Introduction to Salesforce Communities

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Author
Selvina Poric

Selvina Poric

UK Marketing Manager

Communities are branded spaces for your employees, customers, and partners to connect. You can customise and create communities to meet your business needs, then transition seamlessly between them. Communities are a great way to share information and collaborate with people outside of your company who are key to your business processes, such as customers or partners.

You can use Communities to:

  • Drive more sales by connecting your employees with your distributors, resellers, and suppliers
  • Deliver world-class service by giving your customers one place to get answers
  • Manage social listening, content, engagement, and workflow all in one place. Community stats

You can create multiple communities within your organisation for different purposes. For example, you could create a customer support community to reduce support costs, or a channel sales community for partner deal support, or you could have a community dedicated to an upcoming event.

Example 1

One example of using a Community Cloud would be to test-drive some high-end security products or even test out some features of a public cloud environment. This is great for organisations that are driven by compliance and regulatory measures. Government, healthcare, and some regulated private industries are leveraging the added security features within a Community Cloud environment. Instead of just provisioning space in a public cloud, organisations can test and work on a cloud platform which is secure, “dedicated,” and even compliant with certain regulations. The really interesting part is that with a Community Cloud, the presence can be either onsite or offsite.

Example 2

Or, as another example, HR and IT Help Desk can engage employees and deliver critical knowledge and instructions. And from on boarding to payroll to IT troubleshooting, employees can help themselves to the information they need, 24/7. Employees find, share, and collaborate on content in real time, and connect with others in the social intranet — beyond the boundaries of their department, office, or even country.

Communities can be based on standard Salesforce functionality and tabs, or on one of the preconfigured templates. Communities may contain a subset of features and data available in your internal Salesforce organisation and can be customised to use your company branding. In addition, you can choose which members from your company and which customers, partners, or other people outside your company can join.

Communities live inside your org and can be easily accessed from the global header using the drop-down menu in the top left corner of Salesforce or in the Salesforce1 Mobile Browser App. Use this menu to switch between your communities and your internal Salesforce org.

Communities for mobile

There are many options for using Community Cloud on a mobile device. Because Community Templates are fully responsive, it’s easy to provide a rich experience that can be viewed on any mobile device. For employee communities, your workforce has full access to Salesforce1. And customers also can create a customised mobile app for their community using the Salesforce Mobile SDK, which is now available to all Force.com and Database.com developers.

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