5 ways to engage employees using social media

Are your employees distant, even dispirited? Try these approaches to get them back on track.

I read a blog post called Why Employees Are Less Engaged than Ever on Business on Main. The post talks about why employee engagement is at an all-time low. According to research conducted by Hewitt Associates, employee engagement in June 2010 had its largest quarterly decline in more than 15 years, when Hewitt first began tracking it. The post goes into detail on some ideas to keep employees more engaged.

I certainly could improve in this area. Employee engagement is a hard thing when businesses are in startup mode and client interaction is a priority. Let’s look at a couple of ways leaders in organizations can better engage employees using social media.

1. Facebook Groups for employee engagement

Facebook Groups can be used for employee collaboration and engagement if used the right way. A recent study found that when members of different business units interacted socially, they also transferred more knowledge. It is important to remember that no matter how large or small your organization, interaction among employees is a key factor in business growth.

Facebook Groups can be used as a cost-effective way for employee collaboration. Set up a private Facebook Groups venue where your employees can engage. This ensures that employees can talk without having to share personal profiles with bosses and peers.

2. Create a Twitter account to share knowledge

I have known plenty of business owners and CEOs who have created Twitter accounts to share pieces of information and thoughts throughout the day. Remember to research (or even ask) how many employees are actually using Twitter. It could be important to encourage them to start using Twitter in order to collaborate.

3. Use internal networking sites, such as Yammer

Charles van Heerden over at The Recruiter’s Lounge wrote about a technology called Yammer:

“VicRoads are using Yammer, an internal “Twitter” bringing together all of a company’s employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. According to Judith Pettitt, Executive Director People Services and Internal Communications, more than 20% of their 3,000 employees are engaged in providing valuable shared knowledge on various business topics. It has been especially helpful in organizational problem solving and in ‘seeding’ ideas.”

4. Use LinkedIn for advocacy recruitment

When looking to hire, it could be an excellent idea to use your current employees’ LinkedIn networks to crowdsource your recruiting. Employees who have been trained on LinkedIn and have developed a network could be huge advocates for recruiting well-qualified friends through LinkedIn.

5. Use an internal blog to promote internal genius

Blogs can be extremely powerful in the external marketing and the internal communications world. Set up a blog or wiki for your employees to engage and interact with content and comments. By encouraging your employees to write for an internal source, they may be more likely to write for an external blog. Writing content encourages your employees to become advocates for your brand internally and externally.

Kyle Lacy is principal at MindFrame, a digital direct response company focusing on donor engagement and technology for nonprofits. A version of this article originally ran on his blog.


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