My smartphone is rarely more than three feet away from me. I begin to panic when it is; the shiver of withdrawal sets in if I haven’t checked the Facebook app in the last five minutes. I could have received four whole likes for my last status update and not even realised. It would almost be like I’d never written it, and the world would have been a slightly bleaker place.
As a business owner or company senior manager tasked with keeping up internal communications, you are wise to remember all this. Because it is almost inevitable that the most influential people of your company are thinking exactly the same way, while others chomp at the bit to answer their rallying calls to like that sepia-hued picture of their breakfast.
There’s a very simple reason why upper management need to use social media to communicate with employees – it’s how employees communicate with each other. And their friends. And their mums. And possibly even their friends’ mums.
It’s how people choose to digest their information. Companies use social media for marketing and the same should be true for employee engagement. In internal communications, you and your company are the product, your employees the customers. They will want to feel fully informed on, say, a big company change, and while you as a manager will lead the conversation, both parties are importantly given a voice. Employees know they have the opportunity to air any concerns.
So, you can use it to build trust, not just between yourself and the company, but amongst the ranks of the company too. Team spirit is something that requires reciprocation and social media is the next best thing after talking to your peers. Because it’s not just a digestion of the company; it’s how people share their information, too. What better marketing for your company than an endorsement from the very people that work there? This is especially true of a professionals’ network like LinkedIn, where the benefit of a big-up could entice the very best new recruits to your door. And amongst your existing employees, what better booster for innovation than a running conversation between experts, all batting for the same side?
If you’re still not convinced, think about this: the challenge that mobile social media answers is that of reaching a ‘field’ workforce in a timely manner. You might be a tiny company with a considerable freelance force and no fixed abode. Or you might spend most of your day on a train: often true of any job in London despite best efforts to the contrary. Your communication – your instant employee engagement – lies in your hand, an integrated network at the touch of a keypad, which is never more than three feet away.
5 reasons to use social media in internal communications
- Connect with employees that can’t access office materials or are not often reachable
- Identify the key influencers in your organisation
- Bolster sparkling team spirit which employees will project externally
- Internal training opportunities, recruit from within, and promote referrals by your trusted staff
- Get measurable success