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Salesforce Success Community: User Group Leaders Best Practices

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Getting involved with the User Group Program in the community gives a unique opportunity to connect
with like minded Salesforce users in a whole new way. A User Group is a network of other Salesforce
Community members that come together to share ideas, best practices, successes and collaborate on their use of Salesforce. If you are a seasoned User Group Leader or interested in starting one these are some of the best practices to help get your group off to the right start.

Published in: Technology, Business

Salesforce Success Community: User Group Leaders Best Practices

  1. 1. Salesforce Success Community: User Group Leaders Best Practices Running a User Group in the Salesforce Community gives you a unique opportunity to connect with other like minded Salesforce users in a whole new way. A User Group is a network of other Salesforce Community members, and possibly even members of our Partner community, that come together in a neutral environment to share ideas, best practices, successes and generally collaborate together regarding each member’s use of salesforce.com. User Group leaders and members alike often experience both personal and professional success within each member’s respective place of work from their time attending and contributing to a regional or Industry specific User Group. There are a number of components to running and being involved in a successful User Group. Here are some tips to get you off on the right foot and set you up for success. USER GROUP LEADER PROGRAM, PLANNING & DESIGN Clear and Concise Purpose: You are not desiring to create and/or lead a User Group for kicks and giggles, so do a little homework before you create the group. Ask yourself a series of questions to determine if this is the right avenue to pursue: What do I want to get out of creating and leading this group? What is the vision for the group? Do you know that there are other Salesforce users in your region or industry that want to meet together? Answering these critical questions will help you define a plan. It’s also a good idea to search what User Groups exists first before starting your group. A similar one may already exist and you can combine forces rather than recreating the wheel. Choose whether you are creating an Industry specific or regional User Group: This will help when members are searching in the community for User Groups and will aid you in the focus and promotion of your User Group. The name should be either the specific Industry you trying to target, i.e. Wealth Management, Finance, or a City or Region, i.e. Boston, Southern Indiana, to help the members determine if they are choosing the right group to join. The salesforce.com User Group Program team will create a specific logo, Salesforce Success Community private collaboration chatter Group and @salesforceusergroups.com email account specific for your group. Reach out to the salesforce.com User Group Program Manager: The next step in creating a new User Group is contacting the salesforce.com User Group Program Manager usergroupprogram@salesforce.com to introduce yourself and share your desire to start leading a new User Group. We predominantly want our User Groups to be led by our Customer Community. If you are a Partner wishing to lead a User Group we request you contact the User Group Program Manager as a special request. The salesforce.com User Group Program Manager will talk you through next steps, which include setting you up with a @salesforceusergroups.com email account (specific to your User Group name Region or Industry), an Eventbrite account to create and manage your events, a ReadyTalk webinar account to conduct virtual events (if you do not want to be encumbered by location for your event), access to the “All User Group Leaders” private collaboration chatter Group (with access to over 200 seasoned User Group leaders and co-leaders and other related information and materials) on the Salesforce Success Community, a specific User Group logo, and most importantly your own private User Group collaboration chatter Group (where you can invite other salesforce.com community members to Join and communicate together with them) on the Salesforce Success Community. The User Group Program also provides our leadersevent reimbursements to help with the costs of some of your event logistics. Contact the User Group Program Manager for more details. WORKING WITH YOUR GROUP WITHIN THE SALESFORCE SUCCESS COMMUNITY Seed and Grow your User Group collaboration chatter group: When launching your UserGroup collaboration chatter group, on the Salesforce Success Community, for the first time, it’s critical to “stage” your group properly to set the tone. Load the group up with helpful information and files to kick start the group. Leverage the left navigation to pin key files,highlight key contacts, and featured communications. Ensure you also write a clear yet descriptive “description” of the group to clearly define the group's mission and who the User Group leadership is with your Salesforce Success Community profile as a link. We recommend that you update Information section with an updates link to your future Eventbrite User Group events and a link to your Eventbrite organizer profile. We also recommend a small section that indicates that your events are “Powered by Eventbrite and ReadyTalk” with a link to both Websites. Consistency is Key: Do something in your group every day - a post, a file, an interesting link, a poll etc. This is key, early on, to fostering communication and gaining trust that the group is vibrant and responsive. Consider sharing the workload with other designated User Group co-leaders by designating them as “Managers” in your group. (See chart below for the permission-based differences between Owners and Manager). A best practice is that Owner/Managers should be at least 2x more engaged than standard members. Make sure you set proper expectations right up front what the SLA is for responsiveness in the group. Finally, make sure you receive an email on “every post” for all groups you own/manage so you don’t miss a thing! Tell your User Group collaboration group
