Engaging employees through social media: Does it work?

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Social media in the workplace is a hot topic for many employers. Though some companies still ban workers from using social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn while at work, there are many companies that are engaging employees through social media. There are even employers who are letting their employees represent their brand online and resolve customer issues online via social networking sites.

As an employer, you may be asking yourself if engaging employees through social media really works. In fact, engaging employees through social media is a new strategy that can be very beneficial to your organization. Most importantly, it is a great way for your staff to become more invested in the company. By being a part of their everyday social media routine, you are reaching them on a level outside of the standard workplace and becoming part of their lives outside of work.

Other benefits from engaging your employees through social media include the use of internal blogs and forums to unlock knowledge through employees sharing questions and answers where everyone can benefit from the information. In addition, engaging employees in this way will boost creativity by brainstorming new ideas through social networks and enabling employees to be creative with content including blogs, videos, contests, events, and photos, just to name a few.

Employees who participate with other peers within and outside your organization will strengthen your company culture by connecting employees with similar interests so they can build stronger work relationships. Through social media, you are also making information mobile so employees can connect anytime across the globe.

How to begin engaging employees through social media

A great way to start engaging your employees through social media is to show your employees how they can look great on social media through the company’s brand so they can engage and promote the brand. Present new and fun ways for your employees to promote the brand whether through incentives, contests, or another motivator. The key is not to force your employees to participate; give your employees a reason to engage at first, and then continue to motivate them to do so and recognize and reward those that do. Your employees should want to be part of the conversation and social media is a simple, easy tool for them to use since they are already so familiar with it.

Managers can also use social networks to connect to their employees. An easy way to do this is through Facebook groups which managers can create specifically for their team. These Facebook groups can be forums where teams can discuss and collaborate on ideas, even when they are outside the office. In addition, managers can create lists on Twitter and their team can highlight these lists on their Twitter accounts including their achievements within the company.

If you are already engaging employees through social media, or if you are about to implement this practice, make sure that you have a social media policy in place, as well as a system to monitor and enforce those policies. Provide a clear and useful social media policy for your employees to follow to both protect them and the business.

By engaging employees through social media you will notice that your company’s social network will foster high engagement with your fans and followers in addition to building a great company culture.