We are living in a time of constant information at our fingertips. The ability to be socially connected is at an all-time high thanks to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms feeding us details about things and people we care about as often as we want. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of Americans use some type of social media and two thirds of the U.S. adult population are Facebook users. That means that a large percentage of your workforce is probably using social media, which offers you a real opportunity to extend the reach of your wellbeing and engagement communications, as well as build up a sense of community between teammates. Ready to leverage social media? Here’s how you can get started.
Create a Wellbeing Platform
A Facebook page for a wellbeing program will offer a great platform for you to share content and also allow users to interact with one another. It’s a great platform to emphasize the mission of the program and provide an easy way for participants to contact program administrators.
Give some thought to whether or not your page should be public or private. If your goal is to foster community and advertise benefits only available to employees (and possibly their families), you may want to go with a private page. If, on the other hand, you want to use this page as a way to gain more public recognition for your attention to employee wellbeing, you might consider a public page where posts and activity are visible to anyone.
You might also consider a Twitter handle for very large groups, or perhaps a closed Snapchat group for smaller teams. Make sure you find out what social media platforms your audience is already using and put that knowledge to work.
Any event, initiative, resource or challenge that the organization would like to promote can be pushed through the wellbeing Facebook page. Not all content has to be original – follow reputable pages related to wellbeing and happiness or those that might offer posts relevant to your community or industry and share their posts too. As you share, be sure to offer an eye-catching statement with the post or consider posing a question to prompt views and comments.
You may also harness the power of hashtag. First, come up with something unique to your program or initiative you want to promote. If you are promoting a company-wide manager training, you may use the #leadtowin or #inspiretolead. It’s always a good idea to use your company as a hashtag as a way to drive people back to your content. When you hashtag the information on your page, it becomes a clickable link so that similar content is shared in one place.
Hashtags are a fun and memorable way to share your information. They also allow others to use them and interact with your promotions and initiatives.
For organizations that are spread across the country (or the globe), it can be difficult to create a true sense of community. While your various locations will all have a district sub-culture, social media can be a useful way to bring everyone together and connect them to the big picture. In addition, it can help create new bonds between co-workers where they may not have existed before. For example, if a team member in Spain posts a picture of himself riding a bike as part of a company Healthy Selfie challenge and it is seen by team members in the U.S., this might spark a conversation between the two co-workers about a shared love of biking or travel.
When team members interact with each other, people get inspired to do their best work for your organization. In fact, Gallup research concluded “When employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business – actions they may not otherwise even consider if they did not have strong relationships with their coworkers.” Leveraging social media in this way re-humanizes the workforce and contributes to a greater sense of meaning and purpose.
Faciliate Healthy Competition
We often ask employees on interest surveys what motivates them to participate in wellbeing programs. And while charitable giving and connecting to personal goals are rising in the ranks, competion remains consistently high on the list. Hosting virtual challenges or competitions is a great way to connect remote teams. Get creative when desigining challenges, and consider what would resonate most with your population (and if you don’t know, ask!). You may even find creative ways to do this in the form of a “healthy selfie” or a similar campaign without spending a dime.
Youtube is full of challenges for a set timeframe. You could easily repost one video per day and run what was inteded to be an individual challenge as a company-wide challenge, allowing people to weigh in on their experiences to your group instead of commenting to the whole world on YouTube. On our team, we utilize a private Snapchat group. And while we enjoy the connectedness throughout the week, what we have dubbed “Wellness Wednesday” is our most active day in the group, as we all share pictures of some way we are taking care of ourselves that day.
There are so many ways to leverage social media in your workforce to help create a culture of caring and promote resources and opportunities to support employee wellbeing. If you don’t stop to consider the free or built-in outlets you have to encourage your population, you’re missing out. The simple steps of establishing a presence, creating a page, pushing promotions and signifying your information with a fun #hashtag can have a big impact on culture throughout your organization and lead to increased engagement in your workforce.