Building a 30,000-User Enterprise Social Network By Jeff Ross
Building a Successful
Lessons learned from 4 years with
1. Launched in May 2010
2. Uses the Socialcast platform
3. 33,000+ accounts (currently
4. 8,000 posts/week
5. 1,600+ special interest groups
6. 200+ integrations with other
7. Web app, mobile access
A bit about
1. The most important item I’ll share
2. Too many hats to leave any aside
3. Someone needs to own it, live it,
1. Have a full-time community manager from the start.
Do you want to go from A to B without a
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
or from A to Z with one?
1. It’s an expected form of communication – not new any more.
2. Don’t call it a pilot; that suggests it may be abandoned.
2. Commit to it.
or are they
1. The difference in the first two and last two years of Buzz
2. Reverse mentor.
3. Ease them in with specific, short-term tasks.
3. Get executive buy-in and participation.
Use town halls,
1. Update your social media policy for internal & external use.
2. Focus on what to do as opposed to what not to do.
3. Have simple guidelines visible and draw attention to them.
4. Have rules, but don’t overdo it.
1. Pick the right one for
your needs. Several are
2. You need commonly
used features, not all
3. The focus is people,
– not technology.
5. Pick a good platform, but don’t focus on the tech.
1. Slow and steady wins.
2. Everyone doesn’t move into a city on the same day.
3. Utilize early adopters/enthusiasts and grow naturally.
6. Avoid “Big Launch Syndrome.”
1. It’s OK to have fun at work.
2. People need breaks from work.
3. We work better with people we know more about.
7. Encourage business and non-business content.
Sample Buzz Business Groups:
Career Opportunities; Working
on Well-being; SharePoint Users
Sample Non-Business Groups:
Music Lovers; In the News; Dog
Lovers; Expecting Mommies
1. Integrate in tools (content) and in processes.
2. Make good use of Intranet landing page.
3. Over 200 content integrations at Humana
8. Integrate your ESN where people do their work.
1. Use single sign-on.
2. Give users mobile access.
3. See point #8 – integrate.
9. Make it easy to access.
1. Welcome newcomers and give them a next step.
2. Train for various roles (groups admins, leaders, project
managers, town hall leaders, ideation leaders, etc.).
3. Train for various levels of expertise (those new to social
media, new to the company, new to the ESN, power users,
4. Use various methods (virtual webinars/recordings, hands-on
instructor-led, quick videos, user guides, tip sheets,
mentoring, reminders, broadcast communications, etc.).
5. Publish a calendar of live training & links to on-demand
10. Train, train, train.
1. Align with business objectives and values.
2. Include the easy, common metrics (e.g.,
active users, percent of employees using ESN,
3. Include more difficult measures (e.g., sense
4. Document and report successes. (Hint: tag
them, e.g., #buzzsuccess)
11. Set goals and track progress.
What about tracking ROI?
Can you? Do you? Should you?
1. In technology
2. In the user experience
3. Through deeper integration into platforms and processes
4. Personally in your role (community manager, admin, leader,
communications professional, IT professional, etc.)
12. Never be satisfied – keep growing.
“Never stop learning. Never stop growing.
Never stop seeking the brightest star.
Never stop moving from where you are.
Never stop trying. Never stop reaching.
Never stop doing what you can do.
Never stop growing your whole life through.”
- from the children’s musical “Education Rocks”
My go-to ESN resources:
#ESNchat (Thur. 2-3pm EDT)
1. Improve the mobile user experience.
2. Integrate better and more quickly with acquisitions.
3. Work for more frequent senior leader use.
4. Develop action plan to improve the sense of community.
5. More completely document business successes tied to Buzz,
grouped by corporate values or major business objectives.
6. Keep fighting the good fight to win over skeptics.
What’s ahead for Humana and Buzz?
What questions, comments and
ESN stories do you have?
2. Hosting weekly Twitter chat #ESNchat, 2-3pm EDT Thursdays,
Where you’ll find me…
Thank you for being a part of today’s session!
Please stay in touch.