6 steps to a successful internal social network

Most fail, a new report finds, but these tactics can help your organization beat the odds.

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The research reveals that although many companies employ social networking tools internally, most users prefer using public platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The upside is that users are using social tools, training themselves in the methods and philosophies of social sharing.

“We have tried for over four years to push social networking in the enterprise,” says the senior IT director for a large technology company. “People just view it as one more place to have to look to get information.”

The report cites user adoption as the biggest challenge for management. So, what can you do to make your internal network fly? Follow these guidelines:

1. Define the purpose.

What do you hope to achieve? What is the motivation for users to get involved?

It’s no good buying off-the-shelf software and expecting people to use it. Having a clear purpose enables you to tailor your network and to set up metrics to gauge your success, which is crucial for wider acceptance.

2. Keep it simple.

As Gall’s Law states, “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.” Start things simple, and grow from there.

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