It occurred to me the other day while working with a client that one of the challenges of enticing their colleagues to join in with their social networks is how obvious the benefits are once you have experienced them are - but how obscure they are until you have. Sometimes disparagingly called "not getting it" this is one of the biggest problems to overcome. You can spend a fortune on technology but unless you find a way to help people to "get it", to understand the benefits to them of getting their hands dirty and taking part, you might as well not have bothered.
So here are a few ideas that might help.
- Be on constant lookout for people or problems that engaging in your social platforms might help. If you hear people struggling with something you know is being discussed on your platform offer to show them and to help them join in.
- Encourage people to talk about anything they find useful. Don't be too limited in what you think the platform is for. If it works for them it works for you. You can't afford to be fussy - you need numbers.
- Get the platform talked about in as many conventional settings as possible, induction programmes, training sessions, away days etc. and use stories appropriate to each audience to convey its benefits.
- Collect stories of where the platform has made re real difference and re-tell them. Explicitly encourage other existing platform users to share stories with their networks and help you in spreading the word.
At the end of the day it is about energy and commitment. If you believe passionately in the potential for your social tools to make a real difference to your organisation, and can convey that passion to others, you will be fine. If you don't ...