On the intranet managers want content and users relevance

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Intranet, content and relevance

Should we talk about intranet, enterprise social networks or digital workplaces, one thing is sure : what happens inside the company will look more and more like what’s happening outside. Your grandfather’s internal communication is dead, long live to engagement and user generated content.

Problems come when such principles are applied literally without taking into account the few differences that prevent from doing internally for employees what is done for customers.

Content is king, relevance is divine

“Content is king”.It’s short, synthetic and we heard it so may times that it’s deeply rooted into our minds. We need content. That’s where we can see the cap between an intranet/collaboration/social platform manager that gets how things work and one that only got the message and is close to hit the wall.

The second needs a content plan, schedule, know who’s going to post what and when. And he wants it very early so he’ll have the illusion of controlling the success of the platform. No surprise : it does not work.

It actually seldom work with customers. Brands have the bad habit of wanting to occupy all the available space. In a digital era this space became infinite so their propensity to be everywhere is being seen as a kind of harassment by the customer. We hear many people saying that when brands compete for attention what matters in relevance but in reality bad habits die hard.

With employees such behaviors are just inconceivable. Flooding an enterprise social network with content is not enough to make it successful. If 80% of the content of an enterprise social platform comes from those who job is to make it work, a good old top down intranet would have done the job.

Making customers lose their time is harmful. Doing the same with employees is even worse because the lost time is paid by the company. The time and attention stolen to make the stats good enough to please the sponsor of the project are stolen to the detriment of people’s work and it’s easy to understand that if customers can sometimes enjoy a funny but irrelevant content, employees (and the managers watching them) are looking for something more.

This “something more” is relevance. Relevance is the right content for the right person at the right moment. Flooding a platform with content is useless if a specific content does not have any value for someone at a given moment. Even worse, the risk of melting the wheat and the chaff is real.

Towards a qualitative approach to content

When one does not master the topic and focuses on “content is king”, the result is indicators measuring the quantity of content. It’s the opposite of a value added vision, based on usefulness and helpfulness, ROIstic one based on quality, on having content meeting needs.

The first mistake to avoid is to know who’s the client of the platform, the one that must be pleased, satisfied ? Is it the sponsor of the project, the platform manager ? Is it the end user ? Based on your choice you’ll end up with a content based strategy or a service based strategy and, logically, radically different indicators to measure success.

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