Key Ingredients for Social Media Success
Coming in at #3 on this year’s FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list is SAS®, a true leader in organizational culture. At this year’s Great Place to Work® Conference, they shared a few secrets with us on how to successfully launch an internal social media platform, and how to increase employee engagement in the process.
#1 Provide a platform employees will use
There are so many different mediums for social media these days that it’s difficult to decide which type of platform to use. SAS noticed that most employees preferred Facebook over other mediums such as Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. SAS decided to model their platform off of Facebook, and then increased employee engagement by letting employees pilot test it and decide on a name.
#2 Don’t inhibit employees, inspire them!
SAS was very careful to not provide employees with a list of “Don’ts”. They wanted to encourage employee engagement, not stifle it, and they did this by providing guidelines on ‘How to’. Their guidelines simply asked employees to be respectful, professional, and to remember that they are ambassadors of the company online just as they are in life.
#3 Provide training, and provide it often
Social media moves fast. Not only is technology constantly changing, but so is the information being exchanged and the way information is exchanged. Increase employee engagement by offering trainings and discussions on the tools they will need to participate, as well as tips on what works and what to talk about.
#4 Grab your employees’ attention by having fun!
Not everyone will initially feel comfortable engaging with a new platform. This can easily be remedied by having a little fun; increase employee engagement with topics that aren't work related. Invite them to chime in on something that is ‘safe’ to chat about. This can be as easy as asking for everyone for their favorite recipe, or a new band they recently heard.
#5 Trust your employees to do the right thing
SAS Software recently scored a whopping 97% on their Trust Index employee survey. When cultivating a culture of trust, be sure to include social media platforms. Don’t worry about employees spending too much time socializing online, and don’t worry about them potentially misrepresenting your company. Trust them- they just might surprise you!
Keep in mind, even SAS, a pioneer in software development, didn’t start out with a perfect social media platform in place. They made mistakes like everyone else, and they learned from them like everyone else. Slowly, they built a social media campaign that has successfully engaged their employees, and you can too!
Have tips on how to engage employees through social media? Join the conversation.
Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and guest blogger for Great Place to Work®.