Use SharePoint as a Social site

Posted: December 4, 2017

Susan CarlowWhenever we head into the end of year party time, it’s pertinent to think of how you can use SharePoint for your social activities.

Storing and displaying your Christmas party pics is a given, but what else can you do that utilises SharePoint’s collaborative features to bring the team together and celebrate the year’s successes?

A Social site

SharePoint is a great place to set up a Social site, I recommend including a calendar of social events, a forum to get feedback from staff on past events, surveys to work out what they want to do at your next event/s, a list of the social club committee and a picture library of events.  You can also set up a carousel of images as a webpart to show off the images from past events.

Workspace for Social Club members and the committee

If you create a site for the social aspects of your organisation, you’ll likely also need to set up a sub site for the Social Club Committee.  Even if you run a more informal social scene, you’ll see benefit in a sub site where the organiser/s can store related information and the admin that comes out of organising events, such as a list of attendees, venue research, pricing, tickets and invite templates etc.

If your organisation has a Social Club with membership, this becomes a useful place to manage a list of members, with fields to capture data on the types of things they enjoy doing, areas they prefer to go to, whether anyone is vegetarian or has special requirements, preference for child-friendly events etc.

More than just the end of year party pics

A social site can also be a great place to store all the photos of events – set up a folder for each event, and add detail like the venue, or link to blog posts or other content around the intranet that relates to the event.

Of course, your social site doesn’t just have to be for organisational events like your end of year party, you can also share photos from birthday morning teas or Johnny’s leaving do.  Be careful you don’t post photos of the really drunk folk at the party.  The whole point of a social site is to foster inclusivity, not to humiliate those who over-indulged!


If you build it – they will come

Humans are social animals, and a social site is usually a very popular place for staff to visit regularly.  Build it and they will come!  The social site can be a place that helps users learn skills in SharePoint that are transferrable to other work-related parts of your intranet. It also fosters teamwork and improves staff relations – this is where folk gain a better understanding of their colleagues, who they are and what motivates them.

You could set up a newsfeed or forum for staff to use as a classifieds where they can list items for sale or swap.  I work with clients who successfully use newsfeed and Yammer on their home page, and staff are encouraged to instant message and communicate there, instead of going outside of the organisation to social media like Facebook or Instagram.

Throughout the day, someone may share a joke, or a meme or a personal photo.  Having a place that encourages this type of social interaction takes it off email, ensuring email is a business tool and the newsfeed a place to have a micro break and have a quick catch up with colleagues.  It’s great for including remote workers and anyone who may not work in a formal team.

For more information on how we can help you with SharePoint training and intranet development please contact me.  We also offer training in Office 365.

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