By Paddy O’Hagan , Customer Success Manager, StaffConnect
Launching an internal communications channel is tough. It takes a lot of time and even more energy. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning as the task of engaging your audience lies ahead. Here are five things that are essential to having a successful enterprise social network (ESN), after your launch.
Change Your Habits
Moving to an ESN is a huge step, but you must remember that it isn’t just a new tool. It’s a new way of working and therefore you must create new habits to maximise your chance of success. One of the biggest changes you will encounter is the possibility of two-way dialogue between senior management and all staff.
Previously news would have been broadcast in a newsletter or some other 1-way channel. Now employees will have the chance to reply immediately with comments and questions. It will be your job to ensure that these questions are answered by the appropriate person. If the question is for the CEO – it should be answered by the CEO, not someone from the communications team. It’s small things like this that will establish the integrity of your tool.
- Tip for success – Set up SLAs before you launch with the management team– agree with them how long it should take for a response. Don’t be afraid to prompt people when their presence is needed on a thread.
Use The Data
Shortly after launching your ESN, your CEO will come to you and ask you “when is the best time to post my blog?” – Knowing the answer to this is fundamental for success. When will a blog or video have the most impact? When creating your communication strategy, review the data regularly so that you maximise the news exposure.
- Tip for success – Don’t be afraid to push back. If someone wants to post something on a Friday afternoon, suggest that it might be better to wait until Monday morning when your users are more likely to be engaged.
Know Your Audience
In the never-ending quest for great content, it can be very tempting to post everything to everyone, always. This tactic will create a lot of noise and can distract your end-users away from more relevant information. Segmentation and personalisation are powerful tools that you should leverage when you can.
- Tip for success – Before posting content, put yourself in the end-user’s position. Is it relevant to me? Is it interesting? Do I care?
Plan For Failure
That’s not to say that you expect failure, but you should always have a plan B, C, and D. When trying new things, it’s safe to say that some things won’t work immediately. Be ready to bounce back with an even better idea.
- Tip for success – Create a stock pile of non-urgent news, so on a slow day you have something to post.
If someone is having a good day, share it. Creating an atmosphere of success on your ESN allows people to be braver when they post. A feel-good story not only gives great internal exposure to the individual responsible but it’s also a more personal account of ‘best practice’
- Tip for success – Publicly congratulate successful content. Create a blog to celebrate that week or month’s most liked or viewed content. Link to those blogs in case a reader missed them.
About The Author
Paddy O’Hagan is an Internal Communications leader who has been working as a Community Manager, Lead Trainer and Project Manager, specializing in launching Digital Communications Platforms across global enterprise businesses. His current role, Customer Success Manager at StaffConnect, leverages his expertise to help internal communication teams develop winning engagement strategies to accelerate the adoption of their digital platform and increase employee engagement across the entire workforce.
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