Facebook 'Friend' Information Leads To New Employees
Appirio Referral Management Solution, released today, lets recruiters and marketers locate new employees, raise buzz for campaigns and create closer relationships with customers, according to Ryan Nichols, VP of product management and marketing at San Mateo, Calif.-based Appirio.
Supported on the backend by the Salesforce CRM platform, the technology connects companies with more than 150 million of Google's social network users. The viral application offers three tools: viral recruiting, viral marketing and viral sales.
While viral recruiting encourages employees to recommend friends in their network for job openings, viral marketing lets companies promote new offerings, discounts and events to customers, partners and employees, Nichols said.
The integration between Facebook and the Salesforce CRM platform provides functions that let marketers track leads, follow up, and report on campaign success. The viral sales feature helps increase the size of a company's "virtual account team" by tapping into relationships that employees might already have in strategic accounts or customer relationships.
The application taps into the information to which Facebook "friends" have access, Nichols said. "Referrals are the highest-quality, lowest cost of business for any company, and marketers stand to gain a lot through word of mouth referrals."
When a new marketing campaign is created in Salesforce, it sends a notification. The keywords in Appirio's marketing campaign are matched to the user's friend profiles and top matches displayed on the page. The application looks across all of the user's friends to identify and suggest referrals. The application engine makes suggestions, but it's the manager's decision to advance the referral search.
The data used to make the match with the marketing campaign or open job position lives within the Facebook social network. None is collected and stored. For the most part, the big social network sites give consumers control over their personal information.
The ability to share tidbits of personal information faster and more easily has sent Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter to the top of the popularity chart. Younger and working-age adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to venture into social networks. A December survey by the Pew Internet Project reveals that 75% of adults ages 18 to 24 in the U.S. use social networks, compared with 57% of online adults ages 25 to 34, and 7% of adults 65 and older.
While a variety of people appear to flock to social networks, the obstacle has been getting people to understand the benefits of enterprise applications that tie into the sites.