A good company culture can be a valuable marketing tool that requires less effort than curating content from outlets or generating fresh media internally. If you’re doing it right, your team is already remarkable and involved in like-able activities and events that could easily be cross-utilized for social media promotions.
However, many companies run into bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to engaging team members to participate in an active social media culture. So before you attempt to put your culture to work with your team as a marketing tool, you should ensure the red tape is out of the way and employees are educated on your social media policies and best practices. Once they’re ready to participate, you can start to develop your social media culture.
5 Steps to an Improved Social Media Culture
Share the Word
While some digital teams would argue that asking for employee support is taboo, I personally expect it. If a team member is happy to be working for the company (and – fingers crossed – they are), then sharing an occasional post about the company should be no big deal. No one should ask employees to share so many posts that their own moms unfollow them.
While Facebook tends to be more private, all employees should be open to liking, sharing, and commenting on company posts on LinkedIn. However, for them to get involved, you have to first educate them on the opportunity: make sure new employees know about your company pages and send out quarterly or monthly reminders to get involved. Reminders should include links to a recent campaign or exciting event so that team members can get involved with minimal effort.
Create Brand Activists
To get employees on board as brand activists, you can’t just send out an email with a hyperlinked plea to like and share (although that will work for your most active employees). Engaging busy workers requires more innovation and events worth mentioning; try hosting a company picnic or getting everyone involved in a charity activity that accomplishes civic engagement initiatives as well as immersing team members in something worth tweeting.
Be Worth Pinning
To create brand activists you need to give them something to be excited about, whether it’s a company costume party or a surprise champagne toast for reaching a long-term goal. Host a company ideation meeting to gather ideas from team members about events they’d be excited to share with the world, and then you’ll know you’re spending time wisely on a 7am Saturday 10K (or not).
Also, remember that not every event needs to cost money. Smaller businesses with less splashy spends can still engage team members with free activities like volunteering, a potluck, or an office scavenger hunt; even a hand written thank you card can inspire flattered employees to share.
Remember that the element of surprise goes a long way in getting people to brag online about your company culture. A planned birthday bash for an executive might be nice, but a surprise lunchtime energy bar tasting that results in a refreshed company snack bar filled with their snack-elect is something people will post about on Instagram.
Remember Your Segments
Like your company’s audience, your internal team has segments that you should approach differently. You will appeal to your delightful geeks with a scrolled invitation to a Harry Potter viewing at lunch, but your jocks will be more interested in a touch basketball game invitation that’s written on a ball that is thrown around the office. Ensure that your events and activities don’t become focused on a particular office party planner’s preferences by spreading the responsibility of hosting activities amongst your team members.
Once you have your internal team on board as brand activists, the work of developing an external team of brand advocates becomes much easier. In my next blog I’ll explain how to utilize your newly developed social media culture to build your external group of advocates. Thanks for reading!