There’s often debate around using Facebook as an employee communication tool; management worry that it will become a distraction and employees fear that their colleagues will see more of their personal lives than they are willing to share.
We have been using it internally at Reward Gateway with great success; since launching, two thirds of our global employees have joined the group.
The primary function of the Facebook group is signposting, we direct our employees to boom!, our employee engagement platform, where they will find detailed updates and important actions.
Naturally, Facebook won’t be right for every organisation, but before you write it off, here are 7 things that you should consider.
1. It’s free.
Using a closed group on Facebook won’t cost you anything and it can be set up in minutes. All you need to do is create a closed group, add a header image and a short description explaining what the group is for.
Your header image should be relevant to your business and should be easily identified by your employees.
At Reward Gateway we use our Boom! logo as the image and we have the following friendly description:
Hey! You've found the boom! for RG People Facebook page. If you're a Reward Gateway employee then press the join button now and get in on the action. If you're not, you're missing out! Head to rg.co/careers to find out how you can be a part of this awesome company.
2. The majority of your employees are already on Facebook.
Just last month Facebook reported a record number of users with over 1.55 billion members, of which 1 billion access the site daily.
This is where your employees are already looking so surely it makes sense to put your messages here too. It’s not just millennials that this applies to, statistics show that the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 45+ year age bracket.
3. People know how to use it.
It takes time and money to figure out new technology and to train everyone how to use it.
The fact that so many of your employees are likely to be on Facebook means that they already know how it works and this can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to launch and beyond.
4. Push notifications to all employees.
Facebook is really good at notifying members when something happens in the group.
Every time you post a new update, any employee who has the Facebook app downloaded will receive a push notification to their phone. Even if employees only catch the notification at the end of their working day, you know that they are likely to see it.
For anyone who doesn’t have the app they will still get a notification when they next log into Facebook, either through their desktop or via the mobile site.
5. It’s great for visual content.
Facebook has great video hosting capability, videos start playing automatically when a member scrolls over them in the news feed.
Facebook also hosts images and photographs well which makes it really easy to post visual updates that will get your employee’s attention.
6. It’s great for collaboration.
The commenting function on posts makes it really easy for employees to respond and engage with your posts.
We have used it countless times to ask for opinions, ideas and suggestions. It makes it very easy to get in touch with your workforce around the globe and just as easy for them to respond.
Facebook also has the capability for you to run polls which can be a really easy way to collect simple feedback from employees within minutes.
7. It’s really easy to manage.
You can also use external free tools such as Buffer to schedule posts in advance which is particularly useful if you want to send a post out to capture a different time zone.
Managing leavers is also really easy as Facebook allows you to search for an employee within the group by name and they can be removed with one click.
Facebook groups won’t be right for every business. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach with communications so it’s always best to use all tools at your disposal. Even with a young, tech savvy workforce we acknowledge that we have some employees who prefer not to use Facebook for work, or who simply don’t have an account.
We also have a private Instagram account that employees can follow and we give employees the option to sign up to an email digest instead.
Whatever your opinion of Facebook in general, the statistics show that it’s not slowing down or getting any smaller, so if there’s a chance to reach your employees for minimal cost and effort, then surely it’s worth a try?
As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.