7 April 2015

SMiLE London Social Media Conference notes – the best bits

We’ve been at the SMiLE Social Media conference keeping up with the latest digital trends in employee engagement.

 Download our complete set of notes by clicking here.

It was a great conference, but if you couldn’t make it, fear not, here’s our roundup of the best bits.

Trend watch – hot topics from the floor

Let’s be specific:

Social media tools for employee engagement are becoming more sophisticated and specific, as people seek specialised apps for particular groups of employees.

On the move

Mobile workforces are driving the need for social media apps. And as they continue to expand, so too does the growth in social networks.

Digital re-thinking

Intranets are old school. Today’s business are all about the ‘digital workspace’ where you get your job done.

Listen up

The biggest challenges in getting your employees to adopt social media are mindset, engagement and, in turn, change.

Big brother

ESNs are being used for more specific purposes now, including employee monitoring. So while working may be becoming more flexible, you just might start clocking in again!

Business first

Intranets/digital work spaces need to be led by the needs of your business and employees, not by IT, particularly as things move into the cloud.

Future focus

More companies are going online to get employees to think up great new ideas that can drive / support R&D and innovations.

 Stats and facts:

• 80% of companies now use social media tools (source: SMiLE survey).

• Yammer, SharePoint, Zimbra and Jive are the most popular internal comms platforms. (Source: 451 research)


• Optimally engaged employees are 120% more likely to generate innovation and 150% more likely to demonstrate customer advocacy (Source: IBM presentation)

• Employees are now being treated as consumers (segmentation, UX etc). It pays to know your internal audiences just like you know your external ones.

Focus us…. getting employees online (and coming back for more!)

Social media tools won’t do you much good if your people won’t use them. But culture change can be hard work, so the experts at SMiLE had plenty of advice for engaging your employees.

Step 1: Development

When you’re developing your tool, think about how you’re going to encourage people to use it.

1. Try tempting them in with something of interest or using the tool for something they can’t get anywhere else. At Coca Cola, they use their HR (payslips etc) as the ‘chocolate bar’ to push people to visit their platform.

2. Try using external feeds so that your employees can find everything in one place.

3. Short, engaging videos can help distill your complex messages into fun, engaging clips.

Step 2: Getting feedback

1. Want to run a pilot? Instead of using a wide spread of employees, choose a small, specific group like a project team to get a better sense of what works and how much people will use it.

3. Make sure your newsletters work for users. Get feedback, review analytics and respond.

Step 3: Launch

1. Want to make your ESN visible, effective and influential? Then you need your Exec team on board. Get them to commit to being social.

2. Spend time at launch phase, don’t just switch on and expect people to land!

Step 4: Training

While some employees might hate the digital world, others will be technical wizards. These differences are worth remembering. Quick user guides, webinars and top tips are all important for roll-out.

Step 5: Keep developing

It’s tempting to cascade information and training to managers, but think about using a ‘water wheel’ instead: cascade out, get feedback and respond.

Great quotes

On getting up close and personal with employees…

“Let people tell you what they need, and then make it happen”

Katherine Lunn, Community Manager, XChanging

On identifying natural social media champions and not forcing it…

“Some people are allergic to social media, some adopt naturally”

Toby Johns, Internal Communications Manager, Rugby Football Union (RFU)

“FUN is the best way to engage people on enterprise platforms”

Frank Hatzack, Head of Innovation Development, Novozymes

Want to read more? Download the complete set of conference notes by clicking here.

Fancy a chat about engaging your employees? Give us a call or take a look at our work examples.

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