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Like…Follow…Comment…REPEAT…Like…Follow…Comment

As part of my #100DaysofCommunityQA I often trawl the various topics within the SAP Community however I am dismayed at the lack of Followers for various topics, the minute few commenting and very few likes compared to the amount of SAP Community members there are. I am also dismayed at the amount of people that do not mark a Best Answer even though others have given up their time to offer possible solutions. I often see a much larger number of contributors (people asking questions mainly) but these numbers do not convert to Followers. Not sure why this is the case but there are a large number of topics out there and you cannot follow everything I guess. I do think a lot of SAP Community members just ask questions instead of actively engaging which is a reason why I am writing this blog post. To provide my views on the activities I would like to see ALL SAP Community members engaging in! Let’s hope!!!

There have also been countless discussions about the way in which the SAP Community is running, what is allowed to be published, topics being included but overall the changes in my mind have been great. New badges can be earned by additional contributions however each community member gets something that is more valuable than any of this – learnings! Not only that, friends can be made, solid bonds created and moreover a good feeling of helping others. This has been my experience having been an SAP Consultant for over 20+ years and I definitely have more SAP Community friends than I have ever had – especially those on Twitter and most of them I have never met.:-)

Such is the wonderful experiences that can be had if one contributes regularly.

When I thought about all of this I thought I would write a blog post that backed up my recent SAP Community housekeeping blog but this time focusing on key activities that ALL members can perform with simple clicks and with a bit of spare time – for the greater good of the community. I’ve also hidden various challenges throughout so feel free to take them up on a regular basis! Key message of the challenges are to GET INVOLVED!!! GET ENGAGED!!! To reinforce positive behaviours in the SAP Community!

I have also noted that occasionally there are some blogs that get thousands upon thousands of Likes and a large amount of Comments which definitely shows there are people out there digesting SAP Community material. The challenge is to try and get ALL SAP Community members more engaged, more involved and turn this into a sustained conversation around ALL topics.

Figure:1 Occasional SAP Community blip – Heaps of Likes!!!

This was a great blog post talking about the current state of play for consultants transitioning from older technologies into the new world of S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform so probably resonated with a large amount of the SAP Community. It was great for me to see this as I know the potential is there. Where there is potential there is hope! C’mon peeps, get engaged on more topics that are offered in the SAP Community and join in the conversation.

Overall engagement requires more than just logging in or browsing on the train without being logged in. Active engagement requires

  • Liking Blogs, Questions or Answers
  • Writing Blogs or contributing to the discussion via comments
  • Answering Questions to provide assistance to others
  • Marking Best Answers for any questions you have raised, then possibly closing the Question.
  • Sharing blogs via social media – Twitter, Linked In, Facebook etc
  • Discussions with colleagues about SAP topics, for e.g. your thoughts on the SAPPHIRE 2019 conference.

After this blog post I also hope that this one is added to the list:

  • Taking up the various challenges presented in this blog – example #LikeSAPBlogChallenge 🙂

Now I realise not everyone may agree with this however I would challenge those that flit in and out of the SAP Community to get more involved and more engaged. Don’t just ask a question, wait for an answer and then move on until you have another question to ask. While we in the SAP Community understand it would be great if everyone simply got more involved and while they are asking a question – check out other blogs – follow them, like them, provide comments – hey maybe even answer a few yourself! This IMO will lead overall to us all benefiting from a vibrant, caring, engaged SAP Community.

For the newcomers I will summarise the different engagement activities that can be performed within the SAP Community. I also raise a challenge for SAP Community members in the form of hashtags for every category so get involved!!!! I think this will be a fun way of getting more engaged and I am looking forward to the posts on Twitter!

Likes

While such a simple action many blogs and answers to questions get very few likes. Why? I have no idea. Put simply, if you like the Blog or Like the responses provided by a SAP Community member for a particular question – give it a Like. Seriously not difficult but it does the following:

  • Provides direct feedback to the Blog contributor that their content is helpful and enjoyable.
  • Provides the Liker with a good feeling that they have contributed to an overall better experience in the SAP Community. They also feel happy that they have been able to provide feedback and reinforce the positive content.
  • Provide overall feedback that the particular topic is of interest sparking more debate or more responses which is great overall.
  • Provides information for others to write about similar topics and encourages ideas related to the topic being covered.

