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How a Social Intranet Can Boost Employee Connections and Empower Your Team

Lisa Ardill

Content Editor at Workvivo

27 Feb 2023

Company intranet solutions have been around since the 1990s. But today, modern intranet solutions are becoming more powerful and sophisticated, incorporating brand new features like social feeds and improved search capabilities to make the workplace better for everyone.

If your company isn’t already using a social intranet solution, now is the time to start. 

The social features provided by this type of intranet are the perfect way to improve employee engagement and productivity, offering the knowledge sharing and social interaction elements that team members need to do their jobs.

Here’s what you need to know about how a social intranet can benefit your team.

What is a social intranet?

A social intranet is a type of intranet (an internal communication network) that facilitates communication and collaboration within an organization.

This kind of intranet uses features that are similar to those of a social media platform, like:

  • An activity feed
  • Spaces you can join
  • Emoji reactions
  • Personal profile pages with bios and profile pictures

By using the intranet, employees can interact with each other in the same way they’d interact on a social media platform.

A social intranet is also a place where team members can access all of the information and resources they need in one location. From information to communication, a social intranet is designed to be your company’s one-stop shop – a centralized hub where team members can find, do, and say whatever they need. 

Features and capabilities of a social intranet

Social intranets are growing increasingly sophisticated, with more and more features that help employees do their jobs.

Keep in mind, however, that the essential function of a social intranet (what makes it different from a traditional intranet or knowledge base) are the social media-like aspects. So the most important intranet features should be those that encourage social behavior.

User-friendly interface

Your employees from every department will be using the intranet every day. Your social intranet should have an intuitive, user-friendly interface that everyone can navigate with competence, even if they aren’t from IT.

The easier it is to use, the more your employees will want to use it.

Younger employees in particular expect technology that’s easy to use, with a simple onboarding process. 

Multiple channels of engagement and communication

Look for a social intranet that offers multiple channels for engagement and communication. These different channels give employees the ability to interact with each other through commenting on posts or instant messaging.

If desired, you can create spaces for different combinations of people, matching up teams or departments so they can focus together in an uninterrupted space. 

Activity feeds for real-time updates

An activity feed, or news feed, lets users see updates or changes from colleagues in real time, helping everyone stay effortlessly in the loop with what’s happening in the organization.

Engagement and participation will both improve when every team member has access to these activity streams. 

Individual user profiles

Many social intranets include profiles for individual users. Each person can set up their personal bio and add a profile photo, just like how they’d do it on a social media site.

This allows employees to get to know each other on a deeper level. And, it’s especially important for fully or partially remote teams, where employees may be struggling to match faces with names. 

Centralized file management and sharing

With a social intranet, you should be able to make files, documents, and other information easily accessible to anyone who needs them.

This is one of the key functions of an intranet – to serve as a centralized hub of internal information that helps employees get their work done better and quicker. 

Implement centralized file management and watch productivity rise! 

Mobile functionality

Do you respond to emails or complete work-related tasks on your smartphone? 

Many people do.

That’s why mobile functionality for your social intranet is essential. People are used to accessing social media on their phones. It only makes sense that they’d want to access their social intranet via mobile, too.

Optimize your intranet with a user-friendly interface for mobile devices, and employees will be more willing to use it. Plus, you won’t be excluding employees who don’t have access to a company email address or computer, like many frontline workers.

Social intranet vs. traditional intranet

Both a social and traditional intranet serve as internal or local networks where your team can securely share information and resources.

But there are several differences, too. 

Social intranet is more dynamic

A traditional intranet has simpler features than a modern social intranet. With a traditional intranet, you might see management distributing information with no place for employees to respond; it’s monologue, not dialogue. 

Social intranet is comprehensive

Traditional intranets are also not necessarily a comprehensive, connected platform. 

Employees may still be using separate email or messaging applications without the ability to integrate all of them together. What’s more, a traditional intranet using legacy software will need regular updates to keep running. 

Traditional intranet isn’t adopted as widely

Often, social intranets have a higher adoption rate than traditional ones.

Users also tend to stick around for longer – these intranets create a sense of belonging, which leads to happier employees and better retention rates. 

Social intranet allows for more collaboration

Social intranets foster increased communication between employees, creating a two-way, open communication instead of a transactional top-down version of communication.

It’s easy for employees to share knowledge in this interactive, engaging, and dynamic environment!

The structure and function of a social intranet fits well in this day and age. Plus, social intranets are more cost-effective and provide a better user experience. Social intranets go above and beyond traditional intranets with features geared specifically toward team collaboration.

Think of them as the cooler older sibling of a traditional intranet – a newer, shinier, more effective version of the same traditional platform we all knew and loved.

If you’re looking for improved communication, engagement, and productivity among your employees, a social intranet is the best fit for you. 

Benefits of implementing a social intranet

Using a social intranet can help your organization succeed in a myriad of ways. Take a look at a few of the biggest benefits of a social intranet that your company can enjoy.

Improved team alignment

Your employees should be aligned with their employer’s values and vision, and the best social intranet provides the easy access they need to this information by:

  • Keeping a record of these values in one easy-to-access place
  • Making it easy to link posts to them

This helps employees feel as if they’re part of something bigger than themselves. 

Increased employee engagement

With a social intranet that facilitates and encourages recognition from leadership and peers, it’s easier for employees to see the impact their work is making.

When employees believe they will be recognized, they’re 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged. Using your intranet to provide positive feedback can increase your employees’ dedication and enthusiasm at work. 

More positive work culture

Social intranets help cultivate a positive work culture.

The ability to consistently connect with other people on your team helps create a sense of belonging, leading to happier employees. And, when your employees are happy with where they work, they’ll be much more willing to do whatever your company needs to keep moving forward. 

Heightened team and employee empowerment

A social intranet empowers your team by providing the information, resources, and feedback they need to do their jobs.

Intranets empower employees by giving them a voice and encouraging them to use it, regardless of their role in the company or where they are based. This improves communication and performance. 

Transform the employee experience with social intranet by Workvivo

With benefits like more collaboration, more engagement, and an overall better work environment for your team, social intranet software is the perfect way to inject some fresh life into the workplace. Look for an option that has a low barrier to entry and includes social-oriented features such as activity feeds, user profiles, and different channels for communication.


Workvivo is the perfect fit for any company in search of a social intranet that will transform the digital workplace.The social networking features and integrations with all of your current apps make it easy to transition your employees to this collaboration platform. You can share company news, internal comms, and improve your company culture. Get a free demo today.