  2. 2. members to also set their own email settings to “every post” so they too can be notified about what is going on. Getting other Salesforce Success Community users joining your User Groupcollaboration chattergroup home: We have recognized that there have been a number of groups within the Salesforce ecosystem advertising themselves as User Groups but not part of the official User Group Program. This is great! Now let’s get you official and allow us to start supporting you. Some of these groups have been using a variety of tools to help advertise their groups, including Meetup.com, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, Xing community in Europe, etc. It is time to get active on our Salesforce Success Community, as this is the home for all our customers and partners alike. When you are setup with an official User Group collaboration chatter group on the Salesforce Success Community feel free to promote this group on those other domains, but we want all the conversations and goodness to migrate to your User Group collaboration chatter group straight away. The easiest way is to get your potential and existing User Group members to join your User Group collaboration chatter group. As you as the collaboration chatter group owner/manager see the pending join requests reach out to those individuals and have them identify themselves to see if they are a good fit for your User Group. Have them also add a profile picture of themselves to make it easier for the community to identify them. We will always be promoting to you as User Group leader inclusivity. We do not want customers expressing an interest in your User Group to go without access. Please also see the Salesforce Success Community: Collaboration Best Practices guide and the Salesforce Success Community: User Groups Program guide WORKING WITH YOUR GROUP IN GENERAL Know your audience: Understand what they care about, why they are joining your group, and what their interests are. The more you know about your audience the more you can connect with them. This will also help with defining the goal of the group too. Partners, both ISV and Consulting, and Salesforce employees are going to express a desire to attend your User Group events. This can be of tremendous benefit to you on a number of counts. Partners are often willing to help sponsor your events with food and beverage or locations. This, along with the programs reimbursement policy will go a long way to provide your members with a great event they will want to keep coming back to. Often those partners will be willing to provide this sort of sponsorship in exchange for possibly allowing some of their team to have a background presence at your events and possibly a speaking slot. We support you the User Group Leadership to build those relationships with our Partners and negotiate what that sponsorship looks like. At any time you can contact the User Group Program Manager for help or support. Likewise assistance and support from the larger Salesforce team will be of tremendous value to you and we have asked our Customers for Life team to build trusting relationships with our User Group Leaders. Your local Salesforce team will often help negotiate those relationships with Partners, provide speaker recommendations and often be available to present themselves, help promote your User Group with other customers in the region or industry and a whole host of other vital support. Salesforce employees are there to be your trusted advisors and are not there to intimidate. Think about content: The biggest mistake a User Group Leader can make is re-creating content in your group that already exist in other areas of the Community and in particular created by other User Group Leaders. The All User Group Leaders collaboration group on the Salesforce Success Community is going to be your lifesaver. Salesforce will also provide you as the User Group Leadership access to the official release PowerPoint 3 times a year to help with event content.
  3. 3. Number and Types of Events: Salesforce actively encourages all User Group Leaders to conduct at minimum 4 events per year. Many of our larger User Groups meet fortnightly and are able to provide a consistent and continual wealth of content to their members throughout the year. Salesforce supports both physical and virtual events dependent on your audience and reach. We provide a ReadyTalk webinar tool for those wanting to conduct their events online and this tool can also be used to record your on location event presentations to make available to members unable to attend. We want to thank you current or potential User Group Leader for all you do to volunteer your time and talents to this wonderful community! We look forward to hopefully meeting you and thanking you in person in the not too distant future. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your User Group Program Manager at usergroupprogram@salesforce.com

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