If you are reading this document, chances are you have successfully completed your 30-Day Jive trial by following the How To Get The Most From Your Jive 30-Day Trial guide. Now that you've experienced first-hand the positive impact of a Jive network, it might be time to consider diving deeper into the pools of Social Business and start growing your Jive network into something bigger, like a Social Intranet.
Social intranets are no longer a radical concept—they are a proven means to add business value to an organization by actively engaging and empowering its employees. But proven does not always mean easy, and it is common to encounter some challenges along the way. To help you along your social business journey, Jive has developed 5 Steps to Success based on the best practices we've seen effectively applied across Jive customers in various industries and use cases. Read on to learn more and add your own tips and ideas back into the community by posting a comment!
Step 1: Make it yours.
Setting up your Jive social network doesn't need to take long, but you will want to spend an hour or two configuring it to accurately reflect your organization's objectives and culture.
A brief aside: If this last sentence made you pause and think, "Objectives? What objectives?" now would be a useful time to reflect on how exactly you're expecting your colleagues to engage with one another on Jive. Are you looking to work more effectively with your project team? Cut down on redundant efforts? Keep your peers better informed of your progress? Or maybe you're just hoping that you can shave a few minutes off that weekly staff meeting by discussing important decisions on your own time.
How will people use the network?
Now that you have some clear objectives in mind, jot down some quick notes of what a successful Jive network might look like for your team. The ideal configuration will vary depending on elements such as:
- The ways in which people will be using the network to get their jobs done (e.g., working on individual projects, getting questions answered about a new prospect, or sharing newly discovered shortcuts with others)
- The most relevant actions people will be taking in Jive (e.g., some networks are mostly about discussion threads and status updates, while others are more document-heavy)
- Your organization's existing collaboration habits (e.g., a department that frequently circulates rough drafts seeking feedback is likely to use a Jive network in different ways than one accustomed to keeping documents under wraps until they feel "done")
As you make your site set-up decisions, like defining your structure, layout, and design, be sure to refer back to your notes so you can make sure you're making the right decisions for your users.
Structure and layout
Unlike traditional website structures, a network reflects the ever-changing relationships of the people involved. The good news is that means you don't have to get it right on day one. But it does mean you need to pave a few trails and provide just enough structure to help people find their way. Here are some common places often found in a new network:
- Groups for individual project or program teams (e.g., a group for everyone who is involved in creating a new website)
- Groups for people who work in similar roles or disciplines
- A place for people (especially newer participants) to ask questions about how (or why) to use the network and make suggestions for improvements
- As the network grows and becomes increasingly diverse, an "off topic" place for more recreational topics
(But don't get too carried away... after all, you're building a social network, not a filing cabinet, and the more "rooms" you give people to hang out in, the less likely they are to run into each other.)
Each time you create a new place, take five moments to place a few—not too many—useful widgets on its overview tab. Help people understand:
- The place's purpose (and if you can't clearly articulate it, that may be a good sign you don't need it at all)
- What they can do there—include a couple prominent links or "calls to action" to drive people toward the desired action (lead with verbs, like "ask a question," "share your story," etc.)
- Why they should bother—the "what's in it for me" aspect
- How others have already participated—show some signs of life so that new users know they aren't alone and can see what "normal participation" looks like
Beyond individual place overviews, you may also want to consider creating a home page for your network that delivers on these same 4 points for the site as a whole. Below, we have provided some sample layouts for Homepages, Groups, and Projects (respectively):
- Jive product tips: Designing pages with widgets
- Jive product tips: Personalization options for your social network
- Jive product tips: Branding your social network with a custom theme
- Internal Community Managers - Group of been-there-done-that personalities willing to share their stories of what worked and didn't work with their social business roll-out.
Step 2: Draw people in.
"Build it and they will come" may work in the movies, but not necessarily with social networks. When people are focused on getting their daily jobs done, they may not take the time to try something new and unproven. Thankfully, the Jive platform has built mechanisms for reaching out to your organization, all you have to do is help it along. Here are some ideas on how your can help promote your social intranet effectively within your company. Feel free to mix, match, and alter for the best results:
- Emails - Send email(s) to user-base announcing the new system, include "Top 3 Reasons to Try Jive" (a.k.a. use-cases)
- Introductory Blog Post - works well to cross-promote email message as an official blog post. (see below)
- Invitations - Invite people into specific regions of the social intranet, based on explicit need/relevance using the Invite People feature in Jive.
- Stickers/Posters - Guerilla-style marketing! Catch their eyes when they least expect it (water fountain, bathroom, desk schwag, ...) and get them interested to Try Jive.
- Word of Mouth - Talk about the social intranet in passing as "early access" for "awesome" individuals, for example: "Did you hear about <your social intranet's name>, it is awesome at <insert use-case>. You should give it a try. Let me invite you in." Just ask them to pay the invitation forward
How does this thing work?
Due to the fact that social business can impact so many areas in an organization, it is essential to communicate to all constituents and stakeholders which areas, use cases, and measures you explicitly intend to affect. Doing so, will streamline recurring communication and paint clearer pictures of success, as a result of explicit action.
Depending on your existing corporate culture, communicating your goals and intentions via email may have short-term value; however, we suggest transitioning this communication to a blog on your Jive platform relatively soon in the communication pipeline. Not only is it the recommended way to communicate status in a social business platform, but it will also help to get people thinking about how they can use the Jive platform. Here's some topics you might want to consider including in these communications:
- Why are we doing this project?
- How do we plan to measure success?
- What are we focused on right now?
- How do we use this platform?
- What does success look like? How to relay to other teams to see, realize, and reproduce?