There are a number of different ways you can perform a Like within the SAP Community and each will be covered now.

Blog Post Likes

The most obvious is by clicking on the Like icon within a Blog Post like the below diagram shows. On the same diagram I also show the Follow which will be covered further below.

Figure:2 Blog Like and Follow options – Before action (Browser)

On a normal browser it looks like the above but on a mobile device the buttons are in different places as shown below.

Figure:3 Blog Like and Follow options – Before action (Mobile device)

When you do Like a post it will change from Like to Liked thereby indicating that you have performed the Like action. The number of Likes will increase as well.

Figure:4 Blog Like and Follow options – After action

Here is the first challenge – #LikeSAPBlogChallenge – all you need to do is login to the SAP Community navigate to the SAP Blogs and check out the blogs that have been posted in the various topics/tags and the ones you like LIKE them! Simple. When you do, post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #LikeSAPBlogChallenge.

UP Vote Likes

A different kind of Like is to UP vote and this can be done for SAP Community Questions and Answers. An UP vote can be performed for the question itself and any response/answer that has been provided.

This simple gesture reinforces the positive contribution and leads to the valued repetitive actions being performed again in the future.

In my time on the community I have also down voted on items where I believe not enough information was provided or the answer provided was not that helpful – basically meaning that the contribution was not a positive one. Hopefully with any luck the person asking the question sees the feedback and includes more detail when asking a new question. Overall, I think the SAP Community is a patient one and where appropriate tries to help the person asking the question. There is also additional information now when posting questions and answers as to how to go about doing this. This has also been included in various Tutorials and Missions related to the SAP Community and if you complete these you also get a badge for your troubles!! Check them out!

Simply put, if the person provides more details and screenshots when asking questions then it is more likely they will receive better answers and more relevant ones as the people out there will understand the exact issue needing to be dealt with.

Figure:5 UP voting an Answer provided to a Question

Here is the second challenge – #UPVoteSAPQAChallenge – all you need to do is login to the SAP Community, navigate to the SAP Questions and Answers and check out questions and answers that have been posted in the various topics and the contributions you believe add value to the conversation UP Vote them! Simple to do, you just hit the up arrow. The number will increase after you do. When you do, post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #UPVoteSAPQAChallenge.

Comment Likes

Those reading and commenting on Blog posts can also Like individual responses. This rewards those SAP Community members that have read the blog post and provides their own insights into the topic presented. Even if the Comments thank the writer and provide positive feedback (not necessarily offering insights into the topic) it is still great to just click the Like text to give praise and a thank you for spending the time to comment!

Figure:6 Liking Comments for Blog Posts – Before Like action

Similar to the other Likes, the number will increase and the text will change to Liked.

Figure:7 Liking Comments for Blog Posts – After Like action

Follow

This is one area I am really passionate about especially for those SAP Community members hoping to learn more about new areas such as the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAPM) or SAP Cloud Platform. You can follow alot of content within the SAP Community – to learn new areas, to get updates on blog updates, to get insight from others that are answering questions that are raised. Sound good??

As with the SAP Community Q & A and Blog Posts there is different content that can be followed. This is the summary.

  • Blog Posts can be followed.
  • Individuals can be followed. That is, you can follow other SAP Community members!!
  • Questions can be followed.
  • Overall Topics/Tags can be followed.

We will go through each of these in detail below.

Topics/Tags to Follow

Furthering my initial thoughts on this I am still amazed by how few Followers some of these topics have. If I also look at topics that I have been involved in since starting in SAP 20+ years ago for e.g. Sales and Distribution I am surprised by how low the number is. There should be thousands upon thousands of people following these topics. C’mon people, get engaged and follow some new tags!

