Fresh eyes

How a socially connected workforce can boost your brand

Socially connected workforce
Andrew Taylor Senior PR & Comms Manager

Written by Andrew Taylor,
PR & Communications Director at Freshfield

Rapid digital advances have given rise to a more socially connected workforce than ever before, but not all businesses and their people are naturally engaged.

Companies that want to remain successful must keep pace or lose an opportunity to gain new customers, insight, innovation and feedback.

For example, businesses that allow their employees to use social media could achieve huge reach and trust without having to pay for it. Here are three reasons why businesses with a socially connected workforce have the edge:

People trust people

Despite the ability of businesses to target consumers directly, peer-to-peer conversations are still vital in purchasing decisions. When buying a new product or in need of a service, people are 67 per cent more likely to trust a friend or colleague’s social feed than they do a business’ social feed. Therefore, having staff that share company news on their personal media accounts – showcasing its services, products and campaigns – can be extremely powerful.

Digital-savvy businesses recruit more effectively

It’s not just social media that can play a role in creating a more engaged and productive workforce either. Research shows that modern jobseekers now rate employers on their capability to communicate in real time on any device. And, according to a recent BT report, employees rank mobile accessibility as more important than having a company car.

Socially connected = better engagement

In any workplace, there can be a vast difference in the intent to become digitally connected due to age difference. Millennials may be more technologically-minded than the baby boomers, but now we have those born in the year 2000 onwards entering the workforce – history’s first ‘always connected’ generation. To engage them, employers will need to re-think their own communication strategies. Understanding each audience and how they would prefer to receive information is critical.

Now that you understand why a socially connected workforce is a good idea, here’s some top tips for achieving one:

1. Let your staff be social…

Businesses that let staff engage with the brand on social media can achieve a huge increase in reach. For example, a law firm that encourages its staff to have an active presence on LinkedIn and Twitter, can showcase the real people and personalities behind the firm and their individual expertise.

2. …but set some ground rules

However, it does need careful thought. Firstly, ensure your own social media platforms are watertight. You require a solid social media policy to protect the business and strong password controls.

3. Be fun AND strategic

The company’s social platforms are its online voice and staff are part of that voice, so don’t just ask employees to start posting without giving them guidance. Instead, think of how you can harness the power of social in a way that chimes with the company’s values and objectives. This may involve offering social media training and advice on the correct language for brand consistency.

4. Create visual and sharable content

The social feeds themselves need to offer insight and knowledge about the business, but content must be engaging and sharable, which means it must be visual. Think great images, infographics, video and animation.

5. Tailor your content for specific channels

If your business relies on consumers, staff could be actively sharing the benefits of buying on their own social pages such as Facebook, Instagram and snapchat, especially if the product lends itself well to visual posts.

6. Involve others and get feedback

Include everyone in the thought process for new ideas too, encourage them to feed into social content plans and share how beneficial your digital output is to the business.

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