9 Tips For Social Interaction With Your Employees

Improving your employer brand starts and ends with employee engagement. If your workforce is happy, engaged and feels valued, then they’ll not only become brand advocates and do a great job, but they’ll also save you recruitment costs and help to drive the business forward. Here’s 9 ways you can engage with your employees using social media:

1) Ask your employees for feedback

There’s no point in starting down the road of social media engagement if you don’t have a clue what your employees currently use or want to use. There are numerous social media platforms available and they all have their particular benefits, functionality and USP’s. If you know what your employees like and dislike about social media then you can start to plan an optimised strategy utilising the good points and avoiding the bad.

Another invaluable question to ask is what sort of content your employees mostly interact with. There are plenty of articles with statistics and figures from each social network about engagement rates, but your employees should be surveyed regardless. Would they be more likely to respond to an image, video or text for instance? Knowing this type of detail will help you share the right content in order to gain maximum response.

2) Don’t talk 100% ‘shop’

A social network is just that, SOCIAL. Whether you’re creating an internal network or using an established platform, such as Facebook or Google+, you need to make sure that you’re not ‘all business’. Employees will want to see a variety of content and not always an update to do with work.
Showing that, as a brand, you are interacting and engaged on a social level is also a good reason to mix it up a bit.

3) Encourage employees to become leaders

Encouraging your employees to start their own initiatives is an effective way to create leaders, while increasing engagement and collaboration. Creating sports clubs, arranging outings and starting competitions are all examples of the activities employees can get involved with.

By starting wellbeing initiatives employees not only improve their health and fitness, they also forge new relationships.

4) Management need to get involved

Senior members of staff need to be seen to interact, not only with each other, but also the rest of the employee base using social channels. They should be an example to the rest of the business when it comes to creating social events and making use of the social channels.
By management interacting with employees the business creates trust and strong relationships across all levels. This improves relationships throughout the employee base which in turn benefits both the employees and the brand.

5) Make it easy

The great thing about social networks is that they’re available online. Employees can access them at any time, from anywhere, on their mobile devices. If you use one of these networks then you have this functionality immediately, if you create your own network then ease of access and use is a priority.
The network should be available over the web, allowing 24 hour access, and the user interface should be easy to use and intuitive.
Sharing content should be a quick and simple process, an example of this is simply adding a URL to display the target URL’s title and feature image, rather than needing to add these manually.

6) Integrate with current system(s)

If you have current systems that employees make use of, such as SharePoint, then you might want to consider building interactivity between the two systems. New documents can be shared and publicised via the social platform, making collaboration and sharing news easy and efficient.

Single sign-on functionality will help to make the system more accessible and, as a result, more acceptable to employees. The more integrated and ‘joined up’ your systems are, the more efficient they’ll be when used for collaboration and employee interaction.

7) Make it familiar

When launching the platform, familiarity will improve acceptance amongst your employees. If the system carries corporate branding then employees will recognise this and feel less intimidated by it. Using Facebook or the like eliminates this problem with most employees, although time should be taken to brand the company page on whichever social network you choose.

Choosing the correct header image, tagline and colour scheme is key to ensuring that employees instantly recognise it as theirs – this will improve the signup rate and get people using the system.

8) Share the process

When designing or choosing the network to use, include your employees. Hold a company meeting to discuss the project or individual focus groups to ask for feedback and suggestions on the best course of action.
Including employees in the process will create engagement and a feeling of ownership amongst the workforce, improving the likelihood of use and reducing the risk of employees not using the system.

Once your network is up and running you can then use it to showcase your employer brand online. Writing a blog post or having a page on your website dedicated to the social side of the business will attract talent and show that your brand is engaged with its employees.

9) Start early

Once you have an established system in place or are using a social network throughout the business, include it in your onboarding process. The earlier an employee is introduced to it, the more engaged they’ll be. Integrating the social platform into your onboarding process is a good way to introduce new employees to its purpose and functionality. Encourage them to join in, follow the page on your chosen social network and interact with existing employees, this will make their integration into the business easier and a less formal and frightening process.