Using Facebook And Salesforce For Viral Marketing – Webinar FAQ

May 13, 2009 Appirio

We’ve just finished compiling and answering the questions received during the Facebook Webinar a few weeks ago.

If you wish to discuss any of the topics in more detail, or wish to dive into how to use Facebook specifically for your business, please contact us at!



1. General Can businesses have pages on Facebook? Businesses can now create pages (which are now very similar to profiles), groups, and applications. Each has a role in engaging with a community
1. General How can a big company start to use Facebook ? Facebook can be a very effective component of an overall marketing strategy for companies of all sizes, but big companies often get their first experience with Facebook through unofficial, “bottom up” experimentation that works.
1. General For very small companies who are just starting and don’t have how can Facebook be best utilized? Get started by creating your company’s Facebook page– see here for some tips on how to get started:
1. General Could you suggest a major company that is really taking advantage of social networking for marketing ? Coke, Pringles, Adidas, Apple, and Starbucks are the top brands on Facebook… check out for examples of how these brands and others are using Facebook to drive business results
1. General Are people really making money on Facebook? Even though Facebook itself is still refining its business model, there are lots of copmanies who have run successful social marketing campaigns on Facebook (Coke and Nutella each over 3M fans on Facebook)
1. General Is Facebook better suited for B2B or B2C marketing? We have seen Social Marketing work in both B2B and B2C contexts. Cisco and Intuit have used social marketing very effectively to market to businesses. Thinking specifically about word-of-mouth, it’s equally applicable in B2B or B2C. As an example from our own industry, the majority of technology buyers rely on their peer network when making big buying decisions and reference calls are often what closes the deal. What Appirio’s Referral Management solution provides is a way for businesses to encourage, manage and measure word-of-mouth referrals, which is equally applicable to all types of businesses.
1. General Do you have any examples of B2B companies using Facebook? There are lots of examples of B2B companies on Facebook. Two interesting examples are Hubspot and Salesforce. Hubspot, is an inbound marketing company that helps companies build online marketing campaigns. They use Facebook and Twitter in very creative ways to drive their business. Salesforce is experimenting with persona-based marketing on their Facebook page. Most of the big companies, Cisco, IBM, etc, are on Facebook. The problem right now is turning presence into something more, which we hope solutions like ours will help to accelerate.
1. General I’m a Sales Manager. How can I use facebook professionally to keep in contact with customers while keeping information private? If you do use Facebook to connect with your customers, the information they share with you using Facebook mail will only be visible to you. If they write on your wall or interact in other more public ways, it’ll be visible to you and your friends but not to the public. Facebook is platform for sharing information with trusted groups of friends, so only the information you or your customers choose to expose will be public. For more tips on using Facebook at Work, check our blog (
1. General How should companies engage with their community on Facebook? Is there a risk of employees taking relationships with them when they leave? Facebook allows businesses to maintain Pages that can have fans and many of the same properties as individuals on FB. You’re right that each person owns their own network, but that’s no different than what happens in the offline world. The difference is that using Facebook pages, companies can start build 1-1 relationships with their customers and maintain and nurture those relationships over time.
1. General How are people using Facebook vs. LinkedIn? Facebook is a great platform for engaging with professional contacts, many of whom become your friends over time. LinkedIn is a great service but it’s thusfar not been as immersive or engaging as Facebook. In Facebook, you can maintain some separation of personas by following these tips (
1. General Are there apps that connect Salesforce to LinkedIn or Twitter? Salesforce’s Service Cloud integrates Twitter and Salesforce. LinkedIn does not have a generally available API, so no similar applications are available at this time
1. General Do you have any insights into what the next step AFTER Facebook will be? I wish we had a good answer for this question! Facebook has proven that its an agile platform able adapt very quickly to new trends– our expectation is that it will remain a powerful platform for engaging with a community for a long time to come.
1. General What age groups are impacted by Facebook? Many are surprised by the growing age diversity among Facebook users– the fastest growing demographic is women over 55. Read more here: fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=102973
1. General Are people ready to purchase when they are on Facebook? Not always– that’s why traditional advertising may not be the most effective way to engage with people in Facebook. People are on Facebook to share with their friends– that’s why we think the most effective way for a brand to market itself on Facebook is by encouraging word of mouth referrals.
