Top image: How to prepare for the end of Salesforce Social Studio

Jeff Haws, Director of Content Marketing, Emplifi

How to prepare for the end of Salesforce Social Studio

As Salesforce approaches the sunsetting of Social Studio in November 2024, many brands are left wondering how to transition smoothly without losing valuable data and operational continuity. Social Studio has been a cornerstone for managing social media activities, providing tools for social listening, publishing, and analytics. 

The end of Social Studio means not only the loss of these tools but also the deletion of all associated customer data. We can guide you through the essential steps to prepare for these changes, ensuring your brand remains strong and effective in social media management.

Understand the impact on your operations

Whatever steps you take to move forward from Salesforce Social Studio, the first thing you’ll need to do is understand the impact the change will have on how your team works. 

Start by conducting a thorough audit of how your team uses Salesforce Social Studio. Identify what features are most critical to your operations. Are you heavily reliant on its social listening capabilities, or is content scheduling the core of your daily activities? Understanding these aspects will help you pinpoint what you need in a new tool.

  • Identify critical features: Start by listing the features of Social Studio that your team uses regularly. These could include content publishing, social listening, reporting and analytics, among others.

  • Evaluate usage patterns: Understand how your team uses the above features, from how frequently they use them to user roles and permissions, and then assess the level of team efficiency provided by each one.

  • Analyze content performance: Review the effectiveness of your content with audience insights, using the demographic and psychographic information that Social Studio provides. 

  • Identify customizations and automations: Document any customizations and automations you have set up in Social Studio, including customer reports and dashboards, automated responses, and customer tags and filters.

  • Gather team feedback: Collect feedback on what they value most about Social Studio. You can use surveys and direct interviews with team members, and put together a feature wishlist for a new tool.

  • Prepare for data transition: Conduct a data audit, listing all the data types stored in Social Studio, such as post data, user interactions, and historical analysis. Based on the results, determine what data needs to be exported and how you’ll use it.

Selecting a new social media management tool

With Social Studio leaving the market, you need to find a new social media management tool that can fill the gap. The aforementioned feature wishlist should serve as a good guide as you start to look at alternatives. It may be unlikely that there’s a perfect solution out there that checks every single box for your team, but you can probably find one that comes pretty close. Compare them based on:

  • Feature parity: Ensure the new tool covers as many of Social Studio's functionalities as possible.

  • Usability: Choose a tool that your team can adapt to quickly.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Consider the pricing models and how they fit into your budget.

  • Support and community: A vibrant user community and responsive customer support are invaluable for smoothing the transition.

Emplifi Social Marketing is one option many former Salesforce Social Studio customers have already chosen to transition to as their contracts have expired. Some of the reasons Emplifi has been an attractive option for brands include:

  • Smooth integration: Emplifi integrates with Salesforce in its community and care tool, and the companies are partners. Salesforce is part of Emplifi’s platform intelligence engine, so it’s easy to seamlessly escalate cases from Emplifi’s care tool to Salesforce, including data mapping.

  • Advanced analytics: Emplifi makes it easy to create and export omnichannel custom reports. Some Social Studio alternatives don't offer omnichannel flexible widgets, while Emplifi can save brands time and help provide clarity to massive amounts of data through automation, rule-based labeling, and sentiment.

  • Scalability: Emplifi offers a multi-tenant structure, allowing many teams to utilize one account.

  • Simple pricing: No surprises or hidden fees, unlimited users, with transparency and honesty throughout the sales process.

  • Ease of use: Customers consistently report that Emplifi’s UI is simple to navigate, even for less experienced users. 

Whoever you choose, there are some important steps you’ll need to take in order to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible. Keep these in mind as you make your plans for moving forward.

Manage data migration carefully

Since Salesforce will delete all customer data from Social Studio, it's vital to export your data safely and systematically. Following a data audit and export of what you’ll need going forward — Salesforce offers a guide for that — here are the next steps you’ll want to take:

Choose a data storage solution

Determine the volume and type of data you have — this will impact what sort of storage solution you need, from cloud services like Google Cloud Storage and AWS S3 to your own dedicated database. These decisions should also take into account security and privacy concerns.

Document and backup

Keep a record of how and when the data was exported, and then document any filters you applied. To prevent data loss, create multiple redundancies and backups, storing them in different locations.

Develop a data integration plan

As you transition to a new social media management tool, plan how you’ll integrate the exported data into the new system. Identify how data fields in Social Studio correspond to those in the new tool and plan any transformations you’ll need.

Communicate internally

Make sure all relevant team members are aware of the data export and deletion dates. Whatever training materials you have should reflect the changes in tools and locations of data.

Seek legal and compliance advice

Check with your Legal team to ensure your data export and storage methods meet regulatory requirements, and then confirm you have all necessary documentation and data to meet potential audit requirements.

Train your team on the new tool

Effective training is a critical component of successfully transitioning to a new social media management tool. Comprehensive training ensures that your team can fully leverage the new tool's capabilities, maintain productivity, and minimize disruptions in your social media activities. Here’s how to structure a robust training program for your team:

  • Assess training needs: Evaluate the current skill levels of your team members in using social media management tools, and identify any gaps that exist. Then survey team members to help tailor training to address specific needs.

  • Develop a training plan: A structured training plan should include the following topics in an organized manner: Basic navigation and operation; content creation and scheduling; social listening and engagement; analytics and reporting; collaboration features; and custom features and integrations

  • Foster continuous learning and support: Training shouldn’t stop after the initial sessions. Continuous learning helps the team stay proficient and adapt to any updates or new features. Be sure to establish a helpdesk, schedule follow-up training, and encourage peer learning to keep everyone on track.

Takeaways

As you prepare for the sunsetting of Salesforce Social Studio, here are the key takeaways to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Conduct a thorough audit of your use of Social Studio to understand what features and integrations are essential for your operations.

  2. Select a new tool that closely matches the functionalities of Social Studio, and ensure it fits within your budget and operational workflow.

  3. Develop and execute a detailed transition plan, focusing on training, data export, and workflow adjustments.

  4. Communicate effectively with both internal and external stakeholders about the changes and what they can expect.

  5. Monitor and optimize your new setup, using feedback to refine and improve your social media operations.

By following these steps, your brand can navigate the end of Salesforce Social Studio without missing a beat, continuing to effectively drive social media engagement with your audience. If you’d like to speak to Emplifi about how our team can give you a great landing spot for your social media efforts, we’d love to talk.

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