Corporate Microblogging platform have been around for two years now, and they are pretty mature. They have all the features teams in a company could ever want to communicate and share information in realtime. They also offer a consistent offering to administrators looking to buy and implement microblogging in the enterprise.
But no matter how many home-run features applications like Yammer bring to the table, they are still being implemented in organizations that are structured so differently that the features really only help in selling the value proposition to organizations. They don’t help people adopt the system or administrators get buy-in.
The ways that microblogging platforms encourage people to work don’t look anything like the way they already do their jobs.
The idea of internal campaigns to promote adoption, or to sell the benefits of these platforms won’t work. Just like taking up a presence on public platforms, unless people in the end do it based on their own volition the results will be underwhelming.
The only systems that don’t need to be pushed are the ones that are taken up organically.
So put the platform in place and get out of the way.
Just Slap On Social
The first realization people come to when trying to sell the benefits of a new communications system internally are that most people are just used to using systems they are already have. This is true even when the systems they have are the worst ones for the job.
People don’t like to have to learn new systems, or change their workflow no matter how better suited the newer systems are.
That’s why you can’t tell people to use new systems. The only strategy that will work is to make the microblogging platform optional, give people an opportunity to just throw stuff up there. The lessons have already been learned and Here Comes Everybody spends a great deal of time explaining why Wikipedia got so much traction with the simple message of “humour me.”
For any new communications system to replace email, even for specific purposes, it’s important to really study what email does well.
There are two things I can think of that are relevant:
1. Email is the best way to send someone a message.
Everyone has an email account, people check their emails, and it’s pushed to them with notifications.
2. Theres an expectation or participation in the email system.
Most peoples’ jobs is to read and send emails. So if people send you emails, you are expected to eventually reply.
What Rules Work, If Rules Don’t Work?
Everyone is welcomed
You have the power to form your own groups
One thing they all need though is are good ways to control groups. Groups, especially in organizations form pretty commonly because of common needs and a common mission. These groups also don’t follow organizational structures.
You can help improve the system to better suite your needs
The system has to be able to facilitate the discussion for it’s own evolution
You can use the tools you’re use to
Ubiquitous access is important, and integrating it into the tools users already use on a day to day basis is the fastest way to reduce that initial objection people bring up.
Not only is integrating with your users’ tool of choice enough though. It also needs to integrate in a way that’s intuitive, and in a way where your users are immediately familiar with it.
Have you seen strategies that worked well in getting adoption for an internal microblogging platform?