Who’s Using Social Media, and Why Should Your Employee Volunteer Program Join In?

Your employees, social media, and your volunteer program

If they're using it, you should be using it.

This post is part of a special series on Volunteering is CSR entitled “Social Media and Employee Volunteering.”

Who?

Social media is not just a buzz word – it is a major part of life for a large portion of the world’s population.

Your hub for social media questions: Join the “Social Media and Employee Volunteering” discussion on LinkedIn.

 According to a study released in 2010 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, tools like Twitter are especially ubiquitous among Millennials, minorities and city-dwellers, who most likely make up a healthy portion of any company’s employees.

Why?

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship tells us that every month, the average Fortune 100 company tweets 108 times, puts up 15 posts on Facebook, blogs 7 times, and uploads 10 videos. Your marketing department isn’t the only social media user at your company, however. According to the Pew study mentioned above, 62% of adults on social media use it to post updates related to their professional life.

The bottom line is that YOU do not control the conversation about your brand online. Your employees, your customers, your community – all these stakeholders control it and they WILL be talking about you via social media.

“Social Media Revolution 2011″ based on Socialnomics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But don’t panic! And don’t think of your social media use as simply a reactionary or crisis management tool. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get your company’s stakeholders and the general public more involved in what you do. For an employee volunteer program, this translates into a major opportunity to build participation and engagement among your employees.

Realized Worth, a group that works with companies to design and implement employee volunteer programs, has posted this great Prezi that provides a more detailed and structured look at why and how you should set up social media use as part of your employee volunteer program.

Recognize and use social media for its biggest strength: storytelling. With the ability to reach thousands with your message (something not as immediately possible via email and other more traditional communications), you can build a community around shared stories and experiences, and maintain engagement with the power of instant and direct access to your employees.

Social media allows for a type of authentic communication that most of your employees probably don’t receive on a regular basis from the company. Similar to consumers, employees want a genuine relationship with a company that they can respect. By building trust using transparency and addressing issues head on, employees will become proud and invested in the company and in the program you’re running.

(Click here to read more articles in the “Social Media & Employee Volunteering” series.)

Your New Hub for Social Media Questions

Has this series created more questions for you? Do you have a specific question you want help with? Do you have a story or best practice to share?

Contribute to the new “Social Media and Employee Volunteering” discussion in our LinkedIn Group. Here are the steps to take to join in:

  1. Go to the VolunteerMatch Linkedin Group.
  2. Join if you’re not already a member.
  3. Once a member, click “More” in the navigation menu under our logo, and choose “Subgroups.”
  4. Join “VolunteerMatch Solutions.”
  5. Navigate to the discussion “Social Media and Employee Volunteering,” browse what’s been asked and answered, and contribute your own thoughts.

See you there!

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