By 2020, Millennials (who are now 18-33 years old) will account for more than a third of the global workforce, and businesses need to embrace their new attitudes and approaches.
More digitally minded than previous generations, one of the main ways Millennials communicate in their daily lives is via social media – which is why introducing social media and collaboration technologies to your internal communication toolkit can help them to have maximum impact in the workplace.
Here are eight social media techniques that can help your business boost employee productivity and engagement. Putting these into practice can turn internal comms into an innovative outreach tool:
- Reach your audience through their preferred channels
Understanding the way your workforce prefers to receive communications is critical. While it is easy to stick with email updates, Millennials tend to communicate through instant messaging apps, microblogs and videos, as opposed to standard emails. Using these channels and formats in your internal communication plan is key to effectively engage them.
- Understand your existing capabilities
Enterprise tools such as SAP, Oracle and Outlook are routinely updated with new features that make social networking and collaboration easier for your workforce. Whichever tool your business uses, knowing its full capabilities can provide an additional and at times untapped resource for engaging your internal audiences. You may already have an ideal social communication platform without knowing it.
- Identify your connectors
There are certain members of your workforce fully engaged across social media, but you might not be aware of it. Using LinkedIn and other platforms can help identify your connectors – the most active employees using social media. Connectors are super-users, users that are sharing content and creating genuine conversation. Once identified, you can look to incentivize them to share content both internally and externally – and encouraging others to do the same.
- Build standout campaigns
Platforms like Pinterest and Yammer create the perfect vehicle for visual, innovative internal communications. By also factoring in gaming elements or competitions, users can be engaged on a deeper level. Consider running social campaigns alongside your usual messaging tactics to create a new, stand-out experience.
- Proactively micro-blog
By combining a little strategic thinking with the capabilities of micro-blogging tools like Twitter or Yammer, you can get your critical business messages out to your workforce in a way that will be noticed. Real-time status updates not only provide instant information, but also create an area for collaboration and a richer conversation. Rather than reverting to long multi-themed emails, a ‘little and often’ approach can be much more effective in terms of producing engagement and action.
- Idea sprint
“Idea sprinting” is a technique used to unearth inventive ideas from across the organization, empowering an entire workforce to collaborate in strategic thinking. It works by creating a virtual event – designed to offer a voice to the entire workforce.
- Reinvent the newsletter
The average employee receives 200 emails per day, meaning they are more likely to overlook company-wide emails and newsletters. Using newer technologies like MailChimp or Easely you can create a more engaging experience and increase the chances of your messages being read. Sending multimedia communications is no longer a nice-to-have feature, but an expectation of your audience.
By using social media and other collaborative technologies to listen to your employees, you can quickly gain insight into the expectations and needs of your workforce, and assess if and when there’s a need for action.
At the heart of all these techniques is the defining concept of social media – that it is not about broadcasting a message, but encouraging a two way conversation.
The benefits of such an approach work both ways – in all the best conversations, both parties come away with increased understanding and a stronger connection to the other participant. With these connections, you will build increased loyalty, more active participation, increased engagement and – through being able to target your conversations to the right people – a more productive workforce.