“Our site is gamified we have leader boards, points, rewards, and badges.”
Not necessarily! Gamification is more about the game design than including certain tools in your application. I am reminded of a bank that asked me to review their website for use of Social Media. At first glace the site looked like it was optimized for Social. I saw the props of note-- like a rating system (stars) to register readers reviews of posts. However, there was no way of eliminating duplicate ratings by users or being able to track who reviewed what content. In short this was a façade and nothing more.
If you are going to gamify make sure you know why you are gamifying and what you want from the players in the game. That will give you your measurement guides. But more importantly it will determine when you are engaging them and what training, support, rewards, and end goals they must meet. In other words, if you want to gamify then design a game not just use game elements for use sake.
Look at the totality of your players. If you review who your players are their needs or skills may reveal distinct groups for game purposes. Those needs may translate (for the purpose of the end goal not the game) into different roles, tasks, or tracks critical to game design. Perhaps certain users’ needs are so diverse that separate games are the best solution.
Do you want the game to be intrinsically or extrinsically motivating? Do you want to give certain users an advantage? Are you creating a complex behavior change? Complex behavior changes may require multi-level gaming or separate games which may lend itself to a road-map for retiring / launching games.
Games may stop working because users get tired of the game or they lose interest. This bears further investigation into reasons for the loss of interest--are rewards backfiring. Identify when a game is no longer viable and don’t be afraid to retire or replace it.
The tools of gamification while eye-catching must have integration and purpose. Purpose must communicate meaningful information to the players and administrators.
Remember--too many tools can confuse players. Confused player mean poor game design (unless you’re going for confusion and disorientation--in which case, please stay tuned for my blog on ethics of gaming).
When in doubt Keep It Simple! Happy gaming!
Employees are learning to be social in business. Collaboration is critical to achieving ROI for enterprise social networks. Right now innovative technology is out-pacing business user engagement. The general working population is in the midst of one of the most technically demanding learning curves since the desktop computer. Business users have to be taught how to collaborate virtually and engage in social business settings. The transition requires un-learning old behavior and replacing it with new behavior.
Gamification can help bridge the transition process. Here are six key steps to gamifying your enterprise social network:
1. Know your user strategy. A “get-acquainted” strategy is not the same as a “collaboration” strategy. It’s critical that before you start gamifying your network you understand where your users are and what participation you want from them. Trying to get all types of participation to happen at once can be too confusing. Great games are clear and concise. Don’t confuse the end with the means.
2. Meet users where they are. The needs of the executive users, top-down, are different from managers, which in turn are different from the needs of the general user population. Great business games acknowledge the needs or role of the user while at the same time advance the desired goals of each group collectively and individually.
3. Keep the association between behavior and reward clear. Gamification is identifying and rewarding the right behavior to drive strategy. Rewarding “liking” content with points when your goal is to surface subject-mater-experts may not produce the results you want.
4. Help users learn the right behavior. Training and coaching are great tools in gamifcation. But excessive anything, even coaching pop-ups, may defeat your purpose. Help users and listen to their feedback to ensure what you are offering is on target.
5. Planned obsolescence is key. Remember if you are going to retire a game make sure you are not penalizing your players-keep contribution separate from rewards.
6. Measure and tweak. Know where you are to ensure that you are getting where you want to go--remember to baseline your starting point and measure success to your end-goal.
Definition of COLLABORATE
1: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor
2: to cooperate with or willingly assist…
3: to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.
If 2012 was the year that social became an enterprise word. Then 2013 is the year that the enterprise strives to collaborate. Collaboration tools will abound this year. The roadblocks to cooperation will fall by the wayside as digital enterprise tools cross the great divides of departments and multi-orgs. We have seen Enterprise Social Networks make solid footholds in 2012 and companies make initial investments in social analytics and listening systems to enable workable connections access to our once secular enterprise eco-systems. As roadblocks to cooperative work environments fall away collaboration will come into focus.
Companies’ worldwide will be “able” to collaborate making the real question for most organizations in 2013, “are we collaborating?” Is your company reaping the value of its Social investments or put plainly is your company maximizing its newfound collaboration potential?
