6 ways to encourage corporate social networking within your company intranet

author Brett Dixon, April 12, 2017

The modern company intranet can be used as a place to share information as well as being a vehicle for providing it. Social intranet tools can perform various functions, from providing content that readers like and comment on, to form completion, employee micro-blogging, project team collaboration, and group participation in discussions via forums.

So, how do you encourage your employees to use your company intranet? Participation largely depends on company culture, and it’s not enough to simply launch the tool and hope that your workers will use it. Here are six ways of encouraging social participation in your company intranet

1. Encourage response to new content

With any new online social tool, most people can be reluctant to be the first to post new content. Creating new content is often the most effective way of encouraging a response and participation.

It can be effective to use content that has been created by others around the organisation. This can naturally engage other users and will make them more likely to respond and participate in the conversation.

The existing content also provides an example of what’s expected for new posts, clarifying the intent, purpose, and tone of what’s required. Through this strategy, users can easily see what the tool is designed to do and will be more likely to add their own content.

2. Set an example

Leaders within an organisation can indirectly provide encouragement to the wider staff by being regularly active on the intranet. If the company leaders are seen to be bought into the concept, it follows that the rank and file will be too.

3. Support a notable company event

If there is a notable happening due to occur within your company, use the intranet to publicise the event, build anticipation, and encourage feedback and participation from staff.

A new product launch or notable corporate event, such as a summer ball, will be natural topics of conversation within the organisation and can be a good fit for encouraging the use of social tools. Sometimes this can be a good springboard for launching a company intranet, but the trick is to keep staff using it post-event.

In the absence of a suitable event, you could perhaps set up an interview with one of your executives or leaders to answer questions on a subject that is important to staff, such as forthcoming restructuring and likely new job opportunities.

4. Involve all your people

One thing that is guaranteed to deter employee participation in intranet social events is the lack of access to the tools required. For instance, staff members who do not sit behind a desk each day may not have ready access to your intranet. You can overcome this problem by ensuring that your participatory tools can be used on mobile; the experts at Claromentis will be able to assist you with this.

It’s also very important that you include questions and blog posts aimed at all perspectives and areas of the company. When creating content, consider carefully the different insights that can be gained from all areas of the organisation from IT and Marketing, through to Catering and Facilities.

5. Set the right tone

In order to win employee buy-in to the concept of using your company intranet as a social, interactive tool, it’s important to set the right tone. If the tone of the content is too ‘heavy’, you risk losing the interest of your readers, so it’s best to keep it ‘light’ without being frivolous.

A light tone will also encourage employee participation, as readers will feel confident in placing a short post on the intranet site in response to an article, rather than assuming that they need to write a full-blown piece.

It’s also important to post content that is written in a positive tone, especially on forums. Forums should also be monitored by company leadership or by a dedicated intranet team, as noticeboards can all too easily descend into a complaints board. A suggestions page is a good tool for hearing how employees at the sharp end think that processes can be improved. Everyone likes to have their say, and some lively and useful debates can ensue.

6. Corporate content can be inspired by employee-generated content

The social areas of your company intranet site can be used to inspire stories for corporate-level articles. Look carefully to see what news items generated lots of discussion on social forums, or perhaps create a poll around the topic and write an article about it.

Relate the article to happenings within your own company and ask your employees for ideas on how to improve things. Maintain interest and staff engagement by writing follow-up content on how their ideas are going to be implemented.

Social participation on your company intranet can be a great way of encouraging staff engagement and interest on what goes on within your business, as well as gaining a valuable insight into how management processes are perceived and to gain a reading on overall staff morale.

 

For more information on how intranet software could be set up and implemented within your organisation, have a chat with one of the helpful experts at Claromentis.