In Part IV of the Six-Part Blog Series on Social Business Strategy, I discuss the importance of having a clear vision of what success means and how to measure it.

 

In order for your social business launch to be successful, you need to have a clear picture of what success means. In the beginning stages success can be measured by participation. As your community matures look for other ways to measure success - the number of topics covered, reductions in the numbers of meetings, reductions in email usage.

 

The Importance of “Small Victories”

 

Small victories

Early in the game it’s important to have a number of “small wins” to build enthusiasm and help your team see the value of the program. These early success stories are essential for helping senior leadership see the value of social initiatives.

 

Social growth is an important key performance indicator for social intranets. Are your initiatives helping people move from passive consumption to participation? Are you encouraging participants to become contributors and social intranet evangelists?

 

It’s important to make it clear to employees what success means. Most people are hesitant to dive into online conversations, especially in the workplace where they are concerned about saying the wrong thing. Give them “low hanging fruit” so that they can engage in a safe, fun way.

 

Ranking and Liking - Easy Ways to Get Involved

 

In one organization readers were invited to “get their toes wet” by simply ranking online content. People who participated by clicking stars were thanked for the contribution. In a short period of time participants began to feel comfortable enough to initiate conversations around the articles they ranked.

 

Scheduling “just for fun” topics is a good way to provide a low barrier for entry and helping employees get over their hesitations about contributing. “Tell us about your best customer experience,” or “who is your workplace mentor?” are easy ways to help employees move from readers to participants to contributors.

 

It’s OK to Feel a Little Weird

 

Meaningful online conversations

In the roll-out phase interactions may sometimes feel forced, awkward or inconsequential. There needs to be an attitude of exploration and permission to try new things. The product sponsor and implementation leaders should touch base regularly with key participants to discover what is working and where improvements can be made.

 

Social business is dynamic. It grows and changes as participants find new ways to create value with the system. Your vision for success needs to be flexible and will change over time.

 

 

Want to know more? Read the White Paper on the Six Strategies for a Successful Social Business that will guide you in building and implementing your strategy.