There are 287 million internet users in the United States
. It’s safe to say, then, that most people, if not everyone, in your organization use the internet on a regular basis. As your employees spend more of their time online, you have more opportunities for engagement. Now you can use the same techniques digital marketers use to build your company culture, connect with workers and promote positive employee relations. But how you do it? Here are several ways to connect employee communication and digital marketing
Why Should You Communicate With Employees Online?
As an HR and labor relation pro, you know the drill. Sometimes communicating with employees is a challenge — you feel like no one’s listening. You probably get questions from workers that you’ve already answered. Did these employees just forget what you told them? Or were they even listening in the first place?
Consider thinking of your employee communications like digital marketing. This approach allows you to get your message across in an innovative way. Workers are more likely to retain important info, and you can foster positive employee relations. Digital marketing is a powerful tool that lets you engage with workers in your organization. It’s “an umbrella term for all your online marketing efforts,” says software development and marketing company, HubSpot
. This term encompasses methods like Google search, email, websites, online video and social media.
How Can You Use Digital Marketing to Engage Employees?
HR pros are using digital marketing techniques today to target employees and create a UnionProof culture. One type of digital marketing method, email automation, for example, lets you send automated marketing messages to staff about relevant and timely topics. Automation can also be a powerful tool for onboarding new employees, with just the right amount of information delivered at just the right time. Automated emails can include links to video messaging, downloadable resources, company handbook, and more. Later, you can also educate employees on right-to-work laws, authorization cards, dues and other information specific to your UnionProof culture
. You can communicate your union-free philosophy and inspire workers to take specific actions.
Another aspect of digital marketing, social media, can help you build your culture of engagement by featuring positive employee relations stories from inside the company. Create your online presence as an employer of choice with benefits for new hires, a new hire orientation video, and current industry and legal updates that resonate with employees at your company.
Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing lets you track your communications with employees. Discover, for example, whether staff read your emails or liked your social media posts. “Digital analytics play a crucial role in nearly every enterprise’s digital marketing strategy, not only for tracking and measuring website traffic but for tracking and measuring other digital channels, as well,” says Marketing Land
. “With the explosive growth of social media, video, and mobile, the importance of understanding the contributions and relationships of these channels to website traffic and conversions has increased significantly.”
Traditional vs. Digital Marketing
In the past, HR teams sent employees paper-based communications like newsletters. These took a long time to complete, and there were no guarantees that employees would even read them. Digital marketing methods, on the other hand, increase the likelihood of staff reading your messages. Research shows that the average person checks his or her email 15 times
and spends 35 minutes on Facebook
every single day.
Therefore, digital marketing is a great way to promote labor relations. You can update your Instagram and Twitter feeds with the latest developments in union avoidance, for example, or attract more people to your organization with search engine optimization (SEO).
What Are the Best Digital Marketing Techniques?
You can incorporate various methods into your digital marketing strategy. Here are some techniques that you can use.
- Promote your company’s objectives and values on social media with the right hashtags. Who knows, someone with hundreds of thousands of followers might see your message and post it on their page.
- Advertise events that promote union-free workplaces on your website or blog. It’s just like pinning an ad on your office noticeboard, but employees are more likely to take notice of your message. Encourage your social media followers to like, share and comment on your content, too.
- Use pay-per-click advertising to increase the number of people who visit your website and blog. This type of search engine marketing increases the visibility of your organization and its core values on websites like Google and Bing.
There are other digital marketing methods, too. Content marketing, for example, lets you incorporate information about your company and its union-free philosophy on your blog. You can create compelling content — what it’s like to work for your company, for example — and post information about employee orientation and staff training.
lets you send short marketing messages to mobile devices — perfect if you need to notify employees quickly. This is an effective communication tool: Collectively, Americans check their phones 8 billion times per day
Live online events
are just as effective. Webinars, for example, let you communicate union-free practices and HR-related topics to audiences around the world. All you need is a computer or mobile and an internet connection.
Finally, online video
is a powerful tool for employee communications. Use it for orientation and training.
Still haven’t incorporated digital marketing into your workplace? Using marketing methods like SEO, social media, email automation, live events and video promotes your company culture, improves communications and lets you engage with employees on a much deeper level.
Social media is no longer optional if you want to engage your employees and build your employer brand. Mobile devices are a primary source of information and communication for most Americans, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter are central to the mobile lifestyle. In short, if you aren’t on social media and you don’t have great social media video, your message isn’t being heard – and that inhibits your ability to attract top talent and retain your most highly-qualified workers.
Adding Social Media Video to Your Media Mix
While it is possible to connect with employees through text-based posts and long-form content, research shows that the most effective way to capture the attention of your audience is through images. When those images are delivered in the form of short, creative videos, you can count on a positive response. One study demonstrated that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it – and that preference extends to receiving all sorts of information, including your employer branding messages.
RELATED: Why Your Employer Brand Matters
Perhaps the most important reason to communicate through social media video is the retention factor. Your employees are 65 percent more likely to remember your content after three days when it is presented in a visual format versus a text-based format. That means more time to consider your message and share it with colleagues, extending your reach dramatically.
Consider the benefits of a strong social media presence. Creative, engaging employer branding encourages job-seekers to become applicants, and it keeps current staff members connected with the company. Employers have successfully leveraged social media video to communicate with current and prospective employees about benefits, company culture, and social responsibility. Some even use this forum to encourage strong connections between management and the workforce, effectively discouraging unions from their attempts to stir discontent.
