Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of conversations with social platform managers about their KPIs for 2018. A social platform manager is the person in an organisation who is responsible for the success of the platform. Examples of social platforms are Workplace by Facebook, Yammer, Jive, IBM connections, etc.
Real platform success is achieved when the platform is used everywhere in the business to improve communications and collaboration in day to day work. People use it to get their work done. If you are successful, this will reflect in high daily and weekly usage figures. So, an easy conclusion would be that weekly and daily usage figures should be your KPIs. However, there are two problems with this KPI.
The problem has to do with the activities required to influence these figures and the mandate that the typical platform manager has.
To influence these figures you need to work with line management to improve their business. In practice platform owners very often report into the internal communications director or reside in IT. None of the KPIs of their managers will mention improving the performance of the business of other line managers. Going for business KPIs that don’t align with your bosses KPIs is generally not good for your career (hands on experience here). Furthermore, there is often resistance from a typical line manager if someone from communications or IT comes by to tell them how to run their business. The result is that your manager will want you to focus on their side of things. For communications that is often using the platform as a channel for content and for IT, it is often related to the technical state of the platform. Although these things are components of success, they aren’t big levers to pull when it comes to overall platform success.
So, you’re stuck with KPIs that are difficult to achieve because you are not allowed to do the things required.
The first step is to move the conversation from statistics to the actual activities you can do, that, when done well, will result in platform success. You need to define your KPIs in activities and deliverables. The good thing about this approach is that it forces you to talk about what you will actually do with your boss and you can decide together what’s within your mandate and what isn’t.
Below are some examples of how you can approach this.
A big part of the success of a platform is determined by the success of individual business functions (finance, HR, marketing, etc.) or business units. Making sure they succeed should therefore be a key part of your KPIs.
Here are some KPIs you can think about as a starting point:
Create an overview of the stakeholders in the functions that are needed to make the platform successful. Keep in mind that their success = your success.
Co-create a social platform plan together with these stakeholders.
Create and offer training and support to stakeholders.
Help stakeholders execute on their plans by having bi-weekly update calls.
Create and manage a group on the platform to support all stakeholders.
To get teams and departments to use the platform to get things done (daily usage) you could plan:
Creating a general approach teams can use to start working on the platform.
Approaching 10 teams a month offering them help in making the transition.
Create communications about all success cases.
Create and maintain a group to support teams that are transitioning to using the platform to get things done.
You can do the same for the areas of:
Service Channels (IT helpdesk, HR helpdesk, etc.)
Helping managers become networked leaders
Helping communications professionals be successful
If you are part of an internal communications department and your manager will not or cannot give you the mandate to do the above, your mandate will remain within the realm of communications. You should focus your KPIs on the success of some communications oriented groups (they are ‘channels’) like the All company group.
I hope these suggestions help some of you out there looking to define your KPIs. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic further..