Collaborate with Others Through Chatter

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit you will be able to:

  • Explore how Chatter helps your organization collaborate.
  • Control your Chatter notifications.
  • Connect with people inside and outside your organization via Chatter groups.

Get Everyone on Board the Chatter Train

In a social services organization like No More Homelessness (NMH), multiple people across the organization see clients and donors in different contexts. How can anyone at the organization keep up? Well, Salesforce Chatter helps them keep on top of the latest interactions or updates without missing a beat. 

With Chatter you can chat about a specific contact, opportunity, or case and notify (that is, @mention) a colleague. You can also alert a group of staff members to read a new file you’ve uploaded. You can even collaborate with external supporters like board members and volunteers by giving them a special, free license to use Chatter only. 

Chat About Specific Records

Sofia Rivera, an NMH Development Associate, receives a call from donor, volunteer, and all-around NMH-advocate Candace Evans about a recent gift. Sofia logs a call on the related opportunity but wants to make sure her Development Director, Aniyah Thompson, is aware of the conversation. Chatter to the rescue!

  1. Start by clicking the Chatter tab in the opportunity record’s activity panel, then clicking into the text box (it should say, “Share an update…”) under Post.
  2. To make sure a specific person is alerted about a post, start by typing @ and then begin typing their name. For example, Sofia starts typing @an and Salesforce automatically suggests Aniyah because she is a Salesforce user.

    A Chatter post suggesting Aniyah as an @mention

  3. When Salesforce suggests a user, you simply click on the suggestion to add a properly formatted @mention. Sofia clicks on Aniyah’s name to include her.

During the call, Candace added that she was interested in contributing a volunteer story about her work at the food pantry for the next NMH newsletter. Sofia also wants to @mention NMH’s Communications Director, Cristina Jasic, because she’s compiling the next newsletter. She’ll also @mention Gia Mason, the NMH Program Manager responsible for the food pantry, because she works with Candace frequently.

The post mentioning Aniyah, Cristina, and Gia

Once you click Share, everyone @mentioned will be alerted via email and Salesforce notifications to check out the post. In Sofia’s case, everyone has completely different interests regarding this single donor, but they are all in the know in one message right from where Sofia was already working.

Use Chatter with Internal Groups

You can also tag internal Chatter groups through @mentions. At NMH, Cristina sees the message from Sofia about the possibility of a new newsletter story and she decides to @mention the Communications group in Salesforce. 

The group makes decisions together about how to best tell NMH’s story and make the most of the contributions they get from donors, volunteers, and program participants. The organization has made strides in creating a story bank in recent years, and they want to discuss all of the ways a contribution can be used. That takes teamwork and planning.

  1. From the Chatter post, click into the Write a comment field under the existing post, then type @ and the name of a particular group. Salesforce suggests the group just like it suggests an individual user.

    Cristina’s comment on Sofia’s original Chatter post

  2. Click Save, and each member of the group will get an alert based on their notification preferences.

Set Up Your Chatter Notifications

Being up on the latest developments is great—but what if it’s all too much? Fortunately you can set preferences for how often you receive Chatter notifications in different situations.

  1. Go to your profile picture in the top right corner and click on Settings.
  2. Click on Chatter in the window on the left. 
  3. Click on Email Notifications. Choose which types of posts you’d like to be notified of via email.

You could also set the frequency for personal digests—a compilation of all of your Chatter updates—to daily, weekly, or never.

Use the Chatter App in Salesforce

Chatter isn’t just on individual records, though. The Chatter app collects all of the posts that have @mentioned you, messages in the groups to which you belong, and updates on specific records you follow to watch for changes. To view the Chatter app, open the App Launcher (The App Launcher icon) in the top left corner. Then search for and select Chatter.

The Chatter app is where Michael Aviran, an NMH Communications intern, likes to start his day.

In the feed, the main section of the Chatter page, Michael sees that Cristina tagged the communications committee. He also sees an update from Aniyah about the Sci-Fi Book Club’s next meeting. Score! She’s bringing pizza! If he hadn’t checked Chatter, he would have gone out to get his own lunch. 

The Chatter page

Use Chatter Externally

When Aniyah gets the notification from Sofia about the new donor-and-volunteer story from Candace Evans, she’s reminded to ask the board if they’d like to contribute more of their own stories. So, she posts to the Board Members Chatter group. By posting to the Chatter group, all responses will be collected in one place, making it easier for the NMH board to brainstorm collectively. 

With Chatter you can make groups either public or private, and internal or external, to include board members, volunteers, or other key supporters who don’t have standard Salesforce licenses. With a Chatter Free license, they can post updates to the group, follow people, and share files within a secure group.

Aniyah’s post in a private group for NMH’s board

Productivity Accomplished

As you can see from the NMH examples, Salesforce can help an organization do a lot. It’s up to your team to decide how best to use it and get all you can out of the platform.

From better search to collaboration, from list views to global actions, and from Kanban to Chatter, we hope this module has given you the tools you need to make the most of every day—and tackle every challenge—as well as you can in service of your mission.

Resources