Salesforce Labs has come out with an update to their popular Cloud Swarm app called Cloud Swarm 3. They have added more functionality and more options so if you have not installed the previous version, you should consider installing this one.
In Cloud Swarm 2, you could set rules (or criteria) so people could automatically follow Salesforce opportunities and cases when the record meets the criteria. You could also have multiple rules so sales managers would auto follow opportunities over a certain amount and marketing managers would auto follow opportunities of a certain type.
In Cloud Swarm 2, you had the choice of all opportunities, opportunities for accounts you own, opportunities above a certain amount, when they reach a certain stage, or opportunities of a certain type. Cloud Swarm 3 now gives you the ability to automatically follow opportunities in Salesforce.com owned by direct reports. Now, you can create a rule so that the sales manager will auto follow any opportunities that are owned by the people that directly report to him in the Salesforce role hierarchy.
For cases, in Cloud Swarm 2, you have the criteria choices of all cases, cases for accounts you own, or cases with a certain status, priority, or type. Cloud Swarm 3 gives you the extra option of automatically following Salesforce cases owned by your direct reports in the Salesforce role hierarchy. This could be incredibly helpful for any customer service department and customer service manager or customer services executive.
Cloud Swarm 3 for Salesforce Chatter does not stop there. Now you can auto follow leads and create your own criteria to follow any record where someone posts a certain text string into that record’s Chatter feed. It also gives you to option to notify Chatter users that they have automatically started to follow a record.
The new lead criteria gives you the options for all leads, leads owned by your direct reports in the role hierarchy, or leads with a certain rating, status, lead source, or industry. The notify option is a powerful way to increase the effectiveness of Salesforce Chatter. Now, I receive a Chatter feed when I start following a record instead of the next time a field changes.
I saved the best for last. How often have you been working on a record in Salesforce and wanted a co-worker or manager to follow the record using Chatter? You would have to assign them a task from the record, send an email, or post on their profile with a link to the record. What an inefficient process, especially if you want the whole team to follow the record!
With the new Feed Post swarm rules in Cloud Swarm 3, you can set up a text string that your users can enter to have people auto follow a record. For instance, say you use a text string like !supportfollow! and then create a Feed Post swarm rule that has the support team following any records that have that string in a Chatter feed post. Now, when a team member wants the team to follow a particular Salesforce case, they just enter !supportfollow! into the Chatter feed of that record and everyone on the team is automatically following that record. How cool is that?
The Feed Post swarm rules feature is a powerful tool and can be used on any Salesforce object but you need to be careful with your text string criteria. Be sure to use simple but uncommon strings like the example above. If you use common phrases like “follow this” (without the quotes), you could end up having people auto follow records that they are not interested in.
On the other hand, if you make the text string criteria too complex, like “^&hardware support Denver follow%$” (with or without the quotes), it will be too hard to remember and will probably not be used. If you have the space on your Salesforce page layouts, you may want to create a text formula or read only field with the different criteria and who follows the record when they are entered.
This will help your users if you have more than one Feed Post swarm rule on an object and remember, the criteria is not based on objects, only the text string. In my example above, if someone enters !supportfollow! in the chatter feed of a Salesforce account, the support team will automatically follow that account, even if it is unintended.
With all this information about automatically following records in Chatter, I would be remiss in my responsibilities if I did not tell you about the Chatter Unfollow Rules app. Salesforce has a 500 record limit for following records in Chatter and it would be easy to hit that limit with just a small number of Cloud Swarm 3 rules.
Chatter Unfollow Rules allows you to set criteria to globally unfollow records each night. I use this myself to automatically unfollow closed cases 10 days after they close and our sales manager unfollows closed won opportunities 5 days after they close. These are just some examples. I am sure you can think of others. Just remember that these rules are global so everyone in the company will unfollow that record when the criteria is met.
Salesforce, and Salesforce Labs, are continuing to expand on Chatter features so be sure to check back often. When new features come out, I will be reporting on them and from what I have seen so far, I expect nothing but the best to come. You can find both Chatter Unfollow Rules and Cloud Swarm 3 on the AppExchange.
[button type=”success” size=”lg” link=”http://bit.ly/1qbJbBa”]Have more Salesforce Chatter Questions?
Click Here to Download our Free Guide to
Salesforce Best Practices[/button]