As part of the project kickoff, Burleigh had recruited "Chatter champions" throughout the company who committed to posting to the Chatter environment at least three to five times a week as a way of getting things started. Because a lot of corporate content was in other systems like SharePoint, they also made a point of linking to SharePoint documents and building a discussion around them.
When activity stuttered, the Chatter advocates worked to get it restarted, putting an emphasis on the use of @mentions of employees as a way of reminding them of discussions that they should be participating in. "You have to have that impetus and give them a reason for coming back," he said. "The more activity, the more gravity, the more people will gravitate to the platform."
Burleigh also found it was really important to solicit feedback and then demonstrate that you're willing to make changes in response. "When you do, it pays back tenfold," he said.
Mannella said another key to success, and one of the ways Model Metrics helped, was identifying a set of practical business uses for the technology, categorized according to degree of difficulty and potential payoff. That makes it easier to decide what to tackle first, he said.
"Bechtel avoided probably the biggest mistake people make before they deploy Chatter, which is: don't just turn it on. Without a focus on change management, without a plan in place, you're not going to have the success. You may have pockets of success, but you're not going to get to that social transformations stage."
Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)