Eighty-one percent of all Americans have a social media profile on one platform or another, and for the most part, the rest of the world probably has similar percentages. People are on social media, and businesses see the value of using it to market to consumers.
There is also a strong lack of engagement in the workforce. Around 30 percent of employees actively engage at work, which is strikingly low. Having engaged employees means higher revenues, better attendance rates, proactive problem solving, and happier workers.
Yet, part of the problem is that employers are unsure how to engage their employees. There is a very powerful tool underutilized by businesses to connect with employees: social media.
Are you trying to actively engage with your employees on social media? If you are like most businesses, probably not. You might have encouraged them to “like” and “follow” your pages to help boost your visibility, but it’s unlikely you are actually offering any content they want to see. Especially since your social media marketing is to a target market your employees might not be a part of.
Social media can be a wonderful tool to connect with your employees if done correctly. With the right preparations, diligent staff operating the social media accounts, and creative strategies, it is possible.
Finding Out What Platforms They Are On
Before you start engaging with your employees, you need to find out what platforms they spend their time on. Facebook is the most common and popular of platforms, yet depending on your employee demographics, might not always be the best fit. For example, six-in-ten adults age 18-29 use Instagram.
When choosing a platform, you also need to understand the benefits and strengths of each one. Facebook is the most popular, meaning most of your employees probably have an account with it. The downside though is that there is so much content being shared on it that it’s easy for your posts to get buried. Twitter is great for quick posts, but the character limit prevents longer engagement.
To determine which would be best for your employees and businesses, analyze your employee demographics and survey them on what platforms they use. If it’s a platform your company already uses, gain access to it and coordinate with your marketing team about strategies. If your business isn’t on the platform of choice, then make an account and figure out how it works. Then, determine the best ways to connect with your employees.
Choosing The Content You’ll Post About
Before you send out that company-wide email informing everybody about what’s happening, you need to determine what kinds of content will go on the page. Again, you’ll need to do some research about what your employees like to see while balancing it with your company’s culture. Simply posting links to articles on how to stay happy at work and Minion memes aren’t enough.
Interview a couple employees in different positions and levels of management to get a good sense of what they like. Ask to look at their profiles to see what they post about and what they like.
There is a rule in social media marketing called the 80-20 rule. Basically, 80 percent of all posts need to be of a non-promotional nature, and the other 20 can promote the business. You should follow a similar rule, where you post about the company rarely and post content your employees would like most of the time.
Also, don’t be afraid to act like a real person when posting. Yes, you are a representative of your business, but let your personality show and have fun.
Ask Them To Connect
You’ve made a choice on what platforms to go with, so now you need to connect with your employees. The obvious starting point is to simply ask them to follow the page, but some might be hesitant, especially if you are going to operate through your company’s public facing pages.
Before you even start asking your workers to follow your page, have content showing them what to expect from you. That way, when they check it out after you invite them, they’ll see something they want to see on a regular basis. Many businesses don’t know how to run an interesting social media page, with many just posting self serving ads. Don’t do that. Post what your employees want to see.
Celebrating Your Employees
Employees want recognition of the great things they are doing in their lives, and social media is a great place to do it. But instead of just posting about your employee of month, talk about both their work achievements and what they accomplish on their own.
Engaging businesses care about what their employees do outside of work. If an employee spends their time volunteering at a pet shelter, post about it and promote their cause. Somebody just had a baby? Congratulate them. Got a local musician on your staff? Share their music on your page.
If you want employees to care about the business, they need to feel like their employer cares about their lives. Celebrate their victories, mourn in their losses, and just chat with them from time to time.
Engaging In A Natural Method
Your employees are going to post on social media. They’ll do throwback Thursdays, post pictures of their food, put up silly Snapchats, and have fun sharing their lives online. Naturally engaging with these posts requires diligently monitoring your employees, but then you can reach out by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts.
Try to strike up conversations online with your employees. Comment and ask questions, show genuine interest in their lives, and be friendly. Just don’t do it with every single post. There is a point where constantly commenting and posting could become creepy and just plain disingenuous. Moderation is key to doing social media the right way. Posting too much gets annoying, but not enough makes people forget about you.
A Valuable Tool To Engage Employees
Social media can be an extremely useful tool, both for engaging with customers and your employees. Especially since most people check it at least once a day, if not more. Use that tool to help your employees feel closer to the business and be happier in general.
What are your thoughts on using social media to improve employee engagement? Have you tried it in the past and want to share your experiences? Let us know in the comments below.
Jeric Danao says
This is one of the most underrated thing that any company especially those companies that are into manpower agencies for their forte are all about employees and cooperatives. Thank you for this read since this is what the generation is currently directed to.
Lisa Brown says
Wonderful article Aaron. I use social media as an engagement tool because it allows my clients to interact with my employees. By using social media they can be recognized from the end-user too. BTW, I like your idea of celebrating employees on their special occasions(birthdays, childbirth etc).