Why No One Is Logging On To Your Enterprise Social Network

12 Feb Why No One Is Logging On To Your Enterprise Social Network

One of the biggest buzzwords in social business today is adoption. Executives and employees may be willing to try a new tool or platform once, but many businesses are struggling to retain those users and ensure ongoing engagement.

If you or your team are having trouble growing adoption of your enterprise social network, it’s likely because of one (or more) of these reasons:

Wrong Platform

Every business has different needs, so it is important that companies select social business tools that are the best fit for their culture, style of business, and future expansion plans. Choose and implement the wrong platform, and it will become a very expensive loss because of underutilization. If employees find that the tool doesn’t complement or enhance their everyday responsibilities, they will quickly stop using it.

Bottom Line: Perform a thorough requirements gathering process with employees and teams before conducting any vendor selection.

No Easy Access

Employees do not have time to waste trying to track down links to platforms, or remembering numerous usernames and passwords. If your enterprise social network is not easy to access, such as on your intranet homepage or automatically loading when computers are turned on, employees will likely get frustrated or forgot to access the tools altogether. To make sure employees log on to enterprise social networks, it’s important to make them intuitive to find and easy to access.

Bottom Line: Make sure employees can quickly and easily find social tools by placing them in heavily traffic areas, and consider pre-installing them on computers and laptops.

Lack Of Training

Usage of enterprise social networks is directly connected to how comfortable employees feel with the tool. Most companies mistakenly assume the majority of employees are familiar with some type of social media because of the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Though it may initially seem basic and time consuming, it’s critical to provide training in different formats to educate employees on how to use any new tools or platforms. Since everyone learns best in different ways, trainings should vary too–offer one-on-one, online webinars, and on-demand videos.

Bottom Line: Make sure that any new enterprise social tool is launched with detailed training available, both in-person and online.

Not Enough Promotion

To test enterprise social networks, some companies prefer to do a soft launch with no large-scale promotion. This is an excellent way to get initial interest and a foundation in the company, but make sure your company plans a larger, official launch with strategic communications. It’s important that the opportunities and benefits of an enterprise social network are marketed and shared in as many mediums as possible so all employees are reached. Furthermore, part of successful marketing of an enterprise social network, is showing (not just telling) real examples of how enterprise social networks will help employees.

Bottom Line: Be sure to create a comprehensive marketing strategy, and ongoing campaigns, to raise awareness and therefore usage of tools by employees.

Low Activity

If employees are not using your enterprise social network, there is likely little content or activity encouraging them to return regularly. It’s a dangerous cycle–content drives users, but users create content. When employees are not going to your internal social network, no real business activity is being conducted there and, as a result, new and existing users don’t have compelling a reason to log back in. What we’ve found motivates usage of an enterprise social network most is getting work accomplished with less time, less effort, and less energy for employees.

Bottom Line: Be sure to create a comprehensive marketing strategy, and ongoing campaigns, to raise awareness and therefore usage of tools by employees.

In all honesty, it is almost impossible to get every employee in a business using an enterprise social network. However, by being aware of the core reasons why users are discouraged from using social tools, you can actively plan to prevent these issues and ultimately maximize value from internal social networks.

Jackie Mills

Jackie loves learning, observing, and analyzing how businesses use social tools to engage employees, improve productivity, and connect with customers. As a Consultant for Enterprise Strategies, Jackie is passionate about helping companies improve communication and collaboration using enterprise social networks and intranets. She is a Microsoft Yammer Certified Community Manager and specializes in conducting research on social business advances and best practices for clients. Jackie is also Chief Happiness Officer at Enterprise Strategies, delivering sunshine and smiles always.

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4 Comments
  • Reynout
    Posted at 15:15h, 14 February Reply

    Add to the list that

    1. social needs to be embedded in business processes, otherwise it is yet another silo besides the email channel.
    2. Make sure mobile experience rocks, ie make sure it’s more than just the activity stream. See point 1. This makes people come back for more.
    3. Selecting a platform, not a tool, make sure to make a thorough test drive with use cases. Make sure the way it works fits the use case. With that said, stay away from featur function list, but try those features in use case: eg mobile client of one vendor does not deliver capabilities of other vendor: but in spreadsheet there is a check mark at the option of mobile client. See more on my wordpress blog – reynoutvab

    • Jackie Mills
      Posted at 01:07h, 15 February Reply

      Excellent additions Reynout!! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and share your insights!

      1. Completely agree–there must also be an overarching change management initiative to ensure that social becomes part of business culture and, as you stated, not another siloed tool.

      2. Definitely! Mobile is absolutely a non-negotiable in today’s on-the-go world. With the increasing usage of enterprise social tools, do you predict businesses will move toward more of a BYOD model?

      3. Well-stated and on point! Too often when businesses select platforms, the focus is not on real-use cases. It is best to have these in place first, then evaluate options–not the other way around.

      In other posts, we’ve focused on the importance of having executives active on enterprise social networks. Without top leadership using social tools, employees are not as motivated to adopt them. However, we’ve also seen that grass-roots efforts with employees can be more powerful at increasing overall usage in some situations. What are your thoughts around those two motivating approaches to keep employees logging onto enterprise social networks? I also look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

  • deb lavoy
    Posted at 12:44h, 17 February Reply

    Agree with all your points here. A few others to add: 1) ensure there’s a way to go from just a stream to an actionable discussion. 2) executive engagement matters and 3) be sure you can address the organization as a whole and in parts – so that you get the benefits of the emergent but also the benefits of whatever structure you may have. And, to reiterate your points, it must be delightful to use, on mobile as well as desk.

    • Jackie Mills
      Posted at 14:58h, 17 February Reply

      Absolutely Deb! I appreciate all your additions.

      1. I could not have stated that better–enterprise social networks have to drive action, not just conversation.

      2. Senior leadership participation is definitely a critical component. When launching an enterprise social network, we work on developing grassroots, organic conversations in parallel with building executive support and engagement. With both, an enterprise social network is set up for success.

      3. This is a really intriguing point to me! To help me understand more, do you mean having an enterprise social network that can quickly adapt to organizational changes–or one that can actively drive organizational change?

      Good call out! The experience from mobile to desktop and vice versa has to be seamless for employees.

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