Making a behavior technologically possible does not mean that it will actually be happening. The answer for most organizations asking themselves the Collaboration question will undoubtedly be, "not yet." Old behaviors are hard to break. It’s a challenge to ask an organization as a whole to work differently—to rely on each other, to rely on partners, on suppliers, on critics, on advocates. Reliance requires trust. I may be wrong but very few of us look at our paycheck and see it as a measure of how much trust we were able to build upon.
In most US companies’ trust is not yet synonymous with work. Yet, trust is a key component to collaboration. Can each of your employees trust that co-workers, consumers, board members, shareholders, critics, and advocates offer value despite their disparate positions? While most companies will whole heartily agree that core to their work ethic is that the effective value of any effort (Sales, Delivery, Service, and so on) can be tangibly enhanced when people collaborate together--work together towards a common outcome.
Social has opened the way to a new business paradigm. But opening a paradigm is not the same as ensuring its success in your organization. Social depends on engagement for success. Collaboration is at the core of effective engagement. Collaboration makes you an equal partner with critics and advocates alike. Collaboration means you are getting and making the most of the each Eco-systems you are part of.
How is your company doing? Are your Social tools delivering as you expected? Where do you want to be in 2013? Are you ready to do what is possible? Can you identify your organizational roadblocks?
If you answered those questions affirmatively then collaboration is in reach for your company. Luckily collaboration behavior can be changed quickly provided there is a focused and supported effort from the top of an organization. Key social tools like gamification will ensure behaviors that have strategic support, like collaboration, can become the new norm in virtually any organization. Step up and make collaboration the top commitment for your company in 2013.
"What do you think about this article? I am appalled, to be honest!"
That was the title of the post that hooked me. I had to click the link and read about what was so "appalling." But what I found was just a decent article looking at the confusing and often difficult to assess area of Social Measurement. Yes, it did have to do with a score used by a particular company of the same name. I am purposefully leaving that name out of this blog asI am not writing bout the company nor about the quality of their measurement. I am not even judging what this poster was doing. I am writing as a user of social; the impact of emotional draw; and the request for me to weigh in (socially engage).
This engagement has simply become a great jumping off point for me to ponder how we are using Social Reputation Measurements?
As I stated IMHO there was nothing "appalling" in the article. It was after all no greater or more impactful than any other article on Social Measurement. What I did find interesting was how successful this quote was in getting me to engage (click, read, comment, and respond). I was not alone in my reaction. In fact 79 people had done the same. If I were measuring activity alone in a defined network I might erroneously see a high impact score and associate a high social contribution. However, looking deeper at context though I did click, read, engage, and even respond to her, her value as an important person in my social network actually deminshed greatly.
I read the other comments and many were as baffled as I was by the post header and its connection to the article. I wonder how many others have stepped back and looked at this as a study in getting closer to true a measurement of Social Value.
Social value must by definition be a value gained via repeated engagement with a specific Social group. I am looking at a Social value as an aggregation of reputation. Reputation is driven by the ability of that individual to gain a higher status as a key engager who influences a constant social network overtime. Using antics such as emotional pulls or requests to engage users to join-in, buy-in or participate may have a single moment of impact but overtime and if other members find consensus in the negative value of that individual will as an aggregate erode reputation. I will be less likely to fall for another antic from this poster as her reputation is diminished. Aggregate reputation and ability to influence a common social behavior is key.
Conversely, Social Value of a network is not negatively impacted by the individual contributors antics. In fact, transparency of an antic and its call-out may actually boost the Social Value of a network. I may conclude that the value of a group has increased as I now given the consensus of engagement. Greater Social Value of a social network may be do to a greater sense of kinship with a group once I see them as more like-minded to myself.
What is Social Value is a complex and delicate matter to measure let alone assess. The numbers while exact are less valuable than the interpretation. Interpretation, however, is dependent on context and context is more likely to be subjective. For now the only solid conclusion appears to be that the delicacies of social measurement are manyfold.
The other night I went to a great presentation sponsored by SAP highlighting the work of Barbara Annis's new book, Same Words, Different Language. In her book, she identifies women as more naturally collaborative and men as more naturally competitive.
