6 creative ways to get employees more involved with social
We’ve all heard the rallying cry:
“We need to get our employees on social media”
“We need to *activate* our employees socially” (that’s my favorite, actually; how exactly, do you activate a human being? I didn’t know there was an off/on switch)
“We need our employees to tweet this sale”
While those all sound extremely fun and exciting from an employee perspective (can you sense my sarcasm?), I think there are a number of creative ways companies could rally the troops when it comes to social.
We just don’t hear about it that often.
What we do hear are tips like this:
“Get your employees on Twitter! Ask them to tweet all your corporate tweets.”
And, they’re generally not that helpful because they’re not specific enough.
So, given my history in employee communications and social media, I thought I’d throw out a few more creative and specific ideas for companies to consider when they think about “activating” (there’s that word again!) employees from a social media perspective.
Have fun with selfies at company events
Mock and ridicule selfies all you want, but the reality is they’re the most popular form of self-expression on the internet. So, why wouldn’t companies take advantage of that? After all, this is what people WANT to do. At our recent PRSA Classics banquet here in MSP, I remember a contest during the show that asked people to take selfies using a certain hash tag for a chance to win a prize (ride home in a limo, I believe). I was astounded how many people participated. For your next company event, could you use selfies as a fun way to get employees involved socially? Maybe it’s for a community event where employees are volunteering? And, maybe you re-gram employee selfies from your corporate Instagram account. Regardless, just have fun with it. I wish more brands would.
Hold “Twitter Takeover” days
What about assigning one day a week/month where you allow one employee to take over your corporate Twitter handle. Scary, right? But, imagine how this would open up trust among the masses. With a simple set of guidelines in place (you already have your social media policy to “protect” you), employees would tweet about their experiences during the day working for your company. It would give followers a whole new (and more unfiltered) perspective into your company. And again, don’t underestimate the goodwill this would build with employees (given you don’t put too many restraints on them).
Use Instagram video to capture community service
Back to those employee volunteer events–could you use short-form video to really highlight the work you’re doing in the community? Capture some of the more poignant or light-hearted moments at these events.
Ask employees to highlight “Summer Fridays”
It is the summer, after all. And many companies offer summer Friday hours. So, why not ask employees to share how they’re using their time away from the office to recharge and refresh? Then, consider aggregating all this content on your site, or again, re-gramming through Instagram.
Ask employees to write handwritten notes to customers–and take pics of them
Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note. We hear that more and more in today’s digital environment. And it couldn’t be more true. So, why not start by asking five employees to write one personal note a week to random customers. Ask them to send the notes, but also ask them to take pics of their notes and post through your social channels. This way, you share with the wider audience–but you also get that one-on-one, more intimate communication with your customers.
So, those are my ideas? What about you?
About the Author: Arik Hanson, is the principal of ACH Communications, a digital communications consultancy focused on fostering meaningful online interactions, driving digital relevance and building measurable growth through social channels. Arik's blog, Communications Conversations (www.arikhanson.com), has received numerous industry accolades including being named “Required Reading” by PRWeek and one of “The Top 25 Blogs to Follow” by PRWeb. He’s also a regular contributor to the PR Breakfast Club, Ragan.com, PR Daily and MinnPost.