1. General Aren’t you one click away from all your competitors in Facebook? That’s true everywhere on the internet! You need to build a community in Facebook precisely because all your competitors are there.
1. General Is Facebook allowing external parties to access all private data? Facebook does not allow external parties to access private data. The only data that is available outside Facebook is that which the user chooses to make public.
1. General Is it possible to bring Facebook data into Salesforce leads? Facebook data cannot be stored outside of Facebook– we only bring into Salesforce information that a user chooses to share when they express interest in what your brand has to offer.
1. General My company primarily sells to companies with very strict rules about what can be viewed on the web. Can I use Facebook? Since key employees of your prospective customers are still most likely using Facebook outside work, and making recommendations to their friends, there may still be an opportunity to use Facebook.
1. General Do people other than college students have time for all this? ~50% of Facebook users are over 25 and 35+ is the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook (, so it’s most definitely not just for college students.
1. General How much time does the average Facebook User spend on the site? We don’t have exact usage statistics but Facebook is a highly engaging service with over 50% of users returning every day.
1. General What are your thoughts on setting up a separate page for business and keeping the personal profile a little more private/selective? It is completely up to each user and business. Every business should set up a Facebook page and start engaging directly with their community. In terms of personal profiles, we absolutely believe that these should be as private as the user wants it to be. This control is what differentiates Facebook and gives applications like ours their power. The fact that something was recommended to me by a friend is what makes me take action where a mass email does not.
1. General What do you say to those who are questioning how Facebook will monetize its HUGE audience? Is this a concern? Facebook’s monetization strategy is a concern only in so far as it affects their viability as a business. Given the strength of their management team, their investors and their user base, we have no doubts about their future.
1. General What percent of people use Facebook for business versus personal? If your customers are on Facebook, you and your company need to be on Facebook, regardless of where you choose do your professional networking. People are pretty early in their adoption of Facebook and other social networks and these types of behavioral norms are evolving rapidly. However, given that the boundaries of business and personal life are quite blurred, we’re not sure it’s even possible to calculate such a %.
1. General Will using Facebook for marketting purposes backfire and force users to abanden it? Facebook users have a lot of control over how they are marketed to within the social network. If a company or brand abuses the trust of their fans, they will quickly lose their fan base. That’s why its so important to use Facebook carefully for viral marketing.
1. General What apps are needed to do what was demonstrated? If you already have Salesforce, you will need Faceconnector if you want to view Facebook profiles within Salesforce and Appirio’s Referral Management Solution if you’d like to run word-of-mouth marketing campaigns on Facebook
1. General Where can I find the products shown in the webinar? Appirio’s Referal Management system can be found at Faceconnector can be found at
1. General Can I view these slides again? The entire webinar can be viewed again at
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Can you summarize the steps of Appirio’s Referal Management Solution? Fans add the application, brands publish information to their fans, the application suggests friends of your fans who might be interested, those friends take action on the content, and all this activity is measured in
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What’s the difference between using Facebook for branding vs. Facebook for lead generation? Branding is typically about driving impressions. Our approach of driving word-of-mouth, is by it’s very nature not about impressions but about driving relevant action. For example, if I think an Appirio webinar on cloud strategy is relevant to my friend Sarah, who runs app dev for a large company, I’ll recommend it to her using our application. Since she trusts me, she’ll most likely register for the webinar and thus become a lead for us. So, our WOM campaign may only generate 1/10 the number of impressions as a display ad, but we’re generating concrete results because of the highly personalized and targeted nature of the referrals
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution How do you distinguish your Facebook applications from the thousands of other, sometimes lower quality, applications available? Our Facebook application helps businesses drive leads by connecting more closely with their customers and encouraging word-of-mouth referrals. We distinguish ourselves by providing our customers with the ability to measure the effectiveness of their word-of-mouth campaigns. By linking Salesforce with Facebook, our customers can see which campaigns perform best, e.g., a tradeshow or a word-of-mouth campaign, and make their own decisiosn
