A business becomes more inherently social by going beyond the corporate Twitter account and Facebook Page. A social business engages the entire company, from CEO to executive assistant. Take advantage of the opportunity to foster your company’s internal community and teach valuable social media skills as the space rapidly grows and evolves. But how do you get everyone on board?
1. Give Interactive Tutorials
It’s hard to get people to tweet consistently when they don’t understand what an @mention is. By hosting a few interactive Facebook and/or Twitter tutorials across the company, you can provide a valuable service to your coworkers, both in and out of the office.
Have everyone bring laptops and phones to the session to keep it interactive. Try setting tasks at the beginning of the session, such as creating a special tutorial hashtag, and then ask everyone to tweet photos of the tutorial.
2. Focus on Fun Ways to Use Twitter
Show your employees how to use a hashtag that they can relate to. For example, follow funny Twitter commentary while watching an episode of The Bachelor. Or show the foodies on your team curated lists of food truck Twitter accounts and how to see where they are parked.
Provide examples that demonstrate how Twitter can organize information and news for just about any job or industry. Once they learn the basic tools and creative uses of social media, they will naturally see how they can gather more information applicable to their jobs as well.
3. Find Influencers Within the Company
Chances are you already have several employees that love social media, whether they’re Pinterest fanatics or live tweet their entire weekends. Recognize these employees internally for their mastery of social media by highlighting their content. For example, the team member with the most active Instagram account could be in charge of documenting your company’s product launch party.
Once you start finding ways to feature and utilize the social media prowess of employees, more of the team will chime in and participate. Encourage the team to @mention the corporate Twitter feed when they find pertinent industry news and content. This will generate more content and a larger social media presence for the company as a whole.
It’s important that your internal experts feel their social skills and expertise are appreciated by the company. These people will naturally start helping and encouraging other employees to do the same.
4. Launch a Fun Contest or Internal Campaign
Once you’ve taught employees the basics and highlighted the company’s influencers, it’s time to get everyone involved in some straight-up fun. Try launching a contest: Record everyone’s Klout score and see who can improve hers the most within a month. Or announce an Instagram photo contest, in which the office chooses the winning photographs, and frames the winning entries as office art. Or host a company room on turntable.fm and vote on the company’s best DJ. That person could DJ the next office party.
Be sure to follow up with incentives and recognition, crucial aspects of any competition. Social media allows for a great deal of creativity, so take full advantage and set the contest up as a fun outlet for the company.
As you encourage your company to become more social media savvy, make sure to foster a sense of community. People want to learn information from social networks, but they also want to communicate with one another. Social media channels provide a way to do this outside the normal confines of cubicle culture, and can boost overall company moral by augmenting the experience of working together.
Occasionally highlight team members’ tweets, Facebook posts and content from the corporate accounts (with content, make sure to get permission). If someone has an especially funny or relevant tweet, draw attention to it. This activity not only shows employees and onlookers that team members are valued, but also personalizes and gives your brand authenticity. Plus, company employees will be more excited to share and listen to the company within social media channels.
6. Get creative!
The opportunities to infuse social behavior into your company only increase with engagement. You’ll be able to create more advanced tutorials, educate about emerging platforms, launch new initiatives that bring everyone closer together, and much more. Ask your employees what types of contests and initiatives they’d like to be a part of. Social media provides a company a way to have some fun at work, so make the most of it!
Convincing newbies to jump headfirst into social media can seem challenging, but by demonstrating value and communicating enthusiasm, your company will take off into social media stardom. If you explain how to use a social media channel, show its potential, and reward creative participation, you are well on your way to creating a company with social values built into its foundation.
Mae Karwowski runs social media strategy and oversees community management at Gilt City, a subsidiary of the Gilt Groupe. She also consults for several startups.