Drive adoption of your social strategy – with email and intranet traffic

Last week I got to attend and facilitate a roundtable discussion, at the Simply Communicate summit called Social Media in Large Organizations #smileLondon

To open the event Sylvia Cambe and Marc Wright took us through some trends on the State of Employee Social Networks in Europe today. The results were very interesting – the main concern 6 months ago was the adoption of Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) but we are now seeing a shift to focus on how they can support business needs, we need to not talk about adoption but business use cases.

Gartner say 80% of platforms may not succeed due to over-emphasis on technology and a lack of leader support. A lot of the speakers echoed this and I agree with a comment from Sam Marshall from Clearbox Consulting when he said “It does seem that every wave of technology seems to go through this same painful learning curve. It was the same with intranet traffic 10 years ago and knowledge management too.”

The day then broke out into 2 rounds of facilitated table discussion; so many good topics so little time. The topic for my table discussion was “Drive adoption of your social strategy – a mixed channel approach”.  We talked about how companies can get better alignment between all of their IC channels. Getting your Social, Email and Intranet traffic all working better together to drive adoption across your channels.

Some of the takeaways from the session were:

  • Define what each of your channels are good for
  • Work to connect your channels, drive traffic from your emails to your Intranet and ESN
  • Reducing information overload is important, make is easy for employees to find the information they need on your ESN
  • IC role is not about pushing out communication – engagement is key
  • IC needs to ensure adoption and build a business case
  • Getting leaders to adopt has huge impact on employee adoption

One thing that did resonate through both discussions was that sometimes the best way to get people to adopt was to allow more social/informal discussion to happen first, then move to the real business needs. As fun things like the ice bucket challenge pictures or charity events are often what raises ESN awareness.

Rooster for Sale

I told the story I heard at the recent Intranet Now conference from Ayesha Graves, of the Federation of Small Businesses. Where she allowed employees to post buy/sell ads on their ESN.  One employee put up that they had a Rooster for sale #Norris.  Norris went viral, people were talking about it in the canteen, this social informal content lead people to log into their ESN that had never done so before, they wanted to see Norris and who was going to buy it.  Once they had logged in they also checked out other content. This strategy also worked for Jean-Paul Chapon at Société Générale, where his goal was to break down the silos at their organization.

To finish one attendee said….right I’m off to buy a Rooster…..if only it was that easy.

In our next webinar, denise cox is joined by employee engagement expert Andrew Blacknell, who will why we need to stop ignoring corporate emails – and how organizations can tackle overload and increase channel effectiveness.


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