Tips for the community manager – a successful social intranet in 12 months
These days, it’s a necessity to have a secure and efficient way to collaborate online using a social intranet. Many organizations want an accessible, interactive platform that allows their employees to stay connected to each other and share files with ease. It’s a transition from top-down communication to horizontal communication. From the moment a social intranet is launched, a community manager needs an average of nine to twelve months to make the platform a success. During those months, it’s the community manager’s job to involve, activate, and enthuse users. But before the social intranet has even been launched, the users should be involved. We’ll tell you how you can do this. Tips for the community manager! This is how you make your social intranet a success.
The pull phase
What do users want?
The first step is the pull phase. To make the social intranet attractive for users, the first step is to make an inventory of their needs and choose which needs should be given priority. Ask the users to make a top five of their most common tasks. What should users be able to do quickly to do their jobs? What are users looking for? What do they complain about at the water cooler? For this inventory, we study their common tasks.
The push phase
How do you increase user engagement?
Once a strategy has been formed based on the users’ needs, the social intranet can be set up and launched. This brings us to the push phase, which is where the community manager comes in. However, instead of calling them community managers, I prefer host or hostess. Let’s use hostess for this example. A hostess approaches groups of people, ensures they are having a good time, and offers them drinks. The hostess’ goal is to ensure that the guests, the groups of people, revisit. When it comes to a social network, it’s exactly the same. A community manager maintains the social intranet so that users have a reason to return, she helps users on their way, brings different users into contact with each other, and encourages users to actively use the platform
A successful intranet in six months, that sounds quite interesting. But it does depend in large part on the community manager. To make it easier for yourself, create a checklist of weekly to-do’s. Below is a list of several tips to increase users’ engagement:
Focus on those most involved.
Each social intranet has three groups of users. Low-involvement users, which only look but don’t comment; average-involvement users, which may respond but won’t start a discussion; and highly-involved users, which start discussions and keep a conversation going. Focus on the high-involvement users, as they will in turn make lesser-involved users interested and draw them in.
Organize user sessions.
There is a high likelihood that the social intranet doesn’t meet all users need for 100 percent right at the start. Organize user sessions and optimize the platform and the communication based on the feedback you receive.
Give users a reason to visit the social intranet.
Limit certain information to the social intranet, instead of offering it via email or letters. That way, users have a reason to visit the platform.
Make the threshold as low as possible.
“Not another new system,” some low-involvement users might exclaim. These users will only experience the platform’s added value when they make it a habit to visit the online environment. To that end, make the threshold as low as possible. Set the platform as the browser homepage and make logging in as effortless as possible with automatic log in (Active Directory).
Integrate the social intranet into meetings by default.
Before a meeting, place the documents on the social intranet, kick of the discussion in advance, and after the meeting, continue the discussion online. Share the notes after the meeting, keep involved parties up to date with the progress made, use the social intranet to plan subsequent meetings, and so on. By connecting online activity on the social intranet to offline activities (with face-to-face meetings), you increase people’s engagement.
Invite users to contribute to the conversation.
Some users simply need a push in the back. Tag users in a comment and invite them to take part in a discussion or ask them to give their views on a news item. The community manager should give the right example and actively involve users on the social intranet. The high-involvement users will soon follow this example.