Note: In the event, you wish to control visibility to these updates, it is recommended that you create a Private Group with a Blog and post updates there.
More more suggestions on how to draw people in and keeping them informed, check out the following Jive Community resources:
- Email template: Invite colleagues to work better as a team
- Email template: Invite colleagues to have fewer meetings
- Email template: Invite colleagues to collaborate on documents
- Email template: Invite colleagues to get connected
- What's In It For Me (WIIFM): A document outlining some of the most common ways your colleagues stand to benefit from your new network (so you can make sure you present it to them in a way that's valuable!)
- Internal Community Managers - Ask them what tactics they've used to engage their organization, it will definitely spark some ideas.
Step 3: Start a conversation.
Social business isn't something one does alone, it takes people working together to realize the full potential. Fortunately, you do not need everyone to start all at once. In fact, it is best to break the on-boarding into stages, starting with people that are passionate about social business, or the ideals it represents (working smart, getting more work done in less, ...). We call these people advocates!
Identifying advocates is not always a clear process. Sometimes its the person down the hall, your best friend, or even someone you may have never met that make the best advocate. Regardless, an advocate should be identified by their propensity for action on the social intranet and ability to influence in the organization. The following table shows some characteristics to look for when searching for an advocate, and how they can be leveraged:
|Ideal Advocate Characteristics||Ideal Advocate Responsibilities|
Once you've found an advocate, it is usually in your best interest to keep them engaged and make them successful. Remember, when they are successful, both you and your social intranet are equally successful. Here are some ideas on how to evangelize your advocates and keep them raving about your social intranet:
- Give them a voice - Create a blog for them to post their successes. Permanently feature the blog content in prominent places in the social intranet (where relevant).
- Do not forget to promotion via traditional corporate, or perhaps the most powerful vehicle ... word of mouth!
- Name in lights - Be sure to promote their persona, not just their contributions. As advocates tend to other responsibilities, keep their fame alive by promoting them in the social intranet and evangelizing their contributions.
- Share the love - As a social intranet leader/pioneer, opportunities will be plentiful to be successful. Take note of advocates and interests, and share opportunities for success that matter in the eyes of key stakeholders.
Most users operate under the guise of, "What's in it for me?" and the best way to deliver this message is by offering relevant training that speaks to them. To get started, we recommend taking a use-case style approach to training, such as:
- Identify the key use-cases for success (see Step 1), and map features of the application that can support each use-case.
- Define a recommended path that shows how to use application features to reach the use-case outcome, and mention ancillary features that may enhance the experience.
- This should be at the heart of any training you put together.
- Goal: Show your users how they can benefit by using your social intranet in each use-case.
Here are some additional resources for getting conversations started:
- Best method to seed organic community growth: Jive customers share tips and tricks for getting people in your network to participate in the conversation
- Re: When to officially announce community launch: Ideas for ensuring people aren't greeted by crickets
- Internal Community Managers - Stand on the shoulders of those who have lived in your shoes. Ask them about their training efforts: what worked, what didn't work, etc... If nothing, else stop by and introduce yourself. You'll be glad you did!
Step 4: Shut up and listen.
Often the most forgotten step in this process, tuning your social intranet, is about reflecting on what you've accomplished and asking yourself "What would I do different?" The catch is that to truthfully answer this question, you have to have at least tried and succeeded, or even failed. Regardless of the outcome, the strength of social business is its ability enable users to adapt, change, and produce an entirely new outcome. If a use-case, department adoption, or process doesn't work the first time, assess why, change the process, and try again. In most cases, the users will adapt on their own, and figure out the process that works for them, you just need to be on the look out so you can update your documentation.
Some questions to consider during reflection:
- What were the driving use-cases when I started my journey vs. What is currently being asked of me and/or the platform?
- How did I set out to meet my target use-cases vs. How are they being solved today? Is there a pattern?
- What is your perception of the current social intranet health vs. What is the community's perception? If different, why? How to converge?
Step 5: Flaunt your success.
You've got your social business platform installed, you've got your use-cases defined, and you've got users (trained on your use-cases) using Jive for each use-case, now what? That's right: time to measure success! Measuring success is an important part of this process, as its an objective account how Jive has impacted your company, which is usually requested by upper-level management. While there is no universal one-size fits all for measuring success across companies, here are the most popular themes you might consider when you set out to measure and communicate your successes:
- Vitality - Are people using it and is it sustained?
- Easy enough to measure number of accounts and standard usage, but try to map correlation with # of accounts and use-case success as your network grows.
- Perceived Value - Are people experiencing the intended value?
- If so, which use-case appears most often. Is this one of your initial use-cases?
- Strategic Value - Is it adding business value?
- If so, where? And, how well?
Answering questions like these will help you articulate your progress in terms of weaknesses and opportunities, which helps formulate more clear decisions for moving forward.
Share your Success
You've made it, and your pilot is successful! Now its time to take what you've learned and apply it to the rest of the enterprise. That is to say, if it hasn't already gone viral! Assessing your current position and mapping out the coming months with practical next steps is essential for continuing your success. It is natural for people to want to "swing for the fences" after they've tasted their first successes with social business; however, much like Newton's Third Law Of Motion:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
, you must be willing and able to respond to user reaction and demand with promptness and quality. Taking the time to do smaller units of work, practice the pitch, and learn from actual experience will help you graduate to successfully roll-out larger units of work moving forward.
If at any point you have questions about Jive, this methodology, or your social business objectives, reach out to one of our Success Coaches, or simply post a question in the Jive for Teams community, or contact Jive. (see Get Help with Jive for Teams) Furthermore, feel free to leverage all the resources the Jive Community has to offer, such as networking with others in your local region, common interests, and industry.