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7 Ways to Use Social Media for Employee Communications

Liz Taurasi on July 06, 2015 10:48 AM

Social media continues to grow as an effective corporate communications tool. Employers who are effective with benefits communication know how to deliver their messages in ways employees will absorb and retain them.

From Yammer to LinkedIn to Facebook and more, companies are doing more with social media internally than ever before.

“This is so important,” says Sharlyn Lauby from HR Bartender. “I think companies have to communicate the same message on multiple platforms for it to gain traction. And HR should survey employees – whether that’s formally or informally – to find out what’s really working. The worst thing you can do is think that, just because you did something, everyone knows about it.”

It’s fairly standard for companies to source talent using social media for employer branding – a whopping 76 percent of them do, according to a study by Employer Branding International. But a growing number -- more than half, according to a Towers Watson report – are using social for internal communications.

Utilizing social media platforms to communicate with employees makes it easier than ever to provide information in real time on platforms that your employees are already using, and that are accessible on all their devices. 

Here’s a look at seven ways social media can be used for employee communications:

  1. Facebook Pages
    Lauby says she knows some HR pros who put out regular organizational communications via their Facebook page. Because they are connected with employees, they use Facebook to send out a notice about benefits meetings, approaching open enrollment deadlines and more. They also use the platform to ask employees to spread the word, so never be afraid to include a call to action in these communications.

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  1. Yammer
    Businesses are using the enterprise chat service Yammer as an internal communications module that allows the sharing of information socially through anything from a company wide board to a localized team board or even for individualized project groups. The online forum is easy, it’s social, has a mobile app, and is a great way to communicate with your employees in real time, with the added benefit that it cuts down on the daily deluge of email many find in today’s workplace.  

  1. Twitter
    With the option to tweet publicly or privately, employers can share short bursts of information with employee networks or a wider audience. Big brands, like Google and Starbucks, use Twitter to engage and inspire employees, and provide a glimpse of what it’s like to work at these companies. Other employers, like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through its @MITWorkLife handle, promotes work-life content and professional development events and more on Twitter. However you use it, Twitter is a great way to communicate quickly and easily.  

  1. LinkedIn
    With LinkedIn Groups, business owners can create their own company intranet on the LinkedIn platform, allowing them to manage the group for employees, where they can share internal event information and announcements, as well as building employee pride, managing employee issues and more.

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  1. Company Blogs
    A company blog where HR can post updates on information regarding benefits is a very useful tool to get the word out. By using the blog as an internal mechanism, employees can gain access to and encourage communication, as well. Besides posting about the latest benefits or tools available to employees, it’s also a great tool to conduct Q&A sessions with employees, and share employee surveys, as well as survey results.

  1. Remote Access
    From product training to employee focus groups, social media platforms like Periscope and Meerkat are changing the way companies can train employees remotely in real time. With both platforms, employees can watch video live as it’s happening, just make sure you select the option to create private broadcasts. Viewing saved videos later isn’t so easy as that wasn’t built into the original plan for both platforms, but that’s something that is coming down the pike.

  1. YouTube
    While Periscope and Meerkat are great for live interactive trainings, YouTube is a great way to archive those broadcasts for future use. By utilizing a private YouTube channel, businesses can archive any video training they have produced, while also posting relevant third party vendor videos that may be of interest to its employees. Make the channel public, and you've got videos that support your employer brand and provide a window into your company culture. 

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