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Could you talk about the benefits of groups vs. pages vs. apps? While groups of individuals can form and manage a group, pages and apps require a sponsor. Every brand should have a page to showcase what they have to say, and our perspective is that creating an app is a high engagement complement to your page. 95% of Facebook users have installed an application.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Do we need to rely on passive word of mouth in order to get our product name out there? Passive WOM is a great thing but what we’re trying to do with our app is encourage active WOM. By making relevant suggestions to people about what might appeal to their friends, we’re encouraging them to make the shift from being passive to being active and making recommendations
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Aren’t you asking people to push your brand for you? You’re right that any word-of-mouth approach relies on the user feeling strongly enough about a product or service to recommend it to their friends.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Does the application only have access to your network? By installing the app, each user gives the app permission to “look through” their network and make recommendations to them based on the keywords in their friends profile. Maintaining the trust of the network is critical so we’re very careful that we only use information that the user grants us access to, and, we encourage the user to take action, the app never sends out email or other messages directly.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Facebook allows you to track and monitor fans of your page– how does it help to connect to Salesforce? Connecting Facebook to Salesforce gives you a lot more flexibility in how you manage your community. You can see who refers whom, measure a referral through your lead pipeline, and integrate Facebook with your other marketing efforts.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What about B2B marketing? [Lots of questions on this topic] Even B2B companies sell to individuals at the end of the day… individuals who are oftentimes actively exploring their interests in Facebook. Facebook can be a powerful way to make a more powerful, personal connections with the people you work with at your important accounts….and Facebook gives you a good set of tools to help you keep your work life seperate from your personal life! Marketing on Facebook is not a replacement for personal connections on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. But your customers are also very likely to be among the 200 M users of Facebook– few brands can afford not to be part of this rich community.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution I am the national marketing coordinator for a franchised company. Is there a way via facebook, to connect with all the networks of all my franchises? Only through their friends– that’s why its important to engage a community in Facebook, and provide content that people are eager to pass along to the people they work with.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Do we have to subscribe to salesforce to use Appirio’s application? Yes: Salesforce is the backend to Appirio’s application. But you don’t need to be an existing SFA customer– some customers just purchase 1 seat for the marketing analyst who will be managing their Facebook campaigns.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Does Appirio require the Campaigns feature in Salesforce to aggregate information? Appirio’s Referal Management System is based on campaigns by default, but can also be configured to work with custom objects. Unfortuntaley, at this time the application does not work with Salesforce Professional Edition
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Is this application available for organizations using the Non-profit version of Salesforce? Yes, and we are excited to offer a 50% discount on our products to non-profits
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What about security? Salesforce and Facebook can be used together in a highly secure way. Communication between the 2 is handled via the standard Salesforce API, and all login information is encrypted both at rest and over the wire. No Facebook data is stored outside of our Facebook application without permission, reducing the risk of compromised personal security.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What about integration with marketing automation solutions like Marketo and Eloqua? Integration is in the works with marketing solutions powered by– please stay tuned for more details. Contact if you have a particular solution you’d like to connect with.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What about audio and video? Facebook makes it easy to share multi-media through a newsfeed– we’re working on supporting this feature within our Referral Management System.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Is your application available in other languages? At this time, our application only supports English language Facebook applications
