Encourage Employee-Created Content on Your Internal Social
Finding new and creative ways to boost your internal social platforms can be a struggle, especially when it comes to employee-created content.
Our team recently discussed a conversation on ICology, an online community of internal communicators. The discussion revolved around a shared challenge internal communication professionals face: How can we encourage employees to post on our internal platforms?
When you have a work culture that isn’t comfortable posting tidbits about their personal lives, not even the cutest photos of four-legged family members show up on National Pet Day. Who doesn’t like posting pictures of their pets, right?
Well, there’s a reason, and this dilemma got us thinking. It isn’t always easy for people to put themselves out there, but what are some techniques we’ve found to boost employee engagement and internal content production?
Here are 10 thoughts our team recommended considering:
1. What is your why?
It sounds cliché, but having an answer to this question is the most important first step. What is your end goal? If you’re able to present a plan to employees that demonstrates the reason you want to boost engagement and the desired outcomes that you anticipate it leading to, they’re more apt to buy in.
2. Continue to restate the cause when necessary.
You may sound like a broken record, but it helps when employees know there is a greater purpose to their contributions. Your people are busy with their daily work, let them know what’s in it for them and the greater good.
3. Find your first contributors.
There’s a 2010 TED talk by Derek Sivers about “first followers” that is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. The message still rings true today – once you get a few firsts, more will follow suit.
4. Make it easy!
When we talk to other employees or ask clients to speak with us at conferences, we offer to handle the majority of the content writing and presentation. We want it to be as easy as possible for others. If you offer your time and help employees feel good about their post ideas, they’re more apt to contribute.
5. Think like a photographer.
Good photographers and producers see the potential in everything and make their subjects feel good in front of the camera. How can you make more people comfortable posting content?
6. Recognize and promote all contributors.
Compliment them on their post and engage with the content they have produced! Take it one step further and have a leader make a quick mention of what they did at a team meeting. People thrive on positive reinforcement and getting it leads to more of that kind of behavior.
7. Walk the walk.
Lead by example. You need to be posting the kinds of content yourself that you’re asking others to contribute. If you’re asking others to post pictures of their pets, everyone should be seeing photos of your new puppy first!
8. Be patient.
Employee Content creation and contribution isn’t identical to public speaking, but there are similarities and public speaking is often something people are uncomfortable with or even fear.
9. Don’t be upset if some people just won’t post.
Many people don’t want to put themselves out there for one reason or another. Publicly sharing information – especially things related to home life like posting a photo of a pet or celebrating a holiday with family – is something that not everyone is comfortable with. Respect those boundaries if employees have them in place.
10. Finally, don’t give up!
If there is a solid reason you have for asking your employees to engage and create content, then continue to advocate!
Getting started is often the hardest step and internal comms is no exception. Once employees are contributing content, you’ll likely find that it becomes routine and more people join in. If you need guidance boosting your employee-generated content or building an internal communications platform, let us help!