Years ago, while studying Organizational Change, I was drawn to study gender differences in the workplace. Fast forward to today and my interests have shifted to Social Gaming in the workplace. Specifically, Social gaming that trains behavior in internal/external B2B Social Networks and then applies this to behavior to enhance business collaboration. Barbara's discussion led me to investigate gender differences in Social Gaming and how those differences apply to game design in work settings.
Flurry did an interesting study in the area of Gender Differences in Gaming. The full discussion can be found here http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/study-mobile-social-games-attract-young-college-educated-women/. Essentially the study found that women are active gamers as well as men.
The question for me, designing games for B2B social engagements is how to create games that drive more collaboration. The key ingredients of collaborative games are ones that encourage cross participation, identify complimentary capabilities, strengthen relationships, are scalable, and fun! My experience has taught me that Collaborative games in the Social workplace need to utilize day-to-day tools empowered through social collaboration. I find the best games emphasize currently used tasks and strategic capabilities.
My ah-ha moment these past few days has been to create games that generate collaboration while using more cross-behavior learning. Hopefully this will also create cross-over where we enhance collaborative skills in more competitive gamers (men according to Barbara Annis) and enhance competitive skills in more collaborative gamers (women according to Barbara).
ROI in Social begins at the beginning there is just no way around that. Before you select the software and certainly before you turn it on. A great Social strategy and design must be at the core. There are 4 key points to include in the initial core discussion from which further strategy and design iterations evolve.
1. Answer why are we doing Social? (Needs & Reasons; each should have a desired goal as well as risks and is the basis for all KPIs)
2. How will this engage with /change our current business model or culture model?
(Begin to understand breath and depth of impact / transformation to the business)
3. Where are we today in relation to accomplishing that? (Identifying phases, easy gains, and defines needs)
4. Who does this impact? This identifies the extended team and core team--it ultimately outlines key departments, applications, and resources ((both hard and soft that should be added to the plan) customers and employees should be included in this—as well as anyone that Social may engage—Mapping impact /engage audience)
Usually the team discovers at this point there there is a Social Eco-System to address and engage. Internally this usually identifies cross-departmental impact that drives a collaboration effort. This collaboration effort should have at the core of its structure the Customer or potential customer. In addition, Social Eco-System leads to who needs empowerment and ability to engage and how. Out of this comes the HR, Legal, and Executive engagement that has to buy-in at the core or this plan for success to be on track.
Principal, Ready, Set, Go Social!
Social Enterprise is the push for 2012. But if your company is only doing a technology push be aware an implementation is much more than hitting the switch on Social. Social Enterprise is a collaboration play and the technology that enables it accounts for only about 15% of the needed effort. However, if Social is not done properly it can become 100% problem. A Social Enterprise is a sense and respond organization that is able to engage and respond to social data in ways that optimize your brand. Social puts the customer first.
Social messaging is immediate and as such the most impactful response is time sensative, targeted, and specific. In order to sense and respond in ways that are socially impactful to your brand a company must be able to determine who needs to respond and how to respond. Most companies believe the who" that I am referring to is the Social Community manager. In actuality it is rarely valuable for the community manager to respond. Proper delegation planning is key to success.
If you are going to go into Social determine why and how you plan to use it. Ensure that you have a collaborative workflow and matching service level criteria to support your goal. Gone are the days that a single department owns a product or a customer. Empower all potential responders to understand the social impact, determine your company's best position and utilize the data in ways that make sense across the organization.
A single customer review can and often includes information that is product satisfaction related and should go to product development, as well as, technical support. In addition, that same review may include fulfillment of service data that may need to be reviewed across multiple areas of the organization, as well as with partners who may be involved with fulfillment or retail point of purchase. In some cases that customer may also be an employee and the information may need to be shared or cleared with Human Resources and Public Relations.
Be thoughtful and plan collaboratively across your organization. If collaboration is not the norm for your company then support change efforts with communication, training (gamification), and rewards. Just turning on an social application without these factors limits the potential ROI of Social Enterprise. Clearly plan, design, seed, measure, and maintain. Make sure your ROI ties to your goals and that you are actually succeeding at what you want to accomplish.