For context, you can see here that with 90000+ questions and over 15000 contributions there are only 325 Followers??

Figure:8 Following individual SAP Community topics/tags

ABAP Development is another area I choose to Follow. This area is important to follow I believe given the transitioning across to other technologies so good to get updates from posts made with this Tag.

 

Figure:9 Following individual SAP Community topics/tags

To view all of the Tags/Topics you could follow go to the Blogs Tag page here. This will present the following page full of Tags.

Figure:10 SAP Blog Tags to Follow

From time to time I scan the various tags and add new Tags to my list. Recent topics I found included the following:

Figure:11 New SAP Blog Tags to Follow

Here is the third challenge – #FollowSAPTagsChallenge – all you need to do is login to the SAP Community, navigate to the SAP Q and A Tags or SAP Blog tags and proceed through to find the various content covered in the form of Tags. Select a tag or use the search to find various content you are looking for and when you do – FOLLOW – you will then see this change to Following. Post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #FollowSAPTagsChallenge. There are seriously hundreds of Tags to follow so go ahead and follow a few of the new topic areas. You will learn a heap if you do!

Blogs to Follow

This is probably the main item that I follow on the SAP Community however I should be following other items. It is so simple.

Figure:12 Follow option on SAP Community Blog posts

The main reason for this is to keep updated on other SAP Community members comments. Why? Well, it rounds out the conversation and you may get insights from others contributing to the discussions that you never thought possible. Additionally, if settings change over time then the blog contents could be updated so good to keep this in mind. This is especially the case for blogs in the Technical Articles category. Technology is constantly changing so the earlier you know of changes the better and all it takes is clicking on the Follow icon. 🙂

Here is the fourth challenge – #FollowSAPBlogChallenge – all you need to do is login to the SAP Community navigate to the SAP Blogs and check out the blogs that have been posted in the various topics and the ones you like FOLLOW them! Simple. When you do, post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #FollowSAPBlogChallenge.

As you can see above, I followed a Blog post from Matt Harding regarding security elements within the SAP Cloud Platform landscape. Great blog and really interested to keep up with any other insights offered for this blog or any updates posted in the future. Do yourself a favour and Follow some blog posts to meet the 4th challenge!

Individuals to Follow

Meeting others within the SAP Community online makes the overall experience feel more community based. The simple takeaway from this one is if you like blog posts by some SAP Community members then go to their profile and Follow them. It is seriously that simple. I met Lars at the recent SAP Tech Night in Melbourne and amazingly he lives about 5km away from me! Crazy!

Following him just keeps me up to date with what is happening in his world within the SAP Community. I have consciously started following more SAP Community members for this very reason. If you like, this extends my view of what is taking place – keeps me informed.

Figure:13 Following fellow SAP Community members 

Here is the fifth challenge – #FollowSAPMemberChallenge – all you need to do is login to the SAP Community navigate to the SAP Community people profile based on SAP Blogs or SAP Questions and Answers you like. When you reach the Author’s profile page, FOLLOW them! Simple. When you do, post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #FollowSAPMemberChallenge.

Here is a more full example.

A colleague of mine recently posted a question and I know I am not Connected with him in the SAP Community. So, I am going to now as part of this blog post to show how easy this is.

Figure:14 Step 1 How to Follow a fellow SAP Community Member 

The first step is to click on the link of the SAP Community member/author of the blog post or question you are looking at. You will then be directed to their profile page.

Figure:15 Step 1 How to Follow a fellow SAP Community Member 

The second step once on the SAP Community member’s profile page is to click the [Follow] icon as highlighted below. OK, so don’t forget the challenge I put down – #FollowSAPMemberChallenge. 

Questions to Follow

One of the other areas to Follow are individual questions. Answers are provided all of the time for various questions so for those areas you want to learn more about especially ones which you have also experienced it is good to Follow them. AND…like all of the other SAP Community activities it is such as simple thing to do yet so much is to be gained from it.

The Follow option is situated on the right hand side of the question as shown below. Simply click on [Follow] to keep updated on this particular question. You will then be kept updated when any additional comment or response is carried out – more learnings for you!

