What’s the Chatter With You – Jenny’s Admin Tips #21

DSC_6312Ok. So the idea of having a social collaboration network embedded within your CRM, similar to the likes of Facebook or Twitter, is enough to send alarm bells ringing around the management team.

Your workforce is already a social environment and the idea of activating Chatter seems like a strategy meeting not worth having! After all, how will you have control on what users post, when they post and who they post to. How can the company grow with idle, none work specific chitchat. I mean does the world need more cat videos (well yes, but…), DOES your company need cat videos?! I digress, the gist is that these are the questions and fears that companies both large and small have when they are first introduced to Chatter.

So while expectations for using Chatter are low, the reality is far more appealing:-

Communication

Talking about about what you had for dinner last night is probably not going to be the best start to using Chatter. Chatter etiquette is something that will be formed throughout your chatter implementation and subsequently moderated through training. A good implementation may not stop your users chatting about what they watched on tv, but you will be able to moderate the discussions to focus on business. Here’s how you can leverage Chatter to increase internal communication and help get helpful chatter flowing in the right direction:-

  • Source information by asking questions for advice about a particular contact, account etc.
  • Encourage your knowledgeable users to answer questions posted on Chatter,
  • With Spring 15 you can now create cases for unanswered questions in Chatter.
  • Follow people to receive updates and expert insights from their posts.
  • Follow records like opportunities, cases, accounts etc) of interest to stay abreast of activities by their colleagues, or external interested parties. Chatter includes 5000 free licenses which can be allocated to external users whom can collaborate in groups. This massively reduces the need for emails.
  • Create teams and off/topic specific public and private groups. Great for projects that need ideas and collaboration from multiple people from different departments or for idle chat about the companies annual party.
  • Send private messages to ask questions to your manager or send a group message (up to 10 people) to talk about a topic that is not relevant to everyone in the org. This is also a great way to send messages to those who have posted unsuitable content.
Sharing

Yes, you can share links, yes you can share documents and yes this may lead to the possibility of a meme or two being posted. And while ‘One does not simply post without thinking of it’s importance’, Chatter’s sharing capabilities helps to maintain and grow relationships by enabling users to share information that is relevant. Here is how Chatter can make users more productive:-

  • Uploading attachments to posts in the chatter feed.
  • Watch users discuss changes to files in real time.
  • With Spring 15 users have access to even more information with the option to upload two attachments add a link and a file. Lucky users!
  • Sharing links and uploading files to posts on the feed or directly to groups.
  • With a hint of Twitter, users can also @mention a group or user to post directly. Members of that group and the individual user will receive an a notification of the post.
  • Liking. If someone has posted a question, comment, link etc, that you like , give it the thumbs up.
  • With Spring 15 Admins can enable emoticons. Users can now show how happy (or sad) they are with post on their feeds.
  • Liking and commenting will also give your Chatter influence a boost. The more you post the higher your rank in your Chatter org.
Reporting

So if you think Chatter isn’t delivering the enhanced communication required to facilitate your forecasted growth. The advanced reporting could show you where improvements in your communication strategy are required. You can:.

  • Create Activity Reports. Admins can quickly create chatter activity reports to show the number of posts, comments, likes and influences by each individual user. This provides a great overview on who are the most active members of the org and shows if users are actually collaborating.
  • Chatter Dashboards. This provides a visual representation of; Chatter at a glance; Content – uploads, downloads, engagement; Groups – monitor membership and post and comment activity with groups; Moderation – track unanswered questions; Topics – see metrics about featured topics etc. *Note: The Chatter Dashboard package is available on the AppExchange.

See chatter doesn’t seem that bad right?

Social media as an employee engagement tool, if correctly planned and implemented should; reduce the number of meetings; reduce email traffic; stimulate greater idea generation, encourage greater employee engagement more employee conversations and provide better access to information.

Still not convinced. Maybe a quote from Colin Griffith – Technology Project Manager @BSkyB will help:- “Chatter gives you a voice…”

So I ask. What is the Chatter with you now?

See you next week.
Jenny

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By Jenny Bamber
18 March 2015
Jenny's Admin TipsThe Good Systems Blog

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