Can Social Media Drive Your Employee Engagement?

The way in which society is communicating has changed radically within the past ten years; with companies such as Facebook with over one billion users worldwide and other social media platforms catching up in popularity such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more. The manner in which a company uses the internet and social media platforms to communicate with potential employees is important to being able to engage your employees. Companies should be looking to change and adapt their communication style to be able to meet the ever-changing needs of their workforce. This change becomes part of selling the employer brand to a new generation of workers.

What Is Your Company’s End Goal?

If you haven’t already created a social media strategy…now would probably be a good time to start. The primary question (as with most business planning there is always a question to be answered) to define is: what is you end goal? Do you want to use social media to communicate with employees on organizational topics? Are you looking to use your employees as brand ambassadors through social media? Defining your end game is going to be crucial in creating your social media strategy.

For all intents and purposes, I will focus on the use of social media and your employees during this post. Although, there are many different uses for social media by companies to reach out to client’s and customers, there is also a wealth of knowledge that abounds on the internet from marketing guru’s.

Don’t Try To Reinvent The Wheel

The foundation of any relationship has always been and will always be communication. Social media is just another tool for your company to communicate with its employees in a manner that has become familiar to them. I can’t think of anyone in that I know personally that does not have some form of communication with others through social media (except for my mom of course…the one and only person I know without a Facebook account). Not to mention that most people are connected to their social networks 24/7 through their smartphones. Social media can become a powerful tool for you to use to drive employee engagement.

Okay, so you’re convinced that social media is going to bring a new era of engagement for your company and you want to dive right in. Well first and foremost…don’t try to reinvent the wheel. I have seen several organizations that have tried to create their own particular social networks only to have minimal use and engagement on their sites (let’s not even mention the cost of development for these sites). If this is a new avenue of approach for your company, use what tools are already out there; create a Facebook page, or set up a Twitter account (it’s important to remember that when you’re starting out, you may want to limit yourself to one or two social media sites until you feel comfortable managing several more). Facebook and Twitter can be used to communicate short bursts of information that may be important for your team’s to know.

What Do I Want To Communicate?

That’s another great question in your overall social media strategy. Again, what is going to be the end purpose of your communications via social media, do you want to use social media to pass along relevant information to your employees that they may want to know on a daily or weekly basis (product launches, company news, etc.)? Are you trying to pass along educational or developmental information? The answers to these questions will help you determine what kind of platform will suit your social media needs best (i.e. a blog).

If your company has short burst of information then micro-blogging sites such as Twitter may be a good option. If you are looking to provide more in-depth knowledge…why not try a blogging site (normally these sites can be linked to your social media sites). Most social media sites afford the opportunity for your employees to engage with the authors of the information (it may even become a useful tool in driving employee engagement…but that remains to be seen most often than not).

Welcome to the 21st Century

How you decide dive into social media remains up to your organizations leadership. Needless to say, social media has become a part of today’s society. It isn’t just used to stay connected with family and friends anymore. Social media has been used as an agent of change (recall the Arab Spring??). Social media is a viable tool to be used, and although I just touched on employee engagement, there are many other end goals: customer engagement, recruiting, etc.

What are some ways your organization has used social media to drive their employee engagement? If you’re an employee, what are some things you would find useful to see from your employers via social media? Please share your best practices in the comments section!

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