Research have shown that in a social software of most of the organizations only 1% of the employees take an active part and share content/information over the public forum. 9% are neutral towards using that software. The problem is that 90% of the people called lurkers very rarely contribute over the social network. So, Social collaboration helps in making the 90% lurkers to contribute.
You never know from where you can get a solution to a particular problem within the organization.
Forcing people to use the software can be a dangerous proposition. The use of social software should be gradually embedded into the culture of the organization. People should be motivated to use social software.
Is it possible to make “lurkers” contribute?
Before analyzing this problem, just go through your Facebook account and see how many friends do you have and how many of them are actually active during the last 24 hours. You would be surprised to see that the percentage of active friends won’t be more than 20%. The first reality that you should keep yourself aware with is that you can’t expect participation from every individual. Lack of contribution has existed and will remain with us as seen in every online community and multi-user services
Your only real choice here is in how you shape the inequality curve’s angle. Are you going to have the “usual” 90-9-1 distribution or can you achieve a more equitable distribution where say close to 20 % people are contributing regularly?
Adoption rule for Social Collaboration:-
Following are the things you can do to increase participation from “lurkers”
Using Games as a medium to contribute (Gamification)
Gartner predicts that by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use Gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. If a game like feeling is provided within the social collaboration software then it is going to lad more usage of the software by the employees which in turn would lead to content generation by more number of employees.
Make it easier to contribute
Try to make it easier for the user to contribute stuff by reducing the time required, improving the methods to contribute. For example, IMDB lets users’ rate movies by clicking a star rating; similar is the case of Zomato that helps you rate the restaurants by just a single click.
Analyze lurkers’ participation
Don’t force the users to participate as they might feel being suppressed by the organization. Let users participate by not contributing anything. Make sure you have certain arrangements in place such that you track what that particular user is looking so that you can come up with certain analysis. For example, e-retailers use this technique to come up with suggestions like people who visited this page also visited these other pages.
Start with Editing.
Editing any document/ template could be much easier for the lurkers than creating the entire content themselves. By doing so it will give them a push to contribute and they will learn themselves how can they contribute over the social collaboration software?
Place a rewarding system
Rewarding users for contributing will help motivate lurkers and thus will broaden your participant base. You can also give preferential treatment (such as discounts or advance notice of new stuff), or add kudos and badges on their profiles. The rewarding system should be such that it encourages the lurkers to contribute, not to spam the entire network which could be a possibility if active users post excessively for the rewards associated.
Promote quality contribution
While encouraging people to contribute the other thing which should be kept in consideration is the quality of contribution. Promote contributions which are more prominent and of more worth so that users are encouraged to come up with relevant material.
Have you faced this problem in your organization? Your thoughts.