10 tips on how to build a social intranet

  1. Every decision has to aim to improve two things 1) Connectivity between users 2) Quality and relevancy of content
  2. Don’t plan on your own – use focus groups and online research tools to find out what the USERS want and HOW they want it
  3. Don’t plan as an Editor – plan as a facilitator
  4. Employ an external consultant to add to the development/steering team. You need an objective sounding board and someone who does not have an internal agenda to be involved from the start. Plus, there is always someone who knows more than you
  5. Identify influencers and key users early. These are not always the same as the users you spoke to in the focus groups
  6. Communicate frequently with the intended users…and invite feedback at every stage
  7. Create a plethora of guides and information on the What, Why’s and How’s of the tool – from everything from uploading content to all the relevant personnel behind the tool
  8. Get the leadership team involved in the online discussions early (if that’s key to your objective)
  9. Reward and offer incentives for early users
  10. Ensure search, taxonomies and measurement tools are relevant and well maintained.

8 thoughts on “10 tips on how to build a social intranet

  1. Don’t neglect an easy to understand and use interface.
    Provide training and plan an “adoption” campaign (Let everybody know about, involve them, help them understand it, support them in using it)
    Use cases, use cases, use cases

    … and good luck!

  2. Indeed – these should be covered in points 2 & 7.
    Training and adoption planning is absolutely critical.

  3. A few additional points for#7: Ensure that the design of the site and guides are attractive and engaging for users. When people learn how to use something new, like a social intranet, they like to look at pictures or diagrams that are visually appealing and are easy to understand. When you give users the right instructions and tools in your corporate language, it makes the transition into using a new product easier.

  4. Great post Kevin!

    I think #3 is probably the most under-rated advice on the list. The role of intranet manager for a social intranet is that of a facilitator and convener rather than an editor or technical product manager. However, I think facilitation skills are highly under-rated these days, though.

    This post has many similarities with my recent write-up of an intranet manager’s experience launching a social intranet: “Tanis Roadhouse’s blueprint for building a social intranet” http://bit.ly/rpnTGP

    • Thanks Ephraim

      Yes, I agree – facilitation skills should be part of all learning and development programs for both managers and comms based roles.

      I’m looking forward to following your blog 🙂


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  6. Pingback: 10 tips on how to drive adoption on your social intranet « Digital Glue

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