Posted by: eliz_beth | November 15, 2011

Facebook settings and Social Contacts in Salesforce

So, you’ve turned on Social Contacts in Salesforce.

You know the drill – pull up a contact, click on the social media icon of choice, look for the contact and if you find them, click to associate it with the account. You can pull their picture to use in Salesforce as well- in theory it is a great way to enhance contact information.

That is, until you try it, per my previous post. Twitter is not too bad if the person has their name associated with the account. I’m still dismayed that there is no way to manually enter the handles and you’re forced to search. Which again, works great if they have their name on it but if you want to associate their corporate account it will be impossible to do so.

LinkedIn – see the previous post. I have learned since then the access is LinkedIn’s product. So if you have access to LinkedIn via Salesforce, it comes with all the standard access they provide at a premium. Not sure how I feel about this as LinkedIn would/should have good business-related data, I can’t imagine companies happy to shell out for licenses to tools to make it easier for employees to job hunt. Just a thought.

Facebook – Here’s the big one. I found myself!!! Ha ha! Actually in talking it through with some fellow MVPs, especially Judi Sohn, I figured out why even though I was logged in with my account, why I couldn’t see me.

Basically even though you are logged into Facebook with your valid access to even begin searching, it treats it like a public search. So you can only find those who have allowed themselves to be searched (for example, if you google the name, their account page comes up- not just references to other places they’ve posted on FB). Here’s where it gets even better- you go to privacy settings, How You Connect and can choose Everybody for the first three. Per Facebook and common sense, this should open you up to be searched by anyone in Facebook. So changing this could make me see myself? Nope. I’ve got it set for everybody to search for me. I’ve met a lot of interesting people and gotten back in touch with them due to that setting.

So if I’m set up to be able to be found by users (in theory anyone connecting from Salesforce) why couldn’t I find me?

Because of THIS setting: Go to Privacy Settings again, then Apps Games & Websites. At the bottom is Public Search which is defined as: Show a preview of your Facebook profile when people look for you using a search engine. Click on the edit settings button and it’ll take you to a page where you can check on or off to be included in public search. The exact message is: Public search controls whether people who enter your name in a search engine will see a preview of your Facebook profile. Because some search engines cache information, some of your profile information may be available for a period of time after you turn public search off.

You must have this checked in order for the search to work from Salesforce. I don’t care for this because if it is off, if you’re in Facebook, you can find me easily. I don’t need/want my profile to be searchable via Google. Due to the privacy concerns over the years with Facebook who would want this turned on – I feel risky enough leaving other settings to everybody!

So if you’re trying to find yourself or a contact and keep getting error messages or no results, odds are this is the problem. Which I find very very strange as you’re supplying your user credentials, so you should be able to view everyone you have access to. Otherwise why deal with individual accounts and let admins have a master account to log the instance against if Facebook insists.

And of course, no means to enter in the Facebook profile ID either so you can’t manually enter and test to see if it will work. At this point in time I think you’re 50/50 – it may work if you could force it to go to a profile, but even if you’re “logged in” it may not accept it and still give you whatever generic information is available.

I love where Salesforce is going with social contacts. I love what the information could do for improving customer relations. I just think they’ve fallen short of what was possible with this version of social contacts. While the process they set up is cute, what I would give for standard profile fields users could update directly without question- and have a place on the account records as well for twitter and facebook pages at least.

Hopefully we’ll hear more about what may come in New York City, at Cloudforce – November 30, 2011. Hope to see you there as well- I can’t wait to hear Benioff talking about the next steps!


  1. You should be able to search by a Twitter username on the Twitter tab–this is a workaround to being able to manually input a Twitter name.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂
      That is correct- you can search by twitter name! Great catch but I still can’t see where it stores the username. So if someone in Marketing wanted a report with twitter handles, I’d have no means of providing it outside of creating a custom field.
      Also- here’s a potential problem– if you follow someone who has their tweets protected, if you can see them you can see them via Salesforce. Possible problems come when – 1- you give away the contact or have public shared contacts, 2- there’s no lock showing so you don’t know it’s protected. We’ll have to see what comes of it all! PS- another point is you can’t associate multiple twitter accounts to one contact at this point. Or any other areas. What if they maintain multiple accounts for corporate and personal and you want to have quick access to both? What if you change your password for a service- what will the system do then? I just wish this whole piece was much better documented.


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