What to do when Salesforce Social Studio Sunsets [Full Guide]
Salesforce announced earlier this year that Social Studio, their one-stop social media management platform, has entered sunset mode and will no longer be receiving any updates.
For those of you working in Social Studio and enjoying the native integration with your Salesforce platform, this is likely a difficult time. It’s normal to feel that uncertainty around what you’ll do with your social media program, and how you can move forward as painlessly as possible.
In this article, we’ll walk you through your options and explain your timeline for migrating from Social Studio to another platform.
- Important Dates to Remember
- What End-of-Life Means for Social Studio
- What to Look for in a Social Studio Alternative
- Key Functionalities Social Studio Didn’t Offer
Salesforce Social Studio Sunset: Important Dates to Remember
According to Salesforce, after August 1st, 2022, you’ll no longer be able to renew Social Studio.
However, even though you can’t renew the product, you don’t have to panic. You can still use Social Studio until either the end of your contract date, or November 18th, 2024, when the product is slated for retirement. Salesforce has also mentioned that this retirement date is subject to change.
What does End-of-Life Mean for Social Studio?
You can continue using Social Studio until the end of your contract (if not renewed) or until November 18th, 2022. Until either of those dates, you’ll have access to Social Studio as you always have.
It’s important to note that Salesforce has not yet specified whether support for Social Studio will be maintained after August 1st, 2022.
However, after November 18th, 2024, you’ll no longer be able to access Social Studio at all.
What to Look for in a Social Studio Alternative
Sooner or later, you’ll need to look for an alternative to Social Studio before your contract ends, or you reach November 2024. The question is – with the immense choice of social media management platforms on the market today, which is the best choice for your B2B business?
There are certain aspects that you’ll want to consider when searching for a good alternative to Social Studio. You’ll need a social media management tool that can do everything that Social Studio did, however, why not take the opportunity to re-evaluating all of your organic social media needs?
Native integration with Salesforce
First, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a social media platform that has native integration with Salesforce. This will allow you to understand your customers at a mere glance.
While it also saves you time, being able to trace social interactions back to customers and prospects in your database means you can better anticipate their needs. After all, that’s the main reason you chose Social Studio in the first place – and keeping your customer data centralized will be important for offering a better customer experience.
Social media management & publishing
If you had to publish each and every post manually, you’d do literally nothing else. A huge time-saver, being able to plan and schedule your social posts is typically a core functionality in social media management platforms.
Some social media management tools will also offer visual content calendars that allow you to visualize your upcoming campaigns. This means you can not only pre-plan your social calendar, but it means you can also understand exactly what’s going out at what time.
Integration with your key social channels
Social Studio integrated and allowed publishing, engaging, and metrics across several social media platforms:
Whether all the social channels are pertinent to your business or not, you’ll need the same deep integration with the channels that are.
Social listening capabilities to replace Topic Profiles
Social listening is a core, and often overlooked, function of a social media management platform. Allowing you to keep up on the latest trends, your competition, and potentially sticky PR situations for your own brand, you’ll want a social media tool that includes social listening.
Note: Be sure to look for a social media platform that includes sentiment analysis. It’s a quick way to get a bird’s-eye view of how your audience feels about a certain situation.
Key Functionalities Social Studio Didn’t Offer
Perhaps, now that it’s time to find an alternative to Social Studio, it might be time to rethink the way you handle social media in general.
Assuming another platform has the criteria that you need, you might want to consider a few features and benefits that other social-specialized platforms offer. It’s important to think about where you want your social strategy to go in the future.
And what better time than when you’ll need to find a new social platform anyway?
Employee advocacy is a powerful social initiative that can amplify your brand message. The concept is simple: your social team creates messages that your employees share out on their personal social accounts.
While this sounds simple, it creates an interesting ripple effect for the rest of the company. People buy from people – not brands. Today, people don’t want to interact with a brand on social media, they want real conversations with other professionals. Having your employees share content from their own unique voices and perspectives makes it more authentic and more likely to get higher levels of engagement.
In fact, we recently used employee advocacy to increase social conversions by 266%.
Not to mention, this has a few great benefits that go beyond amplification – it cements your employee’s professional brands, as well as your own employer brand. An employee actively posting about how great it is to work for you is much more powerful than your corporate account talking about it. Authenticity is the key to making your employer brand work on social media.
For employees, regular posts pertinent to their individual careers will help them provoke real conversations, and establish themselves as thought-leaders in their industries. In fact, 47% of buyers say thought leadership helped them discover and purchase from a company that was not a leader in their industry.
Employee advocacy is a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone involved. When looking for a new social media management platform, employee advocacy is a must-have for B2B organizations.
Social Analytics & Sales Reporting:
Social Studio has cards that you could create to get a sense of your metrics, which was combined with their social listening feature. There are dashboards, workbenches, and reports, which gives you varying depths of data and analysis.
But B2B companies need to go deeper. As a B2B marketer, you need to be able to tie your social efforts to revenue generation. Business intelligence and smart social analytics can help you do that.
There are a few main things you’ll want to look for when choosing a social media management platform:
- Custom Reports: You’ll want to be able to create reports based on different metrics, and pull specific perspectives as you need them, based on the time frames that make the most sense for you.
- Cross-channel analytics: To understand what works and what doesn’t, you’ll need both a global and granular view of your socials. Part of the magic of bringing your different social channels under one roof is being able to get a global picture of your social strategy.
- Engagement & Sales Metrics: Deep integration with Salesforce will allow you to track engagement and conversions from social – much like you could with Social Studio. It’s important to be able to draw a line between your efforts on social and the impact on your revenue.
- Audience Insights: To better deliver a great customer experience, you’ll need to understand your audience. While you can see more details in Salesforce, sometimes having a global view of your audience can deliver better insights.
Compliance and Governance:
More than ever, a brand’s social accounts are scrutinized, be it by industry regulators, corporate compliance, your shareholders, or just your boss. It’s important to make sure that every message you or your employees send is on-brand, and within whatever legal confines you’re subjected to.
There are a few security measures B2B social media management platforms put into place so that you can rest assured that your socials are in good hands.
- Approval Workflows: A second pair of eyes is always helpful – so a social platform that has built-in approval workflows will allow for peace of mind.
- Role Permissions: Social is a collaborative space, but that doesn’t mean you want each and every person in your organization to have the keys to the kingdom. Allowing for different roles and their unique permissions helps you create space without worrying about who can publish on public-facing corporate accounts.
- Crisis Management: Few social media management platforms offer this fail-safe, but it’s an important measure to have. Crisis management will help you temporarily disable all publishing across your accounts and automatically pause automated publishing during times of crisis.
Social media is a critical component of a B2B marketing strategy – and perhaps even more than some brands think. With Salesforce Social Studio sunsetting, it’s time to look for a new solution, and that solution may make or break that social strategy.
But, by doing your homework and looking deeper into each social media management tool, you can find the perfect solution for your B2B organization. In fact, certain tools might open new opportunities that you couldn’t previously dream of with Social Studio.
There are other critical factors that go into choosing the right social media platform for your B2B business. Check out our full B2B Marketer’s Guide here!