When social tools go viral in organizations - a Yammer case story

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  • Frank, Great story and very clear! Thank you for sharing again!
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  • thanks for comments, Martin! my definition of active groups appeared to be the 'best possible'in the given dataset... one of the points which I probably should have included in the slide deck: all these observations have a snapshot character and -*maybe* an evolution of the community over time would have resulted into more steady state good practices... But again, what was missing was a focussed effort to drive and guide adoption in the right cultural and strategic context...
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  • Thanks for sharing Frank. This mirrors many of the learnings we have had in our company but also highlights why we have been able to move ahead. Most inportantly by moving away from the free model but also that most of our dialogue happens in more or less focused groups. The downside is that the home feed can seem slightly inactive at times but this is also slowly changing. I like your definition of active groups - post/member ratio > 0,5.
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  • 1. WHEN SOCIAL TOOLS GO VIRAL IN ORGANIZATIONS - A YAMMER CASE STORY Frank Hatzack Senior Innovation Manager FHAT@novozymes.com @frankhatzack
  • 2. According to research from Gartner (2011), most social media initiatives fail due to a host of misconceptions…the worst being ‘provide & pray’. However, the public domain is full with one-sided and sometimes rather hyped reports on how quickly social tools spread in organizations and how many positive effects they brought about. Critical reports with detailed analysis and reflection seem rare. This encouraged me to share the story of how Yammer spread virally until its discontinuation in our organization in 2011. The lessons learned back then guide our work today and are hopefully of use for others. MOTIVATION FOR SHARING
  • 3. half-empty or half-full? Bestsellersociety.com SUMMARY The viral spread of Yammer in Novozymes was an episode which left mixed expriences behind: On the one hand, many new users embraced the tool quickly as a new way of networking and knowledge- sharing and almost all posted content was work-related. Good practice on how to increase signal and reduce noise started to spread. On the other hand, many new users seemed to remain in the initial state of confusion about the high-density traffic in the company newsfeed. Good ‘social practice’ on how to filter relevant content or how to follow relevant people did apparently not spread sufficiently during the short duration of the episode. Eventually, a decision was made to discontinue the use of Yammer in its free version due to concerns on content access and ownership. The lesson learned regarding adoption is simple: In a case of such viral spread an organization has to decide quickly: either to jump the bandwaggon and provide guidance & training to enable sustainable adoption or to stop the spread immediatelly. Otherwise one may end up with a split-perception dilemna which will pose a challenge fo future initiatives to introduce social tools in a proper way.
  • 4. YAMMER WENT FROM ‘GRASS ROOTS TO VIRAL’ IN NOVOZYMES BETWEEN MAY AND JUNE 2011 17-May 26-June Plateau reached in July: Decision to discontinue Yammer in its free-of-charge version. 1500 members 25% of employees 2500 posts
  • 5. VIRAL SPREAD – HAPPY OR NOT? DEPENDS ON: THE LEVEL OF SOCIAL READINESS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION! mashable.com
  • 6. SOME DISCOVERED THEIR PASSION & TALENT FOR SOCIAL AND REACHED OUT… coolinsights.blogspot.com
  • 7. BUT MANY OTHERS FELT AS IF IT WAS RAINING RADIOS, PLAYING ALL CHANNELS AT THE SAME TIME AND AT FULL BLAST Envirocare.org
  • 8. ESSENTIALLY IT CAME DOWN TO LEARNING HOW TO TUNE YOUR SOCIAL RADIO! Seattleradio.org cambridgeincolour.com
  • 9. TRAFFIC DISTRIBUTION: LOTS OF NOISE, LITTLE SIGNAL
  • 10. MANY POSTS IN NOISY CATEGORIES…AND LITTLE IN DEDICATED GROUPS TOTAL POSTS 2518 100% ”WELCOME TO YAMMER!”: 1542 61% REAL CONTENT: 976 39% IN COMPANY NEWSFEED: 774 31% IN GROUPS: 201 8%
  • 11. …AND FEW THREADED OR INFORMATION-RICH POSTS TOTAL POSTS 2518 100% POSTS IN THREADED DISCUSSIONS OR WITH HASHTAGS: 134 5% POSTS WITH EMBEDDED CONTENT (URL or ATTACH.): 50 2%
  • 12. TRAFFIC TOPICS: WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT?
  • 13. THE MAJORITY OF REAL CONTENT POSTS DEALT WITH WORK-RELATED TOPICS IT & Communication 30% R&D, IT and Communications topics were most frequent. Although no official guidance on intended use was given, we observed that most people used Yammer in a work-related and professional context. They exchanged insights, shared knowledge and connected across the organization and across sites. Science & Technology 25% Other work-related 16% Not work-related 29%
  • 14. ALL TOP TOPICS WERE WORK-RELATED Yes, even ‘indian-restaurants’ was work-related since it adressed an increasing need of Danish managers to build high-performance teams with new Indian colleagues!
  • 15. TRAFFIC CONSOLIDATION: WHO TALKED THE MOST?
  • 16. 1% OF USERS DROVE 43% OF TOTAL REAL-CONTENT TRAFFIC! 1% 43% REAL-CONTENT POSTS 976 100% ALL USERS 1542 100% THE 15 TOP CONTRIBUTORS GOT: • most posts • most likes • most replies • most replied to threads Almost all of them were professional communicators from: • Innovation functions (R&D and IT) • IT Relations • Corporate Communications • Customer Communications • Stakeholder & Media Relations15 top contributors
  • 17. GROUPS: ALIVE & KICKING OR GHOST-TOWNS?
  • 18. MANY GROUPS WERE FORMED TO DISCUSS WORK-RELATED TOPICS BUT ONLY A FEW SHOWED SUSTAINED ACTIVITY 13 3 6 1 3 3 1 Science & Technology IT & Communication Other work- related Not work-related sustained activity groups other groups Users being members of groups: 348 (25% of total) Messages posted in groups: 212 (8% total) Groups with at least 5 members and at least 5 posts. Posts/member ratio > 0.5 Numberofgroups Group-topic category All other groups not fulfilling above criteria.
  • 19. GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLES: COMMUNITY-MENTORING & KNOWLEDGE SHARING
  • 20. DILIGENT & RESPONSIBLE KNOWLEDGESHARING Users switched communication channels routinely when the content of dicussion became potentially sensitive.
  • 21. SPREADING SOCIAL COMPUTING SKILLS Certain users got quickly recognized as Yammer adoption mentors, sharing ‘social skills’ with the community.
  • 22.  Provide a first aid kit for inexperienced users:  how to manage in-box notification settings  how to use hashtags, mentions and follows to filter relevant content  how to create, join, manage topic groups  which lead-users to contact for help & guidance  inspirational examples of good practice (e.g. finding experts & answers, sharing insights, etc)  clarification on prohibited use and prohibited content sharing  Quickly assess IT-safety and clarify data ownership  Quickly reach a decision on continuation or discontinuation  In case of continuation implement a change process aiming at sustainable adoption – starting with e.g. assessing the level of social readiness in your organization. Engage professional adoption consultants.  In case of discontinuation, explain your reasons to the organization and give a perspective on future steps. CONCLUSION IN CASE OF VIRAL SPREAD OF SOCIAL TOOLS: Blogs.boundlsessjourneys.com