How to Make Your Intranet as Addictive as Facebook
When a company has a problem, they look for a solution. Research and testing and phone calls happen for weeks and months and finally an agreeable solution is found. Hundreds or thousands or millions of dollars are spent finding and implementing this solution with the belief that, in the long run, it will save more money solving the problem than it took finding it.
But what if the employees of the organization are not interested in this particular solution?
Then you must be solving the wrong problem.
When it comes to Intranets, you want a tool that can solve your work problems and get people to connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other using this platform of tools. If your employees are not interested in using this new, foreign, must-be-bad solution, then you need to ask yourself: why?
Why are my employees more interested in collaborating through individual email than on our Intranet? Why do they want to make events on Facebook rather than schedule it on the company portal? Why isn’t it just habit to use the Intranet that the company has spent months researching, finding, and implementing? How can I make it so that employees WANT to use it, like the way they want to use Facebook?
For countless numbers of users, Facebook has become habit. The social media giant has 1.28 billion active users (Zephoria) and not only that, but consumers spend an average time of 20 minutes globally, and 40 minutes in the US using it (Business Insider). Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s more minutes a day than other leisure activities. Categories like relaxing and thinking, reading, playing games and sports/exercise clock in at 19 minutes, 17 minutes, 14 minutes, and 19 minutes respectively according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why is that, and how does that relate to your company Intranet? You want to create an Intranet that keeps bringing people back, not only because they have to, but because they want to. What specific things about Facebook’s interface can you bring to your Intranet design? Let’s break it down into 3 elements.
Facebook has a big viewership for news information. 30% of adults in the US get their news from Facebook (Pew Research Center). This is far more than any other social platform, ahead of 2nd and 3rd place, YouTube and Twitter at 10% and 8% respectively. But that isn’t the only news that people care about. People also login to Facebook to see the news of their family, friends, and colleagues. Only 1% of all users interact with company pages, so that implies that most engagement in communications happens between people, which is what social media is all about (Adage.com).
What does this mean for you?
Make sure your Intranet not only has a news web part that keeps your employees connected with the outside world, but gives your employees the ability to connect with each other in effective ways through messaging, calendars, and company alerts. The more ways in which they can collaborate and share with each other, the better. According to our recent user survey, 84% of employees use their Intranet to share company news, sharing news and activity by employees, for employees. Observe what your employees are doing and how they are working to capitalize on their stronger Intranet activities.
2) Ease of use
Facebook has a user friendly interface and they have realized the strong effect design has on UX. The industry average of designer to developer ratio has increased by 2.5 times in the past half decade (TechCrunch.com). With an easy to use platform, consumers are more likely to not only be logged in, but to interact with it as well. The more interaction the platform has, the more information is spread and the more people post. Because there is always something new to see, people stay logged in to Facebook longer.
What does this mean for you?
This idea needs to apply to your Intranet. The more easy to use it is, the more people will engage with it and adopt it. Make your Intranet a place friendly not just for document storage, but for collaboration and connectivity. So what makes it easy to use? That is a topic much too lengthy for this post, but basically it comes down to design. Have the important things where users can find it, and keep the actions simple. If you don’t have the ability to design your Intranet the way you want and need it to be, then start looking into solutions, like the Emgage Intranet solution. Wow look at that.
3) Mobile responsiveness
As of last February, Facebook had 1.15 billion active daily mobile users and is continuing to grow. More importantly however, 1.05 billion users ONLY use mobile for Facebook (DMR). This shows the influence that mobile has in today’s society. Consumers are always on the go, so they also need to be able to connect on the go. Mobile usage is key to the user experience and even more so when it comes to a tool.
What does this mean for you?
Your Intranet needs to be mobile accessible. It needs to have a responsive design so that it can be used on any device no matter the size of the screen. If your Intranet is mobile accessible it will have much more engagement and interaction. The employees in the organization will want to use it and who knows, maybe get addicted to it.
Your Intranet needs to solve problems, but not just work problems. It needs to solve the problem of people actually wanting to use it. Facebook has a design and user interface that makes people keep wanting to come back. There is always something new on it, it’s easy to use, and you can use it anywhere. If your Intranet can do these things, then your work problems will cease to seem like impossible to overcome.
To find out more about building an effective and attractive Intranet, download a free e-book on the subject here.