Salesforce Chatter is a collaboration tool built into the Salesforce user interface. It’s highly likely you’re familiar with the benefits of having a collaboration tool, especially one that is easily accessible, intuitive for users to grasp, and provides context where and when teammates need it.
This guide aims to explore the features of Salesforce Chatter, as well as the different ways this free collaboration tool can help you connect with colleagues and share knowledge, without leaving Salesforce.
Salesforce Chatter Features
Salesforce Chatter offers many features to boost collaboration between users. Chatter’s functionality mirrors that of a social media platform, with tagging, @mentioning, and more.
Here are the main things you can do with Salesforce Chatter:
- Post updates or comments in Groups or on a record.
- Share files and links.
- Post polls.
- Create draft posts to share later.
- View Chatter Feeds for past activity relating to a specific record, or across your organization.
- “Like” and reply to posts/comments.
- Pin posts for better visibility e.g. pin an important post to the top of a Chatter group.
- Bookmark posts, to refer back to later.
- Follow records or users to receive notifications when updates occur (manage Chatter Email Digest frequency).
- Send private messages.
Activities on Chatter can be shared with both internal or external users e.g. Community users (Experience Cloud users).
What is a Chatter Feed?
A Chatter Feed is a list of published posts. Chatter Feeds can be accessed from either:
- The Chatter tab,
- A specific record page,
- or anywhere else you’ve chosen to display it e.g. you might have the Chatter Feed on the Home tab.
From the Chatter Publisher, you can create Posts, add Polls, and ask Questions.
Once you share your Post, your colleagues can then Comment, Like, or Share it – bringing the collaboration element to life!
Posts can be bookmarked, which is a fantastic way to enable you to quickly refer back to the Post from one location.
Chatter Post Visibility
The visibility of a Chatter post is determined by group and record access. If a user does not have access to a group or record (for example, sales opportunities not owned by their team), they cannot see any posts associated with them, even if you @ mention them.
If a user has visibility of a post, they will have visibility of any associated files by default.
Chatter Groups allow particular sets of users to collaborate on Salesforce. Groups have three visibility settings:
- Public: anyone can find, join, and view the feed.
- Private: anyone can find the group but they must ask to join. Only once a user is a member, will they be able to see and add posts.
- Unlisted: members must be invited and the group is not searchable. Only members can view and post. Unlisted groups can be enabled in Chatter Settings via Setup.
You can also create a ‘Broadcast Group’, which means that only the group owner and manager can create posts. This type of group is typically used for announcements. Members can respond to posts but cannot create new ones.
Chatter Email Digest
When you join a Chatter Group or decide to “Follow” a colleague, you will receive email notifications on their Chatter activity.
To control Chatter Group notifications, click ‘Manage Notifications’ and select the frequency of the notifications you’d like to receive.
Chatter Feed Tracking
Chatter Feed Tracking on a record will display polls, posts, comments, and record updates. For record updates to appear, feed tracking must be enabled.
When a file is attached to a record, it is also added to the Notes and Attachment related list and stored in Files.
You can create and add topics in Salesforce to Chatter posts or records; topics are added by including a Chatter post hashtag.
Topics can help to categorize a Chatter post or record, and users can search to see all posts related to a specific topic. Users can also filter by topics in a list view and follow a topic.
Topics must be enabled for an object before you can use them.
You can create Quick Actions and add them to the Salesforce Chatter publisher so that users can quickly perform certain actions.
There are standard actions such as post, file, link, question, and poll. Additionally, you can create custom actions. Actions can be added, removed, and reorganized via the page layout for the object.
Chatter notifications can be controlled in ‘Notification Delivery Settings’ in Setup. When notifications are enabled, users will receive notifications on either the desktop, mobile (or both), depending on your setup.
Salesforce Chatter Settings
Once you enable Chatter, there are additional Salesforce Chatter settings, for example, the ability to create draft posts.
Some interesting settings include:
- Chatter Approvals – If enabled, users can view and approve records in the Chatter feed.
- Out of Office – An Admin can enable a feature that allows users to set an out of office message on their profile. Similar to Outlook or Google, the user can set themselves as out of the office, add a start and end date, plus a message.
- Customer Invitations – With this permission enabled, users can invite customers (external users) to Chatter private groups that they own or manage.
- Coworker Invitations – This permission allows Salesforce users to invite coworkers (without a Salesforce license) to use Chatter.
So, there you have it, the many wonderful ways to use Chatter! If your organization doesn’t already benefit from a collaboration tool that offers easy access, intuitive for users to grasp, and provides context where and when teammates need it – then you could consider Chatter, after all, it’s a free social collaboration tool for all Salesforce customers to use!