Figure:16 Following individuals questions

 

Comments

The blog post I referred to earlier received a large amount of comments and it was great to read these to get insights from others on the topic being discussed. To date there have been 40 comments posted on this blog which is fantastic to see. For the most part, Blogs I see have 0 comments which is disappointing so the challenge is to get more people adding comments – even if it is a Thankyou for sharing your knowledge which is a pretty small gesture, but a nice one!

Topics are enriched when SAP Community members contribute by adding comments, this also celebrates the diversity present in the SAP Community.

Different points of view allow us all to learn things and allows us to keep an open mind to the different comments that are raised about topics. This is valuable!

I posted a Comment on Matt Harding’s blog post and to do this you simply select the [Add Comment] icon that exists at the bottom of the blog post.

Figure:17 Step 1: Adding Comments to Blog Posts

You then provide your insights and Submit as shown below.

 

Figure:18 Step 2: Adding Comments to Blog Posts

Comments normally increase the engagement of community members interested in the topic and it is great to see. It also requires some more commitment – providing feedback for others to think about and possibly also to comment on. Comments can have a snowball effect. The blog can grab a few comments and others seeing this can often comment on those comments and then others chime in and before you know it there are 40 comments. Awesome!

OK, now for the 6th challenge – #AddCommentstoSAPBlogChallenge. All you need to do is login to the SAP Community navigate to the SAP Blogs and look through those that interest you. Read through the blog post and then Add Comments! Simple. When you do, post the URL link on Twitter or in the Comments here with the hashtag #AddCommentstoSAPBlogChallenge. Double points for those that Add the first comment!

Replying to Comments

You can also Reply to comments that are posted within a Blog Post. Below each comment are a number of actions – to Reply simply click on the Reply option.

 

Figure:19 Replying to Blog Post Comments

For each Comment that is made there is a chance to Reply as you can see above. This is good and definitely leads to the snowball effect and for more conversation about the blog with SAP Community members.

Overall, I’ve had fun writing this up and hope this leads to increased engagement amongst the SAP Community members. I will be active on Twitter especially showcasing when I meet the challenges I have put forward in this blog – which I will now summarise.

Challenges

For all of these challenges, post on Twitter or in the Comments the URL link of the blog post or question/answer you performed the specific action on to meet the specific challenge and oh – don’t forget to use the hashtag! 

#LikeSAPBlogChallenge – all you need to do is find a Blog and Like it. SIMPLE!

#UPVoteSAPQAChallenge – simply find a Question or Answer and UP vote it.

#FollowSAPTagsChallenge – find new topics/tags and Follow them.

#FollowSAPBlogChallenge – all you need to do is find a Blog and Follow it. SIMPLE!

#FollowSAPMemberChallenge – simply find a SAP Members profile and Follow them.

#AddCommentstoSAPBlogChallenge – simply find Blogs you like and Add Comments!

I hope you get involved in the challenge and thanks for reading once again, it has been a pleasure writing this!

Here is some relatable content posted by Audrey Stevenson last year FYI

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/12/20/put-a-like-on-it-or-how-to-encourage-bloggers-to-post-more-content-you-want-to-read/.

 

17 Comments
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  • Great stuff. I gave a like and now I’m leaving a comment. (I don’t need to follow the SAP Community tag. I already do. Shouldn’t everybody? 🙂 )

    On the SAP Community team, we’re always looking to encourage engagement — as an example, my colleague Audrey Stevenson has written about the power of liking and following as well — and this post is about as good as it gets.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas, Phil. You can bet I’ll be watching those hashtags to see the members you’ve inspired!

    Speaking of which, I better go do some retweeting right now…

    • Thanks Jerry Janda – appreciate the sentiments and the link to Audrey’s blog post which I too have included in the main blog post as well (just to cover the people that do not read the comments!).

      Thanks for the tweets also!

