Social media channels are transforming the way we work and interact. Especially in a world shifting to digital-first, it can be important to utilize social media in an advantageous manner. Social media platforms are crucial to help you spread branded content, network digitally, keep employees engaged and help them build personal relationships within your organization. A common worry from employers is that social media is a productivity killer, but when used for work it keeps employees more engaged. In fact, 82% of employees believe social media can improve work relationships. Because of this, going social is one of the many ways employees can increase brand visibility and become company advocates. According to Top Rank Online Marketing, when it comes to sharing information about your brand, 41% of people believe that employees are more trustworthy than a company CEO or PR Department.

Inspiring employees to be active on their own social media accounts—and even to interact with your brand online—can help them stay up to date with current trends, connect to each other, share branded content and help them increase their own business networks. While encouraging employees to stay connected via social media on behalf of the company, social media can also be a tool that can cause challenges within your organization. Before encouraging social media usage, implement social media policies company-wide to maintain both employee privacy and integrity online and work towards company goals in an online space. If they contribute to blogs, social networks, or publicize company content online, rules of engagement should always apply.

Why Should Employees Tune into Social Media?

One of the most valuable aspects of social media is that it allows for efficient information dissemination and discovery. Job related information is on social media sites ranging from LinkedIn to Twitter, and if employees can tune into it, they can identify everything from business-related trends to actively spreading information related to your company, helping get your brand name into the online space.

Check out the tips and best practices below for employee engagement on social media and learn how to inspire them to connect with your brand and each other in an online world.

Social media has been proven to help directly reduce employee turnover. By recognizing employee accomplishments online and highlighting employees individually on a regular basis, managers can demonstrate that they are paying attention to employee work and are giving visibility to employee successes. If managers show employees first that they can use social media in a professional capacity, as well as show that they appreciate employees’ challenging work, they can encourage employees to also utilize social media tools in the workspace. For more tips on how managers and executives can use social media as a tool, read our blog on social media messaging for B2B executives.

Encourage Employees to Connect Online

Research has found that employees who connect with other coworkers within the organization during the workday are more likely to share meaningful experiences, feel more motivated in their jobs and use social media more productively to find work-enhancing knowledge. Connecting online also allows employees to contribute to various dialogues. They can connect deeper to both other coworkers and those within the similar industry, making more meaningful insights both on- and offline.

If you want to encourage employees to interact with your brand’s content online, it’s important to make sure your content is interesting and thought-provoking. With the amount of content available online, make sure yours stands out and encourages conversation.

Key Social Media Practices to Connect Online

  • Add value: There are millions of words out there – make yours helpful and memorable. Remember, social media is a conversation, so keep it real. Build a strong network by posting content that invites responses – then stay engaged by answering. You can also broaden the dialogue by citing others who are writing about the same topic, allowing your content to be shared.
  • Keep it cool: There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. Be careful and considerate.
  • Respond to comments. To encourage more interaction, start conversations with those already engaging with your content. Replying under comments, liking other brand’s posts and commenting on others’ pages can inspire them to do the same to your posts.

Social media continues to grow as a viable means of business communication, so why not actively encourage employees to harness its power for your organization? Social media can help employees connect to each other, make more meaningful connections with those outside of your organization and track information that may be valuable to your company. Following these tips and best practices will help employees become more comfortable and confident in using social media in a professional capacity while amplifying your brand. Check out these tips on increasing engagement with your external audience through social media.

Read more: 5 Steps to Social Media Productivity