1 person found this helpful
Hi – I don’t have any urls readily on hand but I can give a few quick notes on some of the first things I’d do when faced with a similar situation.
1. Find out who is active in the system now. They are likely your best place to start on what is working and what is not and ideally they will be your advocates and allies in preparing an engagement strategy.
2. Hone in on the executive sponsor(s). What do they want from the system? Why was it implemented? How can you tie the goals of the system to the goals of the organization(s), company etc. Get them thinking about this so it can also be part of your strategy.
3. Who runs the system now? Is there a team you can work with or will you need to piece one together? Make sure everyone on this team has a full profile and photos uploaded. Be sure to listen to their ideas in creating the strategy and engagement plans – work it out together.
4. Try a few easy things to get people interested. We use the “Who’s online” widget right on our home page so that everyone who logs in can see who else is out there. People really like that and it’s a bit fun to see it change throughout the day – Europe online in our early AM, India online in our late PM etc. Obtain some content that people can only see via the community – a video or screen cast of something they’ll be interested in for example. Announce it via email with a link to the community.
5. Put a link on your home page to “Who just joined” or something like that and link to the People page filtered for new users
6. Set up a series of incentives with awards that you can highlight. Maybe start with something foundational like the best user profile, then move up to activity etc. Profile an active user with them explaining how the system has helped their team and tips from them on best practices/advice.
7. Turn on the reputation points if you haven’t already. Make sure the levels are appropriate and the achievement levels are fun and relevant to your community - not just vanilla names like “novice” etc. IMO those can actually be considered condescending. We specifically chose names that were easily associated with community involvement and not with “knowledge”. We also edited the “Top contributors” widget to display the top contributors in the past 7 days. This gives new people a chance to be highlighted – otherwise that list can be static if some people have been in the community for a long time (no one else can catch up!).
8. Identify your space/area leaders and be sure to spend a lot of time working with them – not just on organizing Overview tabs but on engaging people vs. just publishing documents. We’ve had people love the community and be big contributors but what they were really doing was publishing lots and lots of documents – not exactly what we wanted.
9. For what is “baked” etc. we chose a lightweight approach where users enter a Purpose and a Status for every document they create and edit. We also link documents to our work tracking system which is where the final status on a work item is retained. The document is generally one part of the overall work related to an item and we try to connect all the pieces. Perhaps something similar could be done with your CRM. SSO and theming really help here – you’ve got to bring together the collaboration area and the “work” area(s) and make them feel like one overall system.
10. Metrics are tough – everyone wants them and they’re hard to come by. No great answers here other than try to find out what, if anything, they were measuring before they started the community so that you have a baseline and some idea of what the organization has cared about in the past. I think there is a lot of room for improvement in metrics and reporting (even just letting a space leader know what people are looking at, who is subscribed to notifications, or what people are searching for in the system…). Anyway, when you’re scrambling, quote Einstein “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Hopefully this helps – I’m late for dinner so I’ve gotta run!
Excellent advice, Amanda! If is helps, here's a condensed do-it-yourself version of Jive Consulting's framework for creating an engagement plan. I use it all the time to engage new and existing key members of this Jive Community.
Amanda and Gia,
Great advice, thanks for the detail! Thanks for posting the DIY Engagement Plan on Slideshare, the plan is a dense and concise resource. I found it a couple weeks ago and I know it'll be a go-to arrow in my quiver for sure.
We have a lot of newbie users so some less intimidating ways to interact i've seen working well:
-have an announcement asking people to introduce themselves in a discussion
-create polls (voting is so easy) if you need an idea maybe vote on a change to the group itself (should we start using the blog for meeting notes, should we consider chaging the security, audience, etc.)
-fake it. grab one or two people and start a discussion that goes back and forth, or blog with comments from a number of people. Only the people you asked will know & it can spark thoughts in others to comment, etc.