Do you want to know something more about a Salesforce Community and its branding? Then, you must certainly read this blogpost. It’s an interesting topic for people who have some Salesforce experience, but it’s accessible for newbies as well. 

You will learn about what a Salesforce Community is and how you can brand it to give you an unforgettable experience. By reading this blog you will see that branding your Community is rather easy and that you have multiple options to apply your own company style. You don’t have to ask your developer to make a change, because in a Salesforce Community you can do it yourself by making use of just point and click.

 

What is a Salesforce Community

A Salesforce Community is a platform that makes it possible to connect internal Salesforce users to their customers. Organisations are able to display information towards a customer without giving the client the ability to see everything inside Salesforce. Only a login or even just the link to the Community are required to connect. 

Depending on your requirements, Salesforce provides Customer, Partner and Employee Communities. For the most part, Customer and Partner Communities cover the same functionalities and are customizable the same way.

So, determine which information you share with your customer and make it transparent towards them. Not only sharing information is easy, but collaboration makes it more convenient for a customer as well. Here you have some actions a Community user can perform. 

Sharing Information*:

  • Let customers keep information up to date
  • Let customers create new information
  • Make new information visible
  • Share Reports & Dashboards

Collaboration*:

  • Chat with customers
  • Share articles
  • Start discussions

*These functionalities will be available depending on the license.

At Cloud Innovation we are already making use of a Salesforce Community to communicate with our customers about Cases or Invoices for example.

 

Community Branding

The way you display the information will have an influence on how your customers experience their journey on your Community. Everyone prefers an attractive website with some pictures and colours instead of a bald and colourless webpage. In the following section, I’ll show you some different possibilities to brand a Community.
 

First steps

After creating your Community, Salesforce gives you an option to choose an out-of-the-box theme that matches your requirements. They are all unique and each of them highlights certain features like promoting content, responsive design or being highly customizable. Take into account which features match your requirements and make a choice out of the different themes.

Once your theme is chosen, you will see your Community based on the selected template without any personal touch from your company. And now the fun begins! You can start creating the experience you envisioned to your customer. 

In the theme component, you can set some settings regarding the styling of your Community.

  • Change Theme
  • Set Colours
  • Set Company Logo and Background Image
  • Set Primary and Header Fonts
  • Use Custom CSS

When branding the Community, you will see the word ‘hero’ several times. A hero gives you the ability to promote search, content and actions and you can make it your eye-catcher on your homepage. You can set an image, the width, the height and also the content alignment for your hero according to how much you want to promote it on the homepage.

 

Branding your Community Pages

The most important page in your Community is certainly the homepage. This page creates the first impression and can make a customer stay on or leave your Community. Almost all navigation will start from here. But beyond the homepage, it is possible to style all other pages in the Community as well.

Salesforce has lots of ‘out of the box’ components to style your homepage with, and they don’t require a single line of code. It’s a beautiful thing that you can style and brand your community by just dragging and dropping the components onto your pages. There are more than 50 components and technologies you can use. For now, we take a look at some related to styling.

  • Tabs: 

Just like in the Salesforce environment, you can make use of tabs to structure the page. They help to split up information like record details and related record information to make it more user-friendly. 

  • Reports & Dashboards

Display Reports in the Community to let the customer see important data at one glance. Dashboards are supported in Community as well to expose relevant information.

  • Rich Text Editor:

With the rich text editor, there is the ability to display text in different colours, sizes, and fonts but you can also show pictures and videos. These pictures and videos can, for example, help to guide the Community user through the Community when they log in for the first time. 

  • Tile Menu

By clicking a tile in the tile menu, the user can be redirected to the Community Page, a Salesforce List View or maybe an External URL in one click. You can create up to 8 tiles for each tile menu and each tile can contain a photo to make it visually attractive for the user. By using this tile menu, your Community user won’t be overwhelmed when landing on the Home Page in the Community. It’s a great way to make your navigation easier and guide the customer through all options.


 

  • Audiences

Sometimes, information on a webpage isn’t relevant for every user. For example, if a message is displayed only for members living in Belgium, the message must not show up for those who live in another country. With the help of Audiences in the Community, you are able to do so. Audiences determine which users can see which content in your Community. They make sure that members only see personalized and relevant content which causes no overload of irrelevant data.

  • Advanced Styling: CMS Connect

Website and Community can become one entity by using Salesforce CMS Connect. Header and footer will be displayed in your Community as they do on the website. This technology makes it possible to switch between website and Community without experiencing a different look and feel. It can be easily set up but will also require changes from your web developer. Salesforce has written down some prerequisites and recommendations to advise the web developer on what to do best to set up the CMS Connect. 

Salesforce CMS Connect Prerequisites & Recommendations

 

Get Hands-On with Trailhead!

Are you interested in branding a Community after reading this blog? Then go to Salesforce Trailhead and complete the following Trail to become an expert in branding Salesforce Communities!

Check it out → Customize Your Community Trail

As described in this blog, a Salesforce Community can help you connect with your customers in many ways. Sharing information, collaboration as wells as styling can influence the relationship with your customer. And all this can be done by making use of point and click. Dragging and dropping out-of-the-box components in your Community will make the journey for your customers unforgettable.