Deploying a Social Intranet

author Paula Matthews, March 8, 2012

The finishing touches are being applied to the forthcoming release of our corporate social networking application, Innovate. This version contains new interactive features and clever functionality.  With its release date growing near, we decided to have a catch-up with some of our clients who originally came to us with the aim of replacing their static intranet, with one that would strengthen internal communication, increase workplace productivity and provide users with a collaborative workspace.

Having discussed with our clients their thoughts and experiences, we have developed the following points as a guideline to help organisations deploy a truly social intranet:


  • Aligning your intranet communication strategy with your company’s culture and business needs ensures that employees are being exposed to meaningful content
  • Simply providing users with mundane information on a regular basis does not constitute a social intranet, and it will lead to a fall in intranet usage
  • Don’t overlook tools such as polls and surveys on your intranet, these tools can be a starting point for some apprehensive users, and you will also gain some valuable feedback on a range of issues

Change Management

  • During the intranet launch, management should lead dialogue to promote interaction – if employees believe that management does not endorse the new social intranet, it will send out a negative message to all employees, and discourage usage.
  • The development of a user-guide will make clear, that all employee participation and contribution is encouraged. This will also remove any doubt or uncertainty regarding an acceptable level of participation amongst all employees
  • A long term strategy of regular engagement is essential for success


  • Key social features include rating, user comments and the ability to follow users
  • Most employees, if not all should have the ability to utilise these social intranet tools -enabling certain groups will most definitely defeat the purpose of deploying a social intranet
  •  Users should be able to access the intranet on mobile devices