Fitting Social Media into the Workflow of Your Employee Volunteer Program

From recruiting to coordinating to showcasing impact, social media and volunteer engagement are a great match – perhaps because both are inherently social in nature. In this special series of posts based on discussions held at our 2011 Client Summit, we’re exploring the intersection of social media and employee volunteering.

To Do ListYou are, most likely, a very busy person. Managing an employee volunteer program may be all of your job, or it may be just part of a larger corporate social responsibility or human resources role. Either way, no matter how beneficial social media may be for the success of your EVP, how on Earth will you efficiently integrate it into everything else you’re juggling?

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

So it’s not uncommon for people to get panicky when social media is put on the table. That’s why it’s important to remember that social media is not an end in itself – it is just another communications and marketing channel that you will use to achieve your goals for your EVP.

I repeat: social media is just a channel.

One of the unique things about social media is how accessible it is. The tools are available and easy to use even at a basic level. They’re often free. And large percentages of today’s workforces either have access to these services at home (usually) or on the job (less often).

But for many employee volunteer program administrators, that accessibility is both a blessing and a curse.

Professionals who might not normally use specialized communications systems to accomplish their goals might find themselves tasked with using social media to engage/coordinate/inspire/recognize employee volunteers.

A key then to successfully incorporating social media into your existing communications is, logically, communications. Chances are other departments in your company are already using social media – marketing and communications, for example. Be sure there’s an open line between you and them so they know what you’re up to and you can get guidance from them as needed. This will also help you streamline social media into all the other communications tasks  related to your EVP.

And because social media is so accessible, if you allow your employees to use social media as part of your EVP, they will do a lot of your work for you – your main job at that point will be to monitor, facilitate, and provide feedback. (For some great tips on how to monitor social media in 10 minutes a day, check out this blog post by Hubspot.)

(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!


Photo by Courtney Dirks.

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