Posts Tagged ‘klout’

User Experience Design in a Social Enterprise Environment: External Influence & Employee Brands

Posted on: March 13th, 2012 by Fransgaard No Comments

The original version of this article can be seen at the award-winning Capgemini – Capping IT Off blog.

In the previous articles Connecting the Dots and A Consistent Experience I looked at a holistic view on the building blocks of the Social Enterprise and why it is important to deliver a consistent user experience and brand experience to employees.

In this article I will be looking at the Social Enterprise from the outside.

Influencing the champions within a social enterprise

We are moving to a future where the lines between work and personal lives are being blurred and as I covered in the previous article it is important that employees can represent the company and the brand correctly at any time whether they are at work or not.

The individual employee is representing a direct communication option to the company, an important fact for external marketeers. And the question becomes: “How can we give champions of our products and brands the tools to spread the word to their colleagues within the walls of the Social Enterprise?

Yam It or Chatter This

Creating the ability to for people to share to their social enterprise environment from the public web is one way to go. Granted it is possible for an employee to copy and paste the link into the corporate interface, but this is where the history of user experience design can be beneficial:

For a long time user experience designers where arguing back and forth whether having a print button or a bookmark button on a website was beneficial or clutter. After all it duplicates standard browser functionalities available (sort of) to the users.

But it became clear the argument was missing the point. The question was not whether the buttons duplicates a function or not; The question was: Do the buttons make it easier and are they more inviting for the users?

I suspect the answer played a part in the success of Facebook ‘Like’ and “Tweet this” buttons that social media brought to us: It makes it easy. I think it is reasonable to assume that similar options for sharing from the public web to the Social Enterprise will prove effective for the same reasons.

Technically sharable documents

I am not going to discuss the value of quality content as there are loads of good articles on the subject. Instead I would like to direct your attention to the delivery mechanisms.

In a consumer environment some delivery tools are better than others (horrible flippy pages anyone?) but for most part all can be viewed by the target audience if they wanted.

However, it may not be as straight forward for users on a corporate network. Your target organisation may still make use of older browsers or restrict access to plugins such as Flash and Java. Make sure any content work in older versions of browsers/ file readers and don’t rely on any plugins to be installed.

Employee Brands

To finished off this series of articles on User Experience Design in a Social Enterprise Environment I want to highlight a new and exiting concept called “Employee Brands”.

The Social Enterprise supports a more flat corporate structure. Due to the collective ownership of content and responsibility more power is in the hands of the employees and some individuals are better at handling, distributing and manipulating the stream of information making them influencers within the Social Enterprise regardless of job title.

  • They become known sources of good information
  • They become known by name
  • They become Employee Brands

Connecting with these Employee Brands seems like a feasible way of reaching inside the Social Enterprise wall, but how can they be identified?

Employee brands have two facets: Their public profile, reach and influence which can be destilled from all the hints of the public facing web (Have many Twitter followers? How many Facebook likes on the last blog post? What’s their Klout score and Peer Index?).

The other facet is their profile, reach and influence within the Social Enterprise and here I fall short of an answer because I am not aware of any capabilities able to measure an employee’s personal influence or “brand power” within a Social Enterprise from the public web.

One way might be to use their public presence and how it relates to the public presence of fellow employees, but this is merely a shadow of their Social Enterprise presence and may prove misleading.

Another way might be using what traditional account management and PR has taught us: Get to know the employees. Engage with them in the public social channels. Start conversations and use the information gathered to create a picture of the brand value of the employees.

I agree; The concept of Employee Brands is difficult to gauge, but looking at how the power of communication and information is spreading throughout organisations I think it is a concept well worth exploring.

What are your thoughts on influencing the Social Enterprise?

Klout, the shiny item in the shop window

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by Fransgaard 12 Comments

Image courtesy of of Steve Greaves.

This blog post was sparked by a recent Yammer conversation as well as great blog posts such as Catching the Klout and  Social Media Influence vs Online Reputation.

People these days seems to be divided in two camps when it comes to Klout and other social influence measurement scores. One camp is all for it; the other all against it. The “all against it” camp features a higher number of people whose opinion on social media I respect and normally listen to.

I think everybody is getting too hooked up on whether Klout is valuable or not rather than what it’s purpose is. Klout score is not the goal; it is not even the journey. Klout is a small sparkly sign at the side of the road of the user journey gently nudging the user in a direction, but not pushing powerful enough to change the direction of the user significantly on its own.

Klout is not near enough precise to be a critical decision tool. One of the issues is that it tells me, as a user, how influential a person is in general, but it doesn’t tell me how influential that person is to me or the specific topics I care about. This is amplified by the fact that if I want to give a person +K I wouldn’t be able to freely choose on what topic but have to choose from a short list of predefined topics.

But does that mean Klout has no value at all? No. Remember only a Sith deals in absolutes. That’s the path to the dark side and not enlightenment.

There are nuances of usefulness. While Klout should never be mission critical in decisions for the reasons above, it can still act as social proof, no matter how vague. It gives people some weak indication on a person’s influence for them to then make their own judgement based on futher research, content, engagement, etc.

Klout is the pretty item in the shop window luring you into the shop. If the shop then does not deliver then you are free to leave, but the item in the window has served its purpose as soon as you step through the door.