Launching an Enterprise Social Networking Tool (ESN) can be daunting. But if you invite the right people to the initial launch, it can make a difference in the adoption and success of your ESN across your organization. There are a few types of people you'll want to invite as they all play important, but different roles in the organization. And if you want to get them really involved? Play to the WIIFM mentality: if people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved.
1. The Expert
Your "go to" person for information. This person knows it all and usually has a brain full of information that is valuable to many in an organization. She's the first to find a workaround and is willing to experiment with technology and cutting edge tools.
Why important: This person will be able to post content and answer questions in your community with ease. You need to get the content in her head into your ESN. You may want to invite a few experts to make sure all your bases are covered so when someone asks a question, you have someone on hand with the expertise to answer.
What's In It For Me?: This person will be honored just to be invited. Usually takes little motivation, just tell her you need her because she is an expert in her field -- everyone loves to be called an expert.
2. The Executive
This is either the leader of your organization or department and a key decision maker. This person has limited time and is used to doing things with efficiency.
Why important: It is critical to get this person onboard early -- it's important for feedback and buy-in. The Executive also has followers that will stand up and take notice.
What's In It For Me?: Highlight the fact that you can be more efficient, speedier and more productive. Studies show that by implementing a social collaboration tool, organizations can see a 12.5 percent increase in productivity across the board. On top of this benefit, nearly 100 percent of companies using a social collaboration tool have reported the ability to more efficiently serve their clients.
3. The Resister
Hates change. The worst thing you can do to this person is give him ANOTHER login/application to learn to use. He would prefer to do things the way they have always being doing things ... a.k.a. the old way.
Why important: Win him over and you will see the rest of the resistance follow. Be sure and invite the leader of the resisters. “Resistance is futile.”