Measuring intranet engagement

Kevin Cody (SmallWorlders)

What do we mean by engagement? Why does it matter? And how do we measure intranet engagement? These were some of the questions that Kevin Cody from SmallWorlders discussed in his presentation at Intranätverk: Stockholm. In addition, he also gave us some valuable insights in how to interpret the engagement score to create a winning engagement strategy.

Like all technology, intranets have evolved over the years. But the way people measure how well their intranets are performing hasn’t changed at all. It’s mostly about how many pages the intranet consists of etc. – metrics that are used because they’re quite easy to get.

Three problems

According to Kevin, there are three common problems when it comes to measuring intranet engagement:

  • The completeness problem
  • The overview problem
  • The comparison problem

These are explained more in depth in his presentation at Intranätverk: Stockholm in the video below.

A fully engaged intranet

Creating a benchmark means defining what a hypothetical fully engaged intranet would look like. For example:

  • It would have a user base of 100 percent.
  • These would visit the intranet every day.
  • They would view a certain amount of pages (e.g. 10) every day.
  • And they would perform each possible form of interaction once per visit.

Kevin explains that engagement is a combination of interest and activity. The top three bullets above all fit into the interest category, whereas the forth one ends up under activity. To be able to measure the total engagement, you have to look at these two aspects separately and then combine them.

The engagement model

Splitting engagement into interest and activity is something that Kevin calls “the engagement model”. It might be a little bit hard to grasp how this allows us to calculate the engagement on our intranets. To make it easier, Kevin has come up with a visual model in which the engagement is calculated by the use of a box. Please have a look at Kevin’s presentation at Intranätverk: Stockholm above to learn more about visual engagement.

The engagement number

Combining the interest score and the activity score will result in an engagement number. This number can be of great value to a company as it allows us to do external benchmarking and perform an internal diagnosis. Kevin explains that using the engagement number for external benchmarking is a great way to see how your number compares to other companies. You can look at the interest score and the activity score separately or combined. In which areas is the engagement satisfactory and in which does it need to be improved? You can also use your intranet’s “fingerprint” to compare intranets/companies that are similar to your own.

Internal diagnosis

In addition to external benchmarking, the engagement number can be used to get a better understanding of what’s influencing the engagement. By performing a so-called internal diagnosis, you are able to see why the engagement might differ from time to time and which activities make the engagement rise. Then you can repeat those activities to get the engagement that you want. Analyzing the engagement in the form of a heat wave can also be very useful. (View PPT-slide below)

To summarize

Measuring your intranet engagement might sound a bit tricky, but using the engagement model makes it a lot easier. Although a great deal of companies don’t pay attention to their engagement, it is a great way to detect issues as well as positive areas. Kevin points out that looking at the correlation between the intranet engagement score and business metrics, for example your share price or profitability, could be of great value. The engagement score at a certain time or a certain place can also work as a good indicator for important aspects of your business. So why not give it a try?

Biography Kevin Cody

With a background in technology and marketing, Kevin has specialized in intranets since 1997. He is the founder and Managing Director of SmallWorlders, a London based intranet agency and consulting company. SmallWorlders, founded 10 years ago, has won every major intranet award for international clients such as Nestlé, De Beers and Heineken.