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution You showed pulling up a Facebook profile for an existing contact within Salesforce… can I also find new leads based on Facebook profiles? Faceconnector and Appirio’s Referal Management solution complement each other in exactly this way. Faceconnector shows you information from Facebook for your existing contacts– Appirio helps you find new leads in Facebook by encouraging word of mouth referrals.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Do you have LinkedIn connectivity or comments about opportunities with LinkedIn as well? LinkedIn is also a powerful social network, especially for job hunters. But it is not yet as powerful a platform for building custom applications for your business, or for engaging with a community who is not in job-hunting mode.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Do you find that the trust is stronger with one network more than another? At the end of the day, people trust their friends. That’s why we’re so excited about Facebook– the level of friend-to-friend communication is so high. Participating in that dialog in an authentic way is very powerful for any brand… that’s what we’re trying to enable with our applications.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What about Twitter? Unlike Facebook, Twitter is very public medium that is used to engage in conversations with large groups of people. Our approach of encouraging trusted, word-of-mouth referrals is much better suited to Facebook which is what people use to engage with their friends rather than Twitter which people typically use to engage with strangers.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution I know a lot of people don’t accept Facebook intro’s if they are not really friends. How can I use Facebook as a prospecting tool? Reaching out to someone you don’t know on Facebook is poor form– that’s why the key to effective marketing on Facebook is to reach people through the people that they are already friends with. That’s what we aim to do with our Referral Management system– encourage, manage, and measure word of mouth referrals.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Are there issues with ownership of the information stored in facebook? There has been a lot of press on Facebook’s terms of service– our view is that you should not post confidential company information on Facebook. That’s why it is so powerful to hook Facebook up to– you can manage your confidential information in Salesforce and publish what’s meant to be public on Facebook.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution How do you find your target market (title, size of comany, etc…) on Facebook? There are two ways to find your target market. With Facebook advertising, it’s possible to segment your audience based on very detailed profiling variables. If you’re using a word-of-mouth approach we demonstrated, your community is doing the targeting based on what they know about their friends, which is clearly a lot more targeted than even the best segmentation!
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution Which messages go to news feeds vs. notifications vs. invites? The application sends notifications directly to users. Users send private invitations to their friends, and post public invitations on their profile.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution How is having this different than just creating a pages account on facebook? A pages account helps you distribute information out to your community but does not encourage them take the next step of actively promoting your company’s offerings. Our referral management solution enables companies to go beyond mere information distribution and passive word of mouth to active, measurable promotion.
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution You mentioned valuing influencers and investing in their loyalty, do you have any suggetions on ways to provide them with reciprocal value? There are many different ways to provide value to your influencers. This can range from giving them financial incentives to giving them privileged access to information or offers. It completely depends on the type of company and how creative they want to get!
2. Appirio’s Referal Management Solution What is the business relationship between Appirio and Appirio is Salesforce’s fastest growing partner. We’ve completed professional service engagements at over 150 enterprises including some of Salesforce’s largest customers. We help enterprises customize and deploy Salesforce, as well as build custom applications on the Salesforce platform. We’ve also built a portfolio of products on the Salesforce platform, including the Referral Management Application you saw in the webinar and many more including 3 top 10 apps on the App Exchange.
3. The Facebook Era / Faceconnector How does Faceconnector make matches with Salesforce? Since email addresses are protected in Facebook, Faceconnector makes matches based on first and last name
3. The Facebook Era / Faceconnector Does advertising through Faceconnector leave traces in the Contacts etc related lists, e.g. Activities? There is no advertising in Faceconnector, and Faceconnector activity is not tracked as an activity
3. The Facebook Era / Faceconnector How do Faceconnector and Appirio’s apps interface? Faceconnector and Appirio’s Referral Management System are both built and connect using’s lead and contact objects
3. The Facebook Era / Faceconnector Is there a book on Facebook and utilizing social networking to promote your business? The leading book on the subject is The Facebook Era, co-presentor on this webinar! You can get her book at:
3. The Facebook Era / Faceconnector I just purchased Clara’s book on Amazon for my Kindle. Is the promotion still afforded to me? Contact for questions about the promotion

Previous Article
Google Wave for the Enterprise
Google Wave for the Enterprise

Iein Valdez Very exciting news from Google I/O over the last couple of days– especially Wave, Google’s visi...

Next Article
Do your most strategic apps belong in the cloud?
Do your most strategic apps belong in the cloud?

Balakrishna Narasimhan I’ve been in a number of conversations over the past few weeks where I’ve been asked...