3 min read

The hashtag. Arguably made famous by Twitter and soon afterwards adopted by other social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. Its ever-growing presence means it's now a familiar symbol used every day by our employees. But what does it have to do with a kick-ass company culture?

Well, it turns out this special little character can create a real buzz and at the same time keep it close and personal. By using one in your workplace, you can really get a discussion going and engage with your employees.

You’ll inspire conversation and give people a reason to actually want to talk about your company and its culture.

I'm a big fan of social media and a couple of years ago I noticed a lot of our staff were posting photos of company social events and day-to-day office happenings on Instagram. I thought there must be a way of promoting this internally and creating some fun around it. I needed to make it easy for our staff to find these pictures and share them. That's when the lightbulb moment occurred! We needed a hashtag; cue #RGFUN

I popped a quick news article on our company intranet letting all our employees know that they could now use this hashtag on their pictures, and it really took off! There were 35 new pictures posted in the first week alone, so we decided to have some more fun around it. The owner of the picture that was the 'most fun' at the end of the month got a prize. This boosted employee engagement even further!

We now use the hashtag on all of our social media platforms, and not just for pictures but for company news too.

Using your own hashtag is a great way of involving a global workforce and you don’t have to worry if not all your employees are online at work, more than half of us now own a smartphone or tablet device, even more own their own PC – and that’s not just the young workforces but the older generations too.

To get the best results; be obvious. Choose a hashtag that’s easy to remember and crystal clear. And don’t rely on your employees to just use it once in a while, give them a call to action - competitions, promotions, feedback and more.

There’s a lot of power in this tool to reinforce your company's culture and values, so don’t overlook it. Instead, use it to strengthen the way you communicate with your staff and establish a connection between people.

1) Use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword / phrase to make it searchable, and to group posts together on social media.

2) Remember that hashtags can occur anywhere in your post - at the beginning, middle or end!

3) Check your privacy settings - hashtags won’t appear in search if your account is protected or private.

Before you know it you'll have boosted your employee culture by providing a fun and easy place to share company-related fun. Whether that's the next time some one brings in homemade fairy cakes, a fun run or the next team-building event, the possibilities are endless!

Charlie Taylor

Travel junkie, foodie, morning person, Disney fan! Charlie is Head of UK Growth Marketing and PR at Reward Gateway.

Head of UK Growth Marketing and PR

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