It is a well-documented fact that a happy employee is a productive employee. Since our economy shifted from being industrial to service-oriented, keeping your work force happy in the office has become an important aspect of company culture. Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject of increasing employee satisfaction as a function of a more favorable company culture. Moreover, most experts agree that a positive company culture encourages employees to think of the company as part of their identity.

“[Corporate] culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game.” – Former Chairman and CEO of IBM, Lou Gerstner.

When a company’s and an employee’s identity become one and the same, the employee will want to promote the company – since, in effect, the employee is actually promoting him or herself.

Social media has begun to play a ubiquitous role in every aspect of our lives, including our professional ones. Companies that embrace social media as a tool to engender positive company culture will find that their workforce is more likely to take an evangelist approach when it comes to personal social profiles.

Before getting into evangelism, one must first look at the overall company environment and how conducive it is to social media. There are, unfortunately, many companies that block the use of social media in the office altogether – which I think is a huge mistake.

On one hand, some might consider using Facebook a waste of time – but it can also be a fantastic means for internal communication, increase company morale and motivate employees to promote the company on their own social profiles. In addition, LinkedIn is a social media channel that, in my opinion, should be used by every employee as part of his or her daily duties.

Below are 3 ways to engender positive company culture, and spur internal communication that encourages employees to evangelize your company on social media.

Facebook

As mentioned earlier, Facebook can be used for good or bad purposes in the workplace. Many companies, particularly large corporations, go so far as to block access to Facebook and other social media sites. Instead of trying to control your employees’ social media habits in the workplace, why not harness their power for the betterment of the company. How is this done? I am glad you asked.

When Facebook Groups were introduced a few years back, they were mainly a place for public discussion. Today, more and more forward-thinking companies utilize these pages for internal company communication.

Whether they’re used to post humorous videos to give employees a laugh or two, or as a place for teams to communicate with each other, Facebook Groups are a great way to boost employee satisfaction.

In terms of evangelism, Facebook Groups let employees and executives share content internally, and motivate Group members to share it on their profiles. These types of Groups should be kept “secret”, so that no one outside of the company can see the activity there.

WhatsApp

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship, and healthy relationships lead to personal satisfaction. As is true for individual relationships, a healthy relationship between a company and its employees must include open communication.

WhatsApp has become a wildly popular chat application, and is being used worldwide. More specifically, its group-messaging feature has amazing benefits for companies. Creating a WhatsApp group for employees allows companies to easily disseminate information and announcements to everyone. Whether it’s to make to stay updated, coordinate a corporate event or discuss a certain strategy, WhatsApp groups can help streamline communication, and in turn, make employees feel more connected to a company and its culture.

LinkedIn Recommendations

Everyone loves being told they’re doing a great job. Even more so, people love having the world see this kind of praise. LinkedIn recommendations allow connected LinkedIn users to write recommendations on each other’s profiles, with regard to a specific position they’ve held at a company – and are a great way to highlight an individual’s capabilities.

Both co-workers and employers can make recommendations on LinkedIn, which can have a considerable positive impact on an employee’s level of satisfaction at the company. When a fellow employee writes a positive recommendation for his or her co-worker, the recommendation recipient will feel a greater sense of camaraderie within the company, which ultimately increases morale.

When an employer writes a recommendation, it can become the highest form of praise. Rather than receiving positive feedback behind closed doors, when it is visible to the public, it becomes all the more flattering.

Social media has become a great tool for company’s to help foster a positive work environment. As the its uses continue to proliferate, I think we will be seeing more effort on the part of companies, including large corporations, to utilize social media as a positive tool for company culture.

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About Mark Lerner

Mark Lerner

Mark is the Director of Marketing at Oktopost, the B2B social media marketing platform. At Oktopost, Mark speaks with B2B marketers and helps them navigate the murky waters of content marketing and social media. Mark has a BA from Boston University and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    These are three easy suggestions and I can see how they can have an tremendous impact on a company’s culture. As a marketer I think about how this action could support your identity and branding, that if you say you’re a positive, encouraging, and more transparent company you now can show it, publicly.

  • Sarah Hills

    I feel like this id going to be a huge debate no matter how much you justify it. So companies will always feel as if Social Media Sites such as Facebook or Twitter are distractions at work. Personally I feel that we need to embrace social media because it isn’t leaving any time soon.

    Sarah Hills
    http://resome.com

    • Mark

      Hi Sarah, I totally agree. I think the point is that SM isn’t going anywhere, so companies need to adapt.

  • http://www.brand.com/blog James R. Halloran

    Even though I agree opening the doors to social media is a good way to communicate with your co-workers, it doesn’t come without the many distractions. I can perfectly understand why employers don’t want their employees on it honestly.

    But, at the same time, I perfectly understand that NOT being Nazis about it does your company wonders. People always respond better if you let them choose. If you let them act like the decision-making adults that they want to be treated as, you’ll have the best results.

    True adults will know when they’re wasting too much time on social media and get back to work.

    • Mark

      Hi James, it definitely has its pluses and minuses, but there is great opportunity there if the company does it correctly

  • 6 one way half a dozen another

    Unlike these named sites (which now represent only two companies), Google Plus has an office version of their site that is private within the company but allows users outside access at the discretion of the company. It works in conjunction with some of their other apps like Drive. Oh, and it has no advertising to distract and annoy your employees and co-workers.

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  • http://www.westsacfun.org Andre Pichly

    Right on! I’ve been advocating the use of social media in the work place for the last two years and your article only strengthens my arguement. I give presentations on why agencies (I’m in parks & recreation) should encourage the use of this ‘communication” tool while at work. We have an employee newsfeed which functions as a department newsletter and it works great! I beleive the key to success here lies in training staff on what they can do, what’s appropriate and what is not, and having clear expectations for how it can be used. My employees know they can use it at work (like posting department information from their personal profiles) so they never feel like they have to quickly change what’s on their screen when others walk by. Using social media is one of the ways my staff do business!

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