What Social Collaboration Looks Like IRL
No more boundaries, soaring productivity, infinitely faster innovation—enterprise social networks (ESNs) sound like the quickest way to solve some of your biggest problems.
In reality, a lot of time and ongoing effort goes into creating successful ESN communities, and sometimes, ESN platforms never live up to the high expectations companies have before deploying them. Common misconceptions about the ROI of ESN tools, user adoption and engagement can overshadow the real value of social collaboration that’s being generated.
So to clear up confusion and bust some myths, this is what social collaboration looks like in real life.
Social Activity: What Really Happens
You think: Your company’s most important work will happen here.
IRL: Activity streams won’t always be bursting with urgent announcements, brilliant ideas, pressing questions and expert answers. Employees will reply to announcements with smiley faces, brag about the donuts from their Friday team breakfasts, complain about changes and recruit new members to their photography groups.
That’s OK. These lighter use cases still have value in terms of employee engagement, team building and creativity. And if you allow workers to make the community their own (emoji and all), without strict limitations, they’ll be more likely to use it for “deep work” and adopt it to their daily workflow.
Plus, today’s ESN platforms offer so many features and integrations that you probably haven’t even considered all of the possible use cases. By loosening up your expectations about what the ESN should be used for, your employees will be able to discover these other possibilities.
Social Adoption: Here’s the Truth
You think: Everyone is going to use it.
IRL: It’s rare to reach 100-percent user adoption. In a new report on team collaboration software, G2 Crowd found that no platform today boasts 100-percent user adoption, and even 75-percent user adoption is rare.
It’s typical for user adoption to hover around 50 percent, a Deloitte expert recently said in MarketWatch. And only 20 percent of those users (the “hyperusers”) actively create, share and consume content in an enterprise social network.
Business technology research firm Altimeter has reported similar findings. In a 2014 survey, 59 percent of companies said employees regularly used their ESN, and only 25 percent of companies said their ESN was used among the majority of employees.
That doesn’t matter. Even if only a quarter of your workforce uses it, an ESN helps you better connect employees, increase transparency, eliminate siloes, leverage your collective knowledge, foster collaboration and decrease inefficiencies. And the fact that it only takes a few to create such a big impact just proves the power of ESNs. (Stay tuned for more on the value of your ESN’s “hyperusers”).
There’s so much more to an enterprise social network than you realize. So here’s a free whitepaper to read more about the real value of social collaboration. Download the whitepaper now.