Stories, Tweets, and Channels – Differentiating Your Social Media Strategy Across Platforms
While it is possible to use the same social media video content across multiple platforms, your social media campaigns should include slightly different strategies for each of the popular sites. Differentiate your content based on the culture promoted by individual channels. These are the basics for today’s top social media platforms:
- Facebook – This is the first place most of your employees will look for you, so make sure your page is entertaining. This is your opportunity to get a little more casual, sharing images and videos you want to go viral.
- Social Media Leaders – Microsoft knows how to make the most of Facebook, with two major pages. Check out Microsoft Life and Women of Microsoft.
- LinkedIn – This site is primarily geared towards job seekers, so it is an important place to build your employer brand. The tone is more formal on LinkedIn than on other social media platforms.
- Social Media Leaders – General Mills leverages LinkedIn’s video capabilities to connect with job seekers.
- YouTube – It’s all about video on YouTube. Using text to share your message simply isn’t an option. This is a great opportunity to start up a channel and create video content that illustrates a-day-in-the-life at your company. Use this platform to house your video, then connect to it through your other social media pages.
- Social Media Leaders – Penn National Gaming’s YouTube Channel is a great example of high-quality video branding.
- Twitter – Micro-blogging means you have to make your point quickly if you choose a written format. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit the number of characters in your videos. Use this platform to link followers to your content through your tweets.
- Social Media Leaders – Zappos uses a dedicated Inside Zappos Twitter Page to connect with current and prospective employees.
Getting started on social media doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with Facebook, then expand to other popular platforms. For more information on connecting with your employees through innovative, engaging social media videos, visit Projections, Inc.
Don’t Sabotage Your Engagement by Ignoring Other Areas
Your HR department is vital to building the best company possible. It ensures that your employees are at their best and receive the support they need. While there are so many things that your HR department has to do that it might be tempting to take a few shortcuts, there are a few areas where you absolutely must use HR best practices or face negative long-term consequences in the future.
1. Don’t Cut Corners in Employee Orientation
New employee orientation is vital, as it sets the tone for the rest of an employee’s experience with your company. Within the first week, it is important that you describe the basic work processes that the employee will be using every day. This can include everything from job-specific tasks to the basics that everyone uses, such as email protocol. It’s also important that you keep the information you share with your employees consistent. So it’s a good idea to create a series of orientation videos that you can share during the orientation process. It ensures everyone gets the same information and, if done right, can be more engaging than a manager rushing through the process.
2. Don’t Make Annual Benefits Enrollment a Chore
After their salary, your company’s benefits package is arguably the most important element for your employees. To ensure that your benefits communication is outstanding, you need to go beyond the norm. Approximately 80 percent of companies still rely on printed materials regarding benefits sent to their employees’ homes. In a digital world, that’s not nearly enough. Your employees need to be engaged with the process. That means annual videos that are available online for your employees to review and interactive websites that help them find the best plans. These tools can be invaluable for smoothing out the annual benefit enrollment process.
3. Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Unions
Unions can be destructive for businesses. Unions can devalue seniority and employee effort, make it difficult for your business to compete, and also exploit your employees. This can lead to your business becoming unprofitable and to your employees losing their jobs. Union avoidance is in everyone’s best interest and you need to communicate this to your employees. Take the time to investigate the best union avoidance strategies and then implement them for the sake of your company and your employees.
So, don’t cut corners when it comes to employee engagement! If you need help connecting with your employees, whether it’s during orientation, harassment training, wellness programs, annual benefits enrollment, or just to communicate important facts, contact Projections. Your message will reach your audience and create the change you need to grow. We make it so easy, you’ll find no shortcuts needed!
Call it your brand, call it your image, but no matter what you call it, it’s key to your company’s success: that personality and culture that is uniquely your company’s, that thing that your employees, shareholders, and the public perceive to be the true nature of your company.
Your brand is your company’s public face – and if you neglect this aspect of your communications, you’re asking for trouble. Without branding, your customers may not fully appreciate your company or its products. Recruiting and hiring the best employees becomes more difficult if prospective employees don’t understand who the company really is, and retention rates can even decrease if new employees find that the company just wasn’t what they expected it to be.
So, what’s the best way to begin work on your employer brand? First, identify your primary target audience(s). Once you know with whom you’re communicating, craft communications that will address the topics most important to your company. You may have a rich history, a backbone of unfailing ethics, the best benefits in the industry, or any of a host of other strong points.
How do you know if your employer brand is a strong one? The idea is to take those assets we talked about and communicate them in a way that makes your employees feel part of something bigger than just the job they do. In a small community, that may mean that the town’s identity is intertwined with the company’s – a sure point of pride. In medium sized towns and cities, it can mean that your employees’ friends and neighbors know its’ a great company and want to work there. In the biggest companies, it means that your employees speak highly of the company and the work that’s accomplished every day.
Your brand sells your products to customers, sells your company to potential hires and sets the tone for your all of your company’s interactions – so take the time to be thoughtful about what your company stands for, and commit to communicating that brand accurately to both internal and external audiences.
And that’s where we come in! Give us a call and let Projections maximize the power of your company’s brand with one-of-a-kind, custom corporate communications!