Social intranet top tips – part 1

01 Aug 2015

We’re often asked by clients is “How can we drive more traffic to the intranet?” We also frequently hear people say, “our channel mix is limited to email and the intranet, yet still people don’t go online – can you help?”

We love a challenge and rolling our sleeves up – not only to provide solutions, but also to create the content as well. We often find that while intranet and email may be the only channels, the features within them are actually channels in their own right but are frequently overlooked and unused.

Here are our top tips – whether you are launching a brand new intranet, getting to grips with the likes of internal social media such as Yammer, or need to give your existing intranet a bit of a spruce.

  1. Involve audiences – Use the CommsQuest ‘Warm-up, Stand-up, Follow-up’ approach when launching a new intranet to involve audiences before, during and after the big reveal. Think about how to get people involved in its development during the warm-up and ensure the features will help them do their jobs more effectively for customers. What will you do when you stand-up on Day 1 for the big reveal and need to make an impact? Then follow-up by ensuring you listen and respond to feedback.
  2. Educate subtly – Not everyone is a social media guru. So share hints and tips for using features with step-by-step instructions – but in a way so that people don’t feel as though they are being taught. For example, at the end of a story be specific about what happens next by saying something along the lines of, “To continue the conversation, click on the comments button at the bottom of this article. Remember to use the hashtag #success so people can find your comments”.
  3. Give people things to talk about – When trying to get conversations trending online, are you often told “I don’t have anything interesting to say, I don’t know what to write”? There is plenty to say, probably too much. As a communicator, it’s your job to nurture dialogue and give people a steer. Provide specific topics and create visuals. For example, in the run-up to a customer awards ceremony for one of our clients, we encouraged employees to post updates on their intranet when they had nominated a colleague for a customer award. We also created eye-catching images to support their posts to add colour to the newsfeed, which soon went viral.
  4. Tease in other channels – If email really is your only other channel, create a visually engaging template that teases people with snippets of content. Then push traffic back to the intranet so the reader can find out more. Take a look at this email alert for inspiration. It’s a nice way to provide a heads-up of what’s going on at the BBC with the main website providing detailed content.
  5. Use multimedia – How you can present content in a more interesting and visual way than just text? Consider video interviews to support stories, or polls, blogs and hashtags linked to key themes. You could also create infographics to bring detailed content to life. We created an interactive, digital newsletter for a global FMCG, which worked as a standalone channel, but also as a portal to content elsewhere including video and online chatter forums.

For our next set of top tips, look out for part two, which focusses on creative writing, drawing parallels with external social media and measuring success.

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