We’ve all seen it. The bland and lifeless corporate social media accounts that some companies maintain, some apparently out of pure spite. Scroll down, and you’ll find nothing but stock images and blog links, with the occasional press release or quarterly report retweet thrown in for “variety.” And when you go to look for engagement? Tumbleweeds.
In the age of social media, there’s no sense in ignoring a huge, free set of public platforms that are capable of showing off your company’s culture. The soul and personality of the employees, the core values that drive success, and the light moments that everyone through the seriousness of doing business all contribute to the giant tapestry of your workplace.
How do you start to show that off? I’ve got some tips!
Your social media accounts are a part of your public face AND your public voice. If you’re only posting blogs by featuring their titles, you’re just distributing — not getting readers excited about the useful content your company has created.
Determine some basic elements to your company voice, then make sure you use them consistently! Ask questions, show facts and statistics, use quotes, and more. Experiment to create conversational opportunities — your company’s personality should develop over time with these interactions, and followers will begin to see you as more than just one long feed of commercials.
This second tip is, admittedly, a bit of a no-brainer. Tweets with pictures, after all, tend to receive 18% more clicks and 89% more likes. And it’s not just Twitter — Instagram is now past the 1 BILLION user mark, and over 80% of Instagram users follow a business. Visuals help customers relate in a way that text just can’t.
So what images should you use? Dressed-up stock images are fine to grab attention, but you’re trying to show your company’s culture. Here’s an easy start: take some time each day to look around and browse the company calendar. Is someone celebrating a birthday? Take out your phone and grab a pic or a 30-second clip!
Of course, if you’re at an event or having a company party, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be holding a camera or two, and even enlisting a few conference-going staff members to take plenty of shots themselves. Grabbing the right picture can take a lot of attempts, so the more material, the better.
Let’s face it, most people aren’t going to care about JUST pictures of your staff and offices — so those can’t be the only pictures you use to solidify your company image.
That’s where more abstract or text-based visuals come in. You can use free apps like Adobe Spark or Canva to create easy, eye-catching compositions based on quotes or statistics.
You can even go the analogue route — in the G2 Crowd offices, our own Claire Brenner is a calligraphy star that we’ve shown off a few times! Whatever tool or talent you use, make sure the end product fits with your company philosophy so that you can impress AND inform newcomers.
When done well, these images are a great way to break up fun pictures on a business Instagram account. (And if you’re using a stat or quote, consider using a #LinkInBio landing page on Instagram to try and drive a bit of extra traffic — tools to create them include Linktr.ee and Leadpages.)
Social media is a scary place! When your company has goals in sales, marketing, or even just self-promotion, it can seem very paradoxically isolating for any individual to put themselves out there. Chances are you have at least a few employees trying to go it alone — don’t ignore them!
When you can build a conversation with staff, you build a core of engagement that not only draws in outsiders, it also encourages more of the company to join in. While this may not start in a serious way (think more GIF exchanges), as employees become comfortable interacting with you, they may just become braver and start interacting outside of their comfort zone — opening tons of new networking opportunities for themselves and others.
Another important step in this process is to build a playbook for employees in other departments to follow. You can create a playbook to be followed manually, but you may also want to consider a brand advocacy platform like Bambu, GaggleAMP or Influitive. Not everyone will engage, but creating ANY brand ambassadors out of your co-workers is a win!
Sadly, you can’t always get everyone to engage on social media. Some just don’t have the time, and some employees will just flat out hate the idea. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of the culture you’re showing off!
The easiest way is to create a simple task any employee can perform to participate. At G2 Crowd, we have #G2Gear: our employees take G2 Crowd t-shirts (and sometimes winter hats) everywhere they go, from the Taj Mahal to the Serengeti, and take pictures all over the world that I’m able to post to Instagram.
Vacation pics might not work for you — G2 has a very travel-friendly staff, after all! But a quick, consistent way for employees to visually celebrate your brand (that takes about as much effort as any other selfie) will ensure a consistent stream of pictures that can be used individually or added to an ongoing collage.
Feeling brave? Try handing over your Instagram for a day for a co-worker #InstagramTakeover! It takes trust, but putting a personal POV on your Instagram account is a great way to show off. (Make sure you outline a clear set of boundaries and rules beforehand, and stay logged into your account so that you can fix any typos.)
Here’s a mind-blowing stat: Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. If you really want to show off your company culture, make sure you’re using video however you can, even if it’s just a simple animation. If possible, grab a GoPro or a DSLR that can get some great video at events and keep it rolling.
And most importantly, whether it be through images, quotes, video, or any medium — make your followers smile! If your company culture isn’t delighting observers, you’re going to have some trouble drawing in any newcomers. Commit to showing off the joy you put into your own work and you’ve already got a great start!
About the author:
Chuck Cotterman is the Social Media Specialist at G2 Crowd. In addition to 6 years of professional Social Media experience, he also works in and around the Chicago comedy theater scene, and can often be found behind a camera.