Social media marketing can create a lasting impact on the way teams interact and work together. Social media is an ideal platform for consumer feedback and instantly captures your products and services' performance. Messages shared on social media may turn out to be either positive or negative for company culture.
Read on to learn how HR teams can leverage the power of social media to build a solid company culture.
What a solid company culture can do for your brand, employees, and customers
Company culture is transitioning from being perceived as simply a company's characteristic to becoming its competitive advantage.
Deloitte believes that shaping the culture of a company can drive its strategy. The company's primary conclusion is reflected in employees' opinion - 87% said they felt the culture was important. The values of an organization and the behavior of those associated with it define how the company carries out operations. Deloitte's survey results indicate that culture can influence innovation, customer service, and behavior.
Many companies have been actively engaged in portraying their company culture on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. However, only a few have tapped social media's true potential to bring about positive changes in their company culture.
How to use social media to create a solid company culture
There's more to social media than brand promotion and increasing conversions. When you can shift focus away from hard-selling, there are numerous opportunities to present your brand personality and promote your company culture's positive aspects.
Positive use of social media can also help you build a company culture that influences your financial bottom line and builds customer loyalty and employee trust. Try out these strategies to build a stronger company culture through the power of social media.
At the most basic level, customers and employees are more likely to invest confidence in a transparent company about what it does and why. The most impactful messages on social media tend to be the ones with an honest tone - neither exaggerating nor undermining the company image.
Presenting the right brand personality encourages customer trust and engagement. When your brand message is communicated simply and straightforwardly, you'll positively influence the way people perceive and interact with your company.
This year, we have seen the importance of transparency more than ever. Those companies that communicated openly with their employees, customers, and other stakeholders throughout the crisis have enjoyed greater customer trust and loyalty than those that didn't.
By being open and transparent in your social media presence, you help embed transparency and honesty as values in your company DNA. Your employees and customers alike will respect and trust you all the more for it.
Recognize and praise your employees
Your employees are deeply connected with your company. They care about their work and want to do a good job—appreciation for their good work matters, keeping them motivated, and boosting employee retention.
Social media is an effective tool for employee engagement. There are numerous opportunities to acknowledge your employees' contribution, such as posting about their outstanding achievements.
Why not have an "employee of the month" segment on your social media channels, or a particular day each week where you publicly recognize an employee who has gone above and beyond?
These strategies show that your company culture is one of recognition and positive reinforcement for good work. In other words, it's a great place to work.
Use employee-generated content
User-generated content is a well known social media marketing strategy that involves utilizing content created and shared by your audience members. But if you're trying to use social media to boost company culture as an HR team, why not make the most of employee-generated content? It's a fantastic way to get your employees directly involved.
Here are a few ways you can use employee-generated content on social media:
- Run "takeovers," where members of different teams can share what their day at the company looks like
- Have a fun employee photo contest (or caption contest) to tie in with a new product launch, with a prize for the winner
- Share employees' photos and video clips from company events
Exactly how you do this will depend on your business's context and what it does. An SEO agency will use different strategies to a clothing retailer, and a financial firm will be different again. Get creative with it and ask your employees what they think would work and what would make them eager to participate.
Always ask permission before sharing content made by one of your team members. Assuming they say it's okay, remember to tag them or mention them by name, too. Employee-generated content can come across as more authentic and less "staged" than traditional marketing content and shows that your employees have a great experience working for you.
Check out how employees are engaging with the company online
Employee sentiment about your company is important. How do your employees feel about you? Are they talking about the company on their channels, and if so, how? If your employees are engaging positively with your brand online, that presents a strong company image and brand values to the public and prospective candidates.
You can use content discovery to check out specific, relevant topics and keywords. It also allows you to derive insights and bring about positive changes to your company culture. If your employees aren't engaging or if the sentiment is less than positive, you can find out what is missing and how you could improve to build a more positive culture.
Humanize your brand
The beauty of social media is that it enables you to put a human face to your brand. If your social media channels are mostly made up of purely informative and sales-focused content, you're missing an opportunity. That type of content is good, but it's not enough by itself.
Imagine you are choosing between two different companies to work with. One has a very dry, professional, but boring social media presence. The other features engaging images, videos, and captions that allow you to feel like you're getting to know the company and the brand. In other words, the second company has personality. I bet you'd rather choose the second company in this scenario.
Think about what your brand's personality is. How would you sum it up in 3 words, a sentence, or a paragraph? Make sure that the content you post reflects those values. If you're ever stuck for content ideas or wondering what to post on Instagram, return to that personality and ask yourself how you can reflect it on your company's social media channels.
Show off your values
What values does your company have? In other words, what are the guiding principles by which decisions are made in your business? Your values are a huge part of your company culture, and you should make sure your company's social media channels highlight and further those values.
For example, perhaps your brand strongly believes in making a difference to local communities, being environmentally conscious, or giving to a particular charitable cause. Your social media channels are perfect places to shout about those things you believe in.
Your customers will feel good about giving you their business, and your employees will feel great that their company has such great values. In other words, it's a win-win!
How top brands are building a company culture using social media
The social media space is a fantastic platform for companies to share what's going on in their offices.
Here are four companies that have creatively utilized social media conversations to move beyond displaying their culture to the public and towards initiatives that make a tangible difference in the lives of their employees and customers:
Hootsuite created the #hootsuitelife tag for Twitter and Instagram, using it to show off the fun of group outings and meetings. Employees sharing treats and playing games present a relaxed atmosphere and a spirit of camaraderie.
HootSuite presents its company attitude through Instagram. A positive attitude is tremendously important in building a positive culture and keeping employees motivated. Hootsuite's Twitter posts almost always feature the #hootsuitelife tag. The company considers it a priority to reinforce the cooperative, team-focused spirit behind the scenes. Hootsuite also shares employee success stories, career advice, and interview tips for prospective candidates.
L'Oreal utilizes the #LifeAtLoreal hashtag to share what their employees are up to in their dispersed offices and reward employees for their participation. L'Oreal's Instagram pictures present the many different attitudes of employees and the initiatives they pursue.
Since L'Oreal is a cosmetics company, #LifeatLoreal often features creative makeup art and acknowledges makeup artists' talent supporting the L'Oreal brand.
The overall impression is of a happy, positive, and appreciative company culture that recognizes talent and encourages employees to get involved.
Google's Instagram account features an array of interesting and positive initiatives, including Google Veteran's Network, promoting small businesses through #SustainabilityDay, and acknowledging first responders in times of crisis through the #ThankAFirstResponder tag.
More and more customers recognize the importance of corporate social responsibility. As one of the world's biggest companies, getting involved in good causes is part of Google's company culture. By showing off this culture element through social media, Google promotes important values such as compassion, perseverance, and service to others.
Adobe utilizes several Twitter accounts dedicated to its various products. The company also maintains specific accounts focusing on support services and the latest news. @AdobeCare presents everything from its creativity workshops to relevant dates and causes (such as World Kindness Day).
The Adobe Care Twitter channel showcases the design professionals' achievements who use the company's services while teaching important skills to Adobe users.
Adobe's Twitter channel is much more than just a support service. It brings personality to the brand and shows off a company culture that values learning, development, and mutual support.
Over to you
Social media is an amazing channel for creativity. Besides using it to reach customers and bring in new leads, you can also utilize it to help build and sustain a positive company culture.
HR teams at innovative, forward-thinking companies have the opportunity to tap social media listening opportunities to understand employee and customer perspectives.
Now it's over to you - what creative ways will you use social media to showcase and develop your company culture?