This is a question I get a lot from our customers at Beezy. In fact, it´s something you should be thinking about, if you are planning to launch a Social Intranet (regardless of the platform you choose) *See Enterprise Social Network vendors list.
Here are some ideas about email notifications and adoption:
“Email notification is key to drive adoption”.
Don´t loose perspective. Email notification is only a feature in your whole Social Intranet. Users won´t adopt it only because they get notified in their emails every single time someone mentions them on the intranet.
They will visit the new Social Intranet because it is a good source of information. Because it is a real-time collaboration platform. Because it is a conversational place where they can interact with colleagues in other cities or even other countries in real-time.
They´ll adopt it because it´s useful, fun and interesting. Because it makes their life easier. They´ll use it because it allows them to find people and information in a much faster way. They´ll use it because it adds value to their daily work not only because they get an email notification.
If you are afraid people won´t adopt the platform if they don´t get notifications of the activites in ther email. Then think of what happens with Facebook. We get notifications when one of our friends mentions us in a post or tags as in a picture.
Now, ask your yourself: Would I stop using Facebook if I wouldn´t get those notifications in my email? For many people the answer whoud be: no.
And that´s because they see the value of the platform itself. You do gain something by visiting it. You can see what your friends and family members have been doing lately and you can interact with them. Going to the site adds real value.
One of the main reasons you are implementing a new Social Intranet is to cut on emails in your organization.
I know, that´s not the only reason but it´s an important one too. The whole idea of having open source collaboration platform is that anybody can create and share content. And everybody can benefit from that information.
The employees are a huge and very valuable source of information. Problem is that all that information is stored in their emails (docs, coversations, questions, answers, etc).
By implementing a social collaboration platform you are taking this valuable information from emails and making it available to the whole community. Now everybody can benefit from that. You are laveraging the collective intelligence of your company and that´s really powerful!
If you are encourging users not to go to the platform and instead only check the notifications thet get in their emails. Then you are loosing the whole point. Which is engaging in conversations with your colleagues, asking questions, answer questions, following communities of interest, INTERACTION!!
That said, you need to have an adoption plan. Key is to look for evangelists among your organization. Involve them in the project since the very beginning (since the pilot). They will be you best help when it comes to spreading the word among other employees.
Don´t just invlove IT people. IT department is very important but if you want to launch a successful Social Intranet you´ve got to engage also some key users in HR, Corporate Communications and also C-level executives. Tell them all about the project and how revolutionary it will be. They´ll get excited and will start using it.
Now, whenever they get a question from a colleague by email they can simply say: I just posted the answer in our new Social Intranet check this link: https://intranet.companyname/updtaes-about-project-x so other colleagues can also benefit from it . Believe me, that will drive adoption.
Make a short 2-3 minutes explanatory video, put it in the new Social Intranet and send everybody the link. That should also help in lightning the fire.
What do you think about email notifications?