Salesforce.com Survey Finds UK CEOs Turn to Social Networks to Grow Their Business

LONDON – CLOUDFORCE LONDON - Sept. 14, 2011 – Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, today revealed the results of a new survey, which finds that while UK CEOs think social networks and technologies are important to grow and manage their organisations, many do not have a social strategy to achieve their goals. Today’s CEOs are interested in building customer and employee social networks to support their business requirements, but need to adopt a strategy to transform into a true social enterprise.

The salesforce.com study, conducted by Coleman-Parkes Research, surveyed 150 CEOs and managing directors across a variety of UK organisations to understand the role social networks and technologies play in helping them achieve business priorities. Additionally, the study investigated the social strategy and guidelines that CEOs have in place across their organisations.

Comments on the News:
• “It’s clear that CEOs see the need for their companies to join customers on social networks and be a part of the social revolution. Yet, only a small percentage of organisations have truly grasped the impact that the social customer is going to have across an entire business,” said Steve Garnett, chairman EMEA, salesforce.com. “Businesses need to transform into social enterprises to revolutionise their relationship with customers, employees and partners.”

CEOs Believe Customer Engagement on Social Networks Impacts the Bottom Line
UK CEO’s have recognised that a social revolution is taking place today. Globally, the number of social networking users has surpassed email users and nearly a quarter of all time spent online is on social networks . In addition, an estimated 48 per cent of the UK population are Facebook users . The survey found that the majority of companies understand that engaging with customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter is an important component of their business strategy, across marketing, customer service and more. Specifically, the study found that:

• 73 per cent of CEOs said it was important to use social networks to build brand awareness.
• 68 per cent find it important to use social networks as a platform to launch new products and services.
• 74 per cent of CEOs find it important to use social networks to attract new customers.
• 61 per cent of CEOs find it important to use social networks to engage with customers and grow their business.

Organisations Surveyed Lack Cross-Departmental Social Strategy
As the social revolution gains momentum and more consumers turn to social networks for recommendations on vendors, to voice issues with products, or to share experiences with brands, many companies are still grappling with how to capture and use this information to delight customers. While UK CEOs recognise the importance of engaging with customers, few have developed cross-departmental strategies to capture social interactions and make business decisions based on them. The survey found:
• 68 per cent of organisations have a social media strategy, with that number increasing to 74 per cent in organisations of 1,000+ employees.
• Just 11 per cent of businesses run their company’s social strategy as a collaborative cross-departmental team.
• Most companies have a fragmented approach with marketing dominating ownership at 40 per cent, followed by IT with 28 per cent and HR with 20 per cent.

Executives Recognise Benefit of Communicating with Employees on Social Networks
While survey results show that CEOs recognise the value of social networks for communicating with customers, they also recognise the benefits of engaging with employees. Not only have CEOs found social networks to be an important recruiting tool, but executives also recognise how the real-time nature and transparency of social networks benefit employee communication and engagement. Survey responses show that in the next 12 months:
• 75 per cent of CEOs said it is important to their business to use social networks and tools to attract and retain skilled workers.
• 75 per cent of CEOs find it important to use social networks for employee communication.
• 76 per cent of CEOs think social networks are an important way to enhance employee engagement.

Transforming Businesses into Social Enterprises
While CEOs clearly recognise the social revolution that is underway, few have made the transformation into a social enterprise. To make this transformation, a cross-functional focus on customer and employee engagement is needed. Salesforce.com has identified the three critical steps to becoming a social enterprise:
• Developing Social Customer Profiles: Customers today expect that the companies they work with know what they “like” on Facebook, what they are saying on Twitter and who they are connected to on LinkedIn and other social networks. By creating a social customer profile within their business, companies can capture all of this publicly available information, empowering every employee to delight customers by knowing who they are and delivering an entirely new level of service, only possible in today’s social world.
• Creating Employee Social Networks: Many companies struggle to connect their employees with the best information and experts within their own company. Similar to Facebook, employee social networks deliver information directly to users, rather than making them search for it themselves. Private employee social networks can help people at work rapidly collaborate across their company so they can engage, sell and service their customers more effectively.
• Building Customer Social Networks and Product Social Networks: Customer and product social networks allow companies to build stronger relationships with their customers in an entirely new way on today's most popular social channels like Facebook and Twitter. Companies can listen to, engage with and analyse what people are saying about them and create apps where customers can interact with their brand. These apps leverage cutting edge social and mobile technology, can be location-aware, and can be accessed on any device. And companies can also bring their products into social networks so they can be part of the conversation, allowing consumers to not just "fan" a product, but become its "friend”.

Additional Resources
• To learn more about how to become a social enterprise, watch the Cloudforce London keynotes on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. BST at http://www.facebook.com/salesforce
• Become a fan of Salesforce.com at www.facebook.com/salesforce
• Follow @salesforce on Twitter

About salesforce.com
With more than 100,000 customers, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that is leading the shift to the social enterprise. Social enterprises leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to put customers at the heart of their business. Based on salesforce.com’s real-time, multitenant architecture, the company’s platform and application services include:
● Salesforce Chatter, a secure, private social network for your business
● Salesforce Sales Cloud, for sales force automation and contact management
● Salesforce Service Cloud, for customer service and support solutions
● Salesforce Radian6, for social media monitoring and engagement
● Salesforce Data.com, for the most complete source of accurate business data
● AppExchange, the leading marketplace for enterprise cloud computing applications
● Force.com, for custom application development
● Heroku, for building social and mobile customer apps
● Database.com, the world’s first enterprise cloud database

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.
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©2011 salesforce.com, inc. All rights reserved. Salesforce.com, Salesforce, Chatter, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Radian6, Jigsaw, AppExchange, Force.com, Heroku, and all associated logos are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software. For more information about salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com/uk/, or call 0800 0921223 .