Tag Archives: social network

Social Media Scorecard III

As is well known there’s a great deal of chasing for the holy grail when it comes to finding the ROI and real metrics on enterprise social network activity (by this I mainly refer to social software inside the firewall rather than social media marketing). This to my mind isn’t so much a mistake as an attempt to measure activities that are extremely difficult to pin down, quantify and evaluate in any effective way or manner.

What I think we need to work towards is a more holistic overview, one that uses an approach of a social media scorecard. As I’ve blogged before the inventor of the balanced scorecard Bob Kaplan says it can’t be done with Social Media. I’ve the temerity to disagree.

What I’ve done is take Forrester’s one for IT and reapply it to social media.  I don’t see this as at all finished. It’s a move toward a balanced scorecard for the social enterprise and I reserve all caveats about the usefulness of scorecards per se. Nevertheless, I think I’m onto something here…

Goal Social Media Activities Candidate Social Metrics
Employee Engagement Increase employee engagement via genuine dialogue and polyphonic communication channels. Overcome Generational Shift. Discussing! Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Polls, Feedback from Social Media Channels (% Csat), CSAT on Generation – Y + Millenials + Boomers
Innovation Increase level of innovation via Innovation Wikis (e.g., Cisco I-Zone), Competitions and ‘wisdom of crowds’ gathering of info activities. Listening! Number of ideas submitted, number of successful ideas turned into pilots, number of pilots entering the market as new products. Time to market ratios.
Increase Productivity Increased productivity % increase, contribution in $/£ per employee
Improve Customer Experience Increase revenue per customer, increase engagement from the customer, social marketing Customer retention / satisfaction, inputs into marketing process, overall cost of marketing $/£ per $/£ sale
Social Engagement Connections, sociality of employees via Enterprise Social Networks, 2.0 profiles, Tagging across the Enterprise, Expert Locators, Silo Busting Social Network Analytics, (NodeXL), Measure of Relations, Overcoming Geo/Time barriers with synchronous & asynchronous comms / collaboration = decreased travel budget. ratio of flights/meetings vs online engagement.
Learning Social Learning, sharing of information, 2.0 Training, e-learning, EMS. Cost of training, number of courses taken/passed, diversity of learning offerings, CSAT. Degree of ‘Knowing what we know’ better.
Raw Competition Social Software as cumulative competitive Advantage Who dares wins & who doesn’t, appears in the next edition of ‘In search of Stupidity‘ 😉

Why Tags are socially sociable in a social network

The critical mass of a social network’s success is not only the number of regular users, and this goes for inside and outside the firewall, but also the level/frequency of engagement. With more and more users with varying degrees of engagement ranging from hardly ever, casual and perpetual, there are two other deciding and connected factors to through into the quantity / quality conundrum – tags and the profile.

Tagging happens during the engagement – users tag as they blog, comment, make wiki documents, respond to forum questions and answers. It can, especially in the corporate terrain, provide the vital glue for a social network, making a disparate corporate network of disassociated individuals actually network as they discover that Francis,  Olaf and Yoshisma have are taggees in common and share common interests, skills, experience or just plain headaches. Tagging is the social glue of a network.

Problem: not many people tag.

Profiles happen at the start of the engagement. Users join a social network and are asked to supply core registration details. There is an inverse (or should that be perverse) relationship between the number of registration questions asked and the number that don’t bother to complete. Put better – ask too many reg questions and you’ll lose x% of users, at the outset.

The task then becomes a tricky one. Ask as few reg questions as possible and hope, plead, bribe or badger the users to come back later to fill in their profile. And why would one bother?

The answer has to be to gain. To aggrandise or to connect, to display or to aid, to entertain or to annoy; there has to be some sort of payoff in someone completing their profile. In the corporate environment we can of course force people to complete their profiles on pain of whatever, but it still has to be a carrot as much as the stick.

The carrot might be obvious – a prize such as an iPod Touch for example for the best one, but the real carrot has to be the perceived gain in experience, in connecting and being social.

It’s for this reason that I like tag clouds in profiles (and I think it might be fun to load up one here now I’ve been blogging for a while), tags + profiles make the socialising in the social, so much well, social.

Any ideas for carrots on getting profiles filled in, or better still, getting folks to tag, much appreciated! But more than that – how can the gains of profiles + tags be made so immediate, so compelling that everyone just wants to do them?

Going to work on an Elgg

About two thirds through a complex social media project using Elgg. The aim of the project is to build a complete social network for some clients in West London. The project originally started off as a Drupal based one but we (West London Web Design) changed course when we realised the following:

1) Using Drupal would have meant a highly bespoke system that would have tied the client into that system

2) Almost all the functionality we were trying to create already existed in Elgg

3) Time – building in Elgg would be quicker and easier, and hence cheaper

Overall the experience has been fruitful but not without headaches. The key obstacle is the intensely entrenched way that Elgg cascades hierarchy in its CSS, via a quite arcane structure. The problem here was working out that what looked extremely complex was in fact reasonable simple once the flow of the CSS cascade was clear. Once that was done it became a lot more easy to manipulate the PHP and numerous div tags that define the layout.

Too early to talk in any detail about the project substance as it’s under an NDA. But very pleased with the functionality as it provides a wide range of rich features:

1) Site wide messaging via a Facebook style wall

2) Nifty integration with Twitter

3) Customised profiles

4) Tagging – the glue that coheres an social network

5) Photo albums – a very important feature and one which stopped us using WordPress Multi User (WPMU) with Buddy Press

6) Groups with the ability for users to create discussion forums and their own albums

7) Various news and ad embeds – both critical for this project

Overall pretty pleased with Elgg. It may lack the user-base of WordPress, but it’s a very well supported platform. Watch this space for the final release

n.b., special thanks to @veruus for some very welcome tech support at the start of this project.