9 Ayesha Graves - Can you go viral on your intranet? - Intranet Now


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  • My name is Ayesha and I’m the intranet manager for an organisation called the Federation of Small businesses (FSB).
    As you know, I’ll be doing a 5 minute lightning talk, which is a pretty tall order for me! And my topic is...
    [*]”can you go viral on your intranet?”
    Naturally I don’t mean ‘viral’ in the sense of billions of hits and an international media circus, but something on a slightly more modest sccale, that is, using a popular event or opportunity – and internal social networking - to promote content and build use of said intranet.
    So, can you go viral on your intranet? Well...[*]
  • ...sort of!
    I want to tell you about a situation on our intranet – ‘myfsb’ that pretty much qualifies.
    To set the scene: in September last year I launched a totally new intranet to the employees of the FSB, and I needed to help them see and understand all the usual things we want to show our teams: how much content is on there, how best to find it, where to find it, how to interact, how the social features work, and crucially, that it’s ok (even useful!) to use these social features.
    I was able to help my colleagues discover with this by way of a combination of factors – key ingredients, if you will namely:
    [1] the right subject or content, -
    [2] timing, -
    [3] opportunity (or opportunism, it’s probably fairer to say) – and
    [4] sheer blind luck,

    These key ingredients materialised for me in the form of a character called Norris, just who appeared shortly after we launched myfsb, just when I was wondering how I would get my tentative audience to explore and start interacting on the intranet...
  • Meet Norris [*].
    Or #Norris, as he became – the star of myfsb. I probably need to give you a little context around this!
    [*](How it started) It started after I had created a ‘buy and exchange’ forum on myfsb.
    [*]We called it ‘my market’. A few weeks after launch, I got a call from a colleague, asking if it was ok if he could put Norris on there. Those of you familiar with livestock – particularly chickens – will understand that they can be truly vicious beasts, and my colleague had just discovered that two of the 5 chicks he’d raised had actually turned out to be cockerels, so he wanted to get rid of one of them. I’m sorry ‘find a good home’ for one of them.
    I have to say, I dithered a bit on this one, as I didn’t know if ‘livestock’ was really a suitable item to exchange on the forum – there might be some crazy H&S legislation about it, or something.
    However I bit the bullet, and told him to go ahead and post on the forum, which he duly did –
    The following week I did a presentation to group of senior managers in our organisation, about myfsb.
    [*]by which time Norris was already famous. Much leg pulling ensued, though no offers to take on Norris.
    I decided to take advantage of this opportunity
  • We were looking at a topic that had already started ‘trending’ (so to speak) and, as I wanted get people using myfsb confidently, I hijacked Norris quite shamelessly
    [*]I started off by writing a BLOG - Norris needs a new nest. I used that to introduce a ....
    [*] ...treasure hunt – to all the boring pages I wanted people to read (rules, guidelines, data protection etc)

  • [*]I wove this into our Christmas activity – an Advent calendar – so the timing here helped for me: Norris was ‘trending’ just as Christmas was approaching

  • [*] these activities really took off - but just to emphasise it wasn’t all fun and games – rather a mixture of
    [*] social
    [*] business / staff info
    [*] intranet info

  • [*] the advent calendar was extremely popular, with hundreds of hits in those 24 days before Christmas.

  • So how did this help with the uptake of the intranet?
    [*]People felt that Norris was a safe subject, and were happy to comment and respond.
    Using the ‘Norris treasure hunt’ alongside the advent calendar, I was able to get documents seen (hits went up by 30%)!
    [*]People were encouraged to explore and felt comfortable doing so
    There were plenty of people who logged on to myfsb just to find Norris!
  • [*] But ultimately found out about other things too -
    [*]they were learning about the intranet - you;ll have to take my word for it, but I had the devils’ own time trying to get these three on to the intranet – but here they are...
    [*] other users simply found this kind of content really useful (and said so, in the comments area, which was nice)
  • You’ll be pleased to know that Norris did find a new nest. Iain, One of our field based managers, took him on
    Iain was and is a fantastic supporter of myfsb, and one of the first users to ask for a blog, which he faithfully completes every week. I couldn’t say if Iain took Norris on because of myfsb, but he certainly found out about him that way!
    [*]What I can tell you is that when Iain blogs –
    [*]he’ll get twice as many hits and comments when he mentions Norris
    [*]as when he doesn’t!
    [*]Did Norris find a new home?
    Does anyone use our ‘marketplace forum, where this all started?
    [*]however myfsb has had consistent and steady use since launch –
    I’ve not had another ‘viral’ occurrence like Norris, but it doesn’t matter, he’s done his work, helping to generate a really healthy uptake t, breaking the ice in so many ways, - allowing people (esp managment) to see that you can have fun and work all at once!
    and the stats bear it out
    [*]from 75% at launch, to 90% post Christmas and Norris, and consistently 95% and above today!
  • 9 Ayesha Graves - Can you go viral on your intranet? - Intranet Now

    1. 1. Can you go viral on your intranet? Ayesha Graves Intranet manager, ‘myfsb’ @ayemorg
    2. 2. Key ingredients: 1. Content 2. Timing 3. Opportunity 4. Luck! ...sort of! Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg
    3. 3. Meet Norris • Or #Norris • How it started • Forum – ‘my market’ • Fame! Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg
    4. 4. Norris takes off • Wrote a blog – • Created a ‘treasure hunt’ for Norris - Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg
    5. 5. Norris takes off • Used Norris to launch our Christmas activity... Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg
    6. 6. Norris takes off • ...including an advent calendar • But it wasn’t all fun and games – rather a mixture of: – social – business / staff info – intranet info Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg
    7. 7. Norris takes off Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg Fab idea. Off to stalk #Norris now!! ...the advent calendar was extremely popular, with hundreds of hits in those 24 days before Christmas.
    8. 8. What was the impact? • Encouraged people to interact – safe topic • Helped to show different functions and areas • Helped people to engage with the new intranet... Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg “If only Norris knew he is the star of myfsb”
    9. 9. What was the impact? ... and discover some of its key functions – Discussion forums – Document comments – Liking content – #tagging Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayemorg “...as a new member of staff, found advent calendar very helpful in familiarising myself with the intranet...”
    10. 10. What happened next? • Did Norris find a new home? – Yes • Does anyone use ‘mymarket’? – No • myfsb shown consistent growth since launch – from 75% to 95% today Ayesha Graves - Intranet Manager, FSB @ayeshagk