Increasing Social Intranet Adoption: Make Your Intranet Truly Social

Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.02.43 AM.pngSocial intranets can have an amazing impact on your business, but sometimes they can be a challenge to successfully implement across your organization. A Gartner report found that social intranets have just a 10 percent success rate and that the typical approach of “provide and pray” is destined for failure.

We can safely assure you that success rate should be much higher. But getting to the point where adoption is widespread and using your social intranet platform is second nature isn’t as simple as letting employees know it’s open for business.

It might seem obvious because the word is built into the name, but making sure your social intranet truly is social is a crucial component of its success. This characteristic increases collaboration across the organization and opens up opportunities for two-way conversations – a notoriously overlooked priority in many companies. The old non-social intranet, or intranet 1.0, was stagnant, static and often acted more like an online notice board than a forum for discussion and team work.

So, with the goal of preventing your new social intranet from looking like a flashier update of older, ineffective versions, keep these tips in mind:

1. Embrace Social Networking at Work

The idea of a social network at the office might scare some managers (wipe those visions of employees wasting hours on Facebook right out of your mind). The beauty of a social intranet is that it mirrors all the features that people already love about social networks, such as sharing, liking and commenting on posted items, or even following friends and colleagues.

With employees already immersed in a social UX in their personal lives, adopting a similar collaborative workflow in the office works to an organization’s advantage. So encourage workers to embrace the social networking aspects of a social intranet by tagging coworkers, using the online chat function and building robust personal profiles.

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2. Take Advantage of Better Organization

Improved organization brought about by a social intranet is a great way to begin seeding the soil for a truly social and collaborative company environment. Many social intranets are set up with distinct information hierarchies and built-in organization that help organize employees, teams and even files and documents for easier collaboration. This enables users to set up groups according to department, project or specialty, for example, and makes it easy for these groups to come together and share ideas or collaborate on documents. Not simply a static “departmental bulletin board,” these spaces give employees the ability to post, share, edit, comment on and collaborate on documents and ideas.

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3. Lead By Example

Don’t be just a boss; be a leader who leads by example. When introducing a social intranet to your organization, it’s likely that employees will be unsure how to use it and in which ways. Set a positive – and social – example by transitioning your work to the platform and using it frequently.

Company management has typically used the intranet to broadcast one-way information out to employees. But now you can engage in more two-way (or multi-way) communication, and use the intranet more socially by tagging people and chatting with them regularly. You’re setting the tone and letting employees know that it’s ok to be social with their co-workers.

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Increasing the social aspect of a social intranet is a critical step in increasing its adoption across your organization. Users will feel more engaged when they’re presented with a platform that more closely mirrors the social experience they’re used to in their personal lives, especially when they discover that management is fully onboard and using it as well.

We’re incredibly passionate about social intranet adoption, communication and collaboration. Check out our other post on identifying key stakeholders here. Or if you want to watch our joint webinar with 451 Research on The Top 10 Tips to Improving Social Intranet Adoption and Collaboration, you can catch it on-demand.