admins feed and then update the group description with links to these documents.
Turn on email notifications for users so they’ll be notified of important updates from Chatter.
Activate Chatter invitations to help get every employee on Chatter for free.
Chatter groups reduce email, make collaboration easier, take project management to another level, and are a great way to keep up with your team. Here are some groups that have been successful at other companies. Remember, groups can be either public for every employee or private for select people.