       

  • I don’t like this blog.  I love this blog.  It means so much to leave a comment or a like.  It encourages bloggers to blog more.  No, they don’t usually write the blogs to get likes.  But I know I use it to decide what to blog about next.  (Sort of)

    Another thing to add – there are not that many blogs written in a day.  It takes me about 20 minutes to work through what I want to read.   A bit longer if I am reading a lot of them.   So for me, it makes sense to just look at them all, and sort out the ones I want to read.  Yes, the name does matter for me.

    The blooming like is still in  the wrong place.  Even with as many blogs as I read, and comment on.  I forget to like them.   The button is at the top, not the bottom.  I’m not the first to point this out.  So that might be why so many blogs don’t have “like” on them.

    Q&A – well usually I’m a bit behind.  So when I’m looking for an answer, I usually use google and get one that is archived – No way to up down or sideways those.  I’ll try to stop in more often.  So much to do, so little time.

    Awesome blog!

    • Thanks Michelle Crapo and nice trickery at the start of the comment! 🙂 Agree, encouragement is key and leads to the snowball effect I was talking about in my blog post. You are right, there are a manageable number of blogs on topics that can easily be read for a day and if you follow specific tags there would be even less.

      Have to disagree with you on the Like button positions. I don’t mind the Like where it is now as previously it was hidden with the social media share options – not intuitive and hard to see actually as it was really tiny. On mobile devices the buttons are directly underneath the blog so you can read it and simply scroll back up and hit Like or Follow to meet one of the challenges I set out!

      Thanks again for the great feedback and be sure to keep your SAP Community challenges up! 🙂

  • Hi Phil, LOVE this blog… !  I can concur with Michelle that writing a 10 minute blog takes several days in practice: working out what to say, how best to get your point across, and especially if you need to build an example.

    I see so many really useful blogs out there, and I especially try to encourage anyone who is building their blogging skills.  Sometimes a comment suggesting where next or you-could-also turns a single blog into a series, and a series can get you noticed as a potential conference presenter.

    Plus if you are looking for a new job/career/role blogging is a great way to show your expertise and perhaps more importantly your skills as a communicator, your thought leadership, and your ability to grow others.

    Adding the tags to my twitter feed 🙂

    Cheers

    Jocelyn

    • Thanks Jocelyn Dart appreciate your feedback and agree. The elements of this blog I put together over a month and I have a large amount of other blogs in progress and I add to these as I think of more ideas and of course when I am happy with the finished product. I believe the more support we provide in the form of active engagement (Likes and Comments) the more people will be willing to offer content and then hopefully with any luck we have the snowball effect. More SAP Community snowballs will be great!!!

      Thanks, saw your tweets as well!

      Cheers

      Phil

       

  • Thanks very much, Phil. This is an awesome blog post. So detailed. And honestly I took some actions afterwards… I won’t tell you what, but now I won’t miss any information about my tags anymore 😉

    I also like commenting on blog post and for my followed tags I often do it. Isn’t that, what the community is about? Sharing thoughts and ideas and interact on them? And I think the coffee corner area is so cool for that, too. You do not need to write a long blog post, but just share your opinion on any topic and it’s easy to engage.

    Great job! I hope you will get many likes and comments and of course followers 🙂

    • Thanks Svea Becker – really appreciate your feedback on this. It was fun writing and really happy with the response so far within the blog post and on Twitter. In reality all SAP Community members can do something little everyday that will meet the challenges set out and while it is a small thing for them it will snowball and lead to a more vibrant community.

      Yeah, the coffee corner is an interesting one. I’ve never really gone into it or contributed – maybe a challenge for me over the coming months :-).

      Thanks again, and I realise that I might be able to meet the #FollowSAPMemberChallenge right now..

  • Very nice and detail article Phil Cooley I am already following you! I have liked this blog and now commenting! all the boxes are ticked. Nowadays we read blogs mostly on our phones I had to log in to this website to perform any of these actions and unfortunately, the phone does not remember your login credentials. Out of the total views at least 6 would be mine as I landed to this blog through Linkedin and viewed this blog anonymously with the intention to like and/or comment!