Engagement on an Enterprise Social Network

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 8.11.45 AMWe’ve implemented an Enterprise Social Network, we’ve solved a mass of connectivity issues, so everyone can access the site. We know that 80-90% of employees have visited the site at least once, which is great news. Our challenge now is how to really engage people on the platform.

At a recent event I asked what engagement meant; we talk about it a lot, but I wanted a simple, recognisable definition we could use. It’s definitely more than happy employees.

If I look towards Human Resources research on employee engagement definitions like “an “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests.” Which sounds great in theory – but not easy to apply to a social media platform, and not easily measured.

Marketers looking at online transactions talk about engagement as something akin to process completion. Here’s one definition; “The amount of key processes completed during a visitor’s lifetime prioritized and analyzed across the site as a whole or within pre-defined segments.” It makes sense for marketers who may have a pre-defined outcome in mind but it won’t fit an Enterprise Social Network.

In our discussion on Tuesday one of the participants came up with a definition that is easy to understand, easy to spot, and relatively easy to measure.

Engagement on an enterprise social network = people helping each other.

It’s simple, it reflects the vision we had when building Buzz (our Enterprise Social Network) that it would facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, and it’s something everyone can recognise. In fact our participants are way ahead of us, they’ve created a hashtag #buzzworks, applied when they see someone being helped on the platform.

Image; Sharing /Andy Woo CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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