Remember, what differentiates social from other innovations is that it has a life of its own. Investing in Social is a commitment to continual and ongoing care and feeding. Prepare to work within that Social stream and integrate the stream into the fiber of your organization. Taking these foundational steps insure your organization is poised for success.
The Social Enterprise is not about flipping a switch on an application in the cloud. In fact, that switch flipping is the most minor component in the launch process when it comes to any Social application.
In order to do Social Enterprise as a strategic and competitive advantage you must be collaboration ready. How can you tell if you are collaboration ready? Well one way is to answer a few questions:
- Is your business siloed?
- Does more work get done based on political power than true need? Are you focused on return for shareholders as the number one priority?
- Have you engaged in multiple acquisitions and are still in that absorption and integration mode?
- Are you primarily a build it, waterfall, or a we keep-it-in-house organization?
- Is Social view as an experiment to dabble in?
- Is Social viewed as a medium that you need marketing to own and use?
- Do you have a political process that employees must follow to get the ear of any senior leader in the organization? Are missteps to that process frowned upon?
Yes to any of these and you need to address some internal issues along with launching that Social application. Social applications promise to extend your reach. They promise to give you unprecedented access and speed to impact. But if you are not collaboration ready you could have at the very least a failed effort or a very costly virtual billboard at the very most you could sink your company’s reputation. Are you ready for that gamble? You don't have to take that risk if you are willing to ensure you are collaboration ready.
Good intentions are worthwhile but dedicated action brings results. I often run into companies that struggle with the amount of organic growth versus focused development. My response is that depends.
There are many important factors to consider such as:
· Culture -Is this a top down culture or more entrepreneurial?
· Purpose-What do you really want your site and its users to do?
o Work and collaborate
o Break down silos
o Build reputation and branding
· Timeline - Are you working within an ROI constraint?
· What kind of site do you have? External, internal facing or both?
Social networking sites are living and breathing ecosystems that require care and feeding. They need:
· Guidance and training
· Direction, support and vision
· Nudging --benefits and personal rewards (WIIFMs)
What are the WIIFMs? (What is in it for me?)
• Influential contributors and thought leaders
• Ease of sharing and engaging with others
• Bonding (find, form and join groups of "like mind")
• Unique resources (people, places, and things not found or easily found elsewhere)
• Central location for all interaction (storing, email, status, threading, and calendaring)
• Intuitive and user friendly (geek or novice)
How do you know if you are on target? Metrics are critical. You measure to see what is occurring. Tweak as needed to redirect and support. Keep on seeding with content, resources, innovation, activities, and people.
If your community is not thriving it’s dying. Following these few basic guidelines will help sustain your community and drive the results you’re seeking.
For a eco-analysis please contact us at: http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php
The next key component is the initial launch. At this point, knowing when, why, and what you plan on launching should be defined. It needs to be coordinated and well executed. You have one shot to bring users in, spark their interest, and entice them to come back. A poorly designed site is one that does not take the users’ needs into account or whose applications detour rather than attract. An initial launch needs to have a plan to help and support users. Users need to know what to do and where to go when the site works and if the site doesn’t work. The only way to speak directly to your users needs is to get the requirements directly from them. Additionally, very site needs FAQs, training information, users support groups and a direct link for technical support. Viral or otherwise you want to keep users on the site and doing what you want them to do.
Because not all users are equal or always behave the way you would like them to, you need to have analytics set up with your site. This will gauge the success of your strategy. When you are implementing analytics, determine your KPIs, as these will help support an ROI discussion when you need to justify, enhance or upgrade your site as time goes on.
Users typically fall into a framework nicely captured in Forrester’s Social Media Ladder. http://convenienceoversophistication.com/post/178898247/the-social-technologies-ladder-forester-research
A user strategy determines how you plan to engage them in order to move up the ladder. Some key user groups such as subject matter experts, reference accounts, or product /service user groups may need to move quicker than others. If the movement does not happen on its own, it’s important to have a usage strategy that is both a push and pull. This accounts for top down, bottom-up and sideways-in users and aligns with your overall strategy.
(*It is important to customize this ladder by labeling each key area with the activities that are enabled in your specific site. Then when you develop your KPIs, you will have a means of understanding if your community is thriving or not).
Join me next time as I talk about key roles in your community.