It’s common to think of social media as an outward-facing tool, a way to engage leads and customers. But brands should also think of social media as an inner tool that can really help a workplace to function and even improve performance. It just takes knowing what tools to use and how to use them.
That’s why we’re going over a simple guide on how to engage employees with social media, and what increases efficiency instead of creating distraction.
Find a Good Collaboration Platform
Brands shouldn’t try posting team-oriented posts on social platforms meant to reach out to target audiences. It’s better to find a dedicated option that’s specifically designed for employees and allows plenty of workplace communication without intruding on other managed social media accounts.
Common options include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Flowdock – and, these days, a growing more of video conferencing apps like WebEx, Zoom, and BlueJeans. If you haven’t done much research, picking a good collaboration platform can seem difficult: You can schedule a meeting with Blue Atlas Marketing to talk about your options and find the best fit for your team and budget!
Note: We don’t necessarily encourage every business to use collaboration platforms if they aren’t a good fit for the company. However, it’s one of the best ways to enable workforce communication over social media. One of the best alternatives is to simply have all employees create LinkedIn profiles and connect with each other, then use your company’s primary LinkedIn page as a hub for communication. The Teammates feature can be invaluable here, although it’s not available to all LinkedIn users yet.
Create Groups within Social Media for Your Employees
Platforms like Facebook allow brands to create Groups for specific discussion purposes. This is a great supplement or alternative to the collaboration software we mentioned above. Create a Group, invite employees, and use it for workplace discussion and important topics. This is a great place to post memos or updated guidelines, as well as calling out individual employees for great work or celebrating milestones.
Groups can also be a useful way of creating informal surveys with discussion topics, to see what employees are thinking or what options they would prefer. The key is getting all employees involved and make sure they have joined the Group. As with other types of social media work, consistent messaging is key: Don’t let a Group lie inactive for weeks, or everyone will stop paying attention to it!
Start Cutting Down on Emails
Now that you have some social hubs set up for your employees, start relying on them for more communication purposes. Send fewer emails, especially for brief updates, and instead start notifying employees via your new app options.
This is also important training, as it proves to employees that they need to have these social apps open and pay attention to any notifications that they get. It’s a good idea to ask for responses or confirmation to the more important bits of news you send over social media (a basic “like” is usually sufficient). Also keep in mind that most apps allow you to create multiple chat rooms for different teams, as well as chats for the entire workforce (or just an individual employee), so it’s very easy to target messages as needed. This will all lessen the flow of new emails, which can be difficult to keep up with sometimes.
Set Up Some Opportunities for Fun
Collaboration apps and other social media also allow for images, gifs, reaction emojis, and a variety of other content. Make use of it! Allow employees to have a little bit of fun with their responses and discussions. This is healthy for the workplace, and allows employees to practice social media humor that can be useful for creating other types of marketing content. If you’re worried about it getting out of hand, think about creating a channel specifically for GIFs or lighter topics.
Share Project and Goal Completions
Social media can be a powerful tool for encouraging employees. One of the most effective ways in ongoing acknowledgement of when goals and projects are completed. This helps show employees that they’re really making a difference even when it’s hard to see. It also gives employees a bird’s-eye view of the company’s direction and ongoing strategy, which leads to more personal investment.
Create Discussions and Encourage Input
News, memos and instructions are all excellent social content for employees, but take time to create deeper discussions as well. LinkedIn encourages these type of conversation posts, which are meant to stimulate productive conversation – or you could use another platform and create a temporary thread for such a topic. However, it’s good to make these discussions outward facing when appropriate, because it gives your brand more authority and helps showcase thought leadership throughout the company.
Remember, when answering employee questions or responding to their comments, you are also training your employees on what good customer service looks like. Try to give responses that you would like employees to emulate when they interact with customers. They will be paying attention!
If you’ve never used social media to engage with employees before, it will take time to get started and make it part of the workplace. That’s all right – plan for an onboarding period where everyone is getting used to the new communication methods, and it shouldn’t be a problem. Blue Atlas Marketing is always here for you if you are looking for innovative ways to combine your current social activity with employee engagement, while minimizing what new technology employees will have to learn.