Instead of setting out some basic social media guidelines for employees, many businesses’ policies consist of “don’t post on social media, the end.”
Unfortunately, this type of policy demonstrates several things:
- A lack of understanding about how social media works
- Potential mistrust of employees
- Naivety about how employees use social media
The fact is, most employees are going to be on social media during their working hours at some point.
Whether that’s reading an influencer’s post on LinkedIn, scrolling through TikTok while they wait for their laptop to update, or chatting with their bestie on Facebook.
You can no longer stop—or deny—the reach of social media.
Pretending that employees don’t talk about work on it is also pretty naïve.
Social media is a ubiquitous part of our lives. Even if you’re not a fan of it, at least some of your employees will be. So why not use that to your advantage?
Let’s explore how developing social media guidelines for employees, and encouraging them to post, can help with talent acquisition and retention.
It reflects an open culture
Many businesses say that they have an open and transparent culture to the outside world. In reality though, it’s the opposite.
When companies allow employees to post about work on social media, it shows the company trusts them.
You can’t vet everything employees post, which means you have to focus on two things: education and trust.
An interactive quiz, complete with examples, is a really good way to train employees on the types of posts that get engagement, and how to reflect company values on social media.
The average person trusts employees much more than brand accounts or even your company experts. If they’re on social media praising you, it will attract potential candidates who want to be part of that, too. Putting some simple social media guidelines for employees in place can help bring in more star players.
Employees get to learn new skills
Training employees in new skills—such as using social media to build their brand, network with peers, and research their industry—can help disconnected employees reconnect with their role.
It also shows them that you’re invested in their future career by upskilling them.
Employees can build their personal brands
Employees building their personal brands helps business. A post on an employees’ LinkedIn profile has 500% more reach than the same post on a branded account.
So, while you may feel uncomfortable allowing employees to post on social media, failing to give them that option means that you’re missing out on some massive reach. Is your fear really worth slowing your business growth?
There’s really no downside to encouraging employees to build their personal brands. They’ll feel supported in their roles, meaning they’ll want to stay to continue to grow those skills and their careers.
And if they ever decide to leave, they’ll have stories about how you helped them build their career. This will then attract more candidates to future roles. Creating social media guidelines for employees empowers them to grow their brands in a positive direction.
It helps to change people’s ways of thinking
Establishing an employee advocacy or social selling program requires an open culture. It also requires behavior change. You must do this first, before the policy is introduced, or you’ll end up with setbacks.
Changing people’s ways of thinking to become more open, honest, and active on social media for work takes time. But it’s this type of culture that will help you attract—and retain—the best employees.
People want to work for more than just money nowadays. They want to feel like they’re making a difference in the world. Setting social media guidelines for employees that encourage them to share their experiences and opinions shows the outside world that you’re a values-driven business.
It builds employee loyalty
When you show employees that you really do care about their career progression, they’re more likely to feel loyal and want to stay.
You can show off real diversity, equity, and inclusion
As I mentioned earlier, people will trust your employees more than anyone else. Which means when they talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, outsiders are more likely to believe them.
When brands talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion too often, it feels like lip service or a box-ticking exercise.
But when people see employees posting about how their employer has supported them through health issues, sponsored their career growth, or encouraged them to try something new, it shows that you really do care.
If you post a testimonial through a brand account, it may seem trite. But when an employee posts it on their personal profile, people are much more likely to believe what they see.
Candidates know what to expect
When people see your employees posting about work on social media, they get a feel for whether it’s the type of company they’d like to work for. This can then mean that when a new role opens, they’re coming in with a higher degree of awareness. This will reduce your time to hire and the likelihood that they’ll leave in the short-term.
When employees become your advocates on social media, outsiders can see what a great place your company is to work. This can build a pipeline of warm leads who are eager to come on board when a job opens up.
Investing in skills that can help employees grow their network, research techniques, and brand, also helps you to retain employees. They’ll feel excited to learn new skills that can help them in their roles and along their future career paths.
First, though, you need to start with an open culture. Employees need to know you trust them enough to post things in their own voice. That requires some change management.
It’s worth it, though. The more you allow employees to post on social media, the more your culture will shine through, and the more potential candidates you’ll have to choose from. Setting some social media guidelines for employees can mean the difference between attracting and repelling top talent.
If you’re looking to build a positive and open culture based on trust, a platform like Workrowd can help. With tools to launch events, groups, and programs employees love, you can foster real relationships and create great experiences. If you’re ready to future-proof your culture and drive recruitment and retention, drop by our site or send us an email at email@example.com. We’d love to learn more about your goals and explore opportunities to help you achieve them.