- Employee recognition should also be easy and frequent.
- Recognition should aligned with company goals.
- And then share these stories.
This is exactly how UPS takes advantage of Twitter. Also think about UPS, its workforce and global footprint. They have a vast majority of employees who are in distribution facilities and out on the roads delivering packages. If they choose, employees can look at the feed at their leisure. UPS isn’t relying on Twitter to deliver crucial or vital employee communication messages, but @UPSers is reinforcing the corporate mission.
You’ll notice in the Twitter bio that the account is isn’t ONLY for UPS employees, but also fans (which includes family members). So it’s also a way for them to follow along to employee successes. And in checking out the feed, employees are sharing information and pictures directly with the account, which @UPSers is smartly retweeting.
— UPSers (@UPSers) November 17, 2013
For anybody who is active on Twitter, they are well aware of @Starbucks’ tweeting prowess and more than 5 million followers. It’s one of the most popular brands on Twitter. But what you may not know is that Starbucks is also using Twitter to engage its partners (retail store employees).
@Starbucksprtnrs launched in June of 2012 and has sent out nearly 5,000 Tweets since. And like @UPSers, Starbucks celebrates employee successes. But a slight difference here is that Starbucks is speaking directly to the partners. Though it’s public and anybody can see it, the messaging is targeted to employees.
It appears that Starbucks gives its partners special discounts this time of year so a lot of the Tweets focus in on that. But the account also has recently done a great thing by sharing how stores are decorating for the holidays. Without Twitter, there really isn’t an easy and frequent way to reach the retail partners.
Internal communications in retail is very tricky. You have a workforce without traditional “desktop” access to communications and typically deal with a higher turnover rate than other markets. I imagine other retailers will be jumping on this Twitter bandwagon.
— Starbucks Partners (@starbucksprtnrs) November 16, 2013
The first two examples were representative of large global brands reaching out to a worldly workforce. And Twitter has this reach. But here is an idea how Intel is taking advantage of Twitter for internal communications by targeting a local office.
The @gptw_intel account is run by human resources and is targeted just to those Intel employees located in Oregon. No company news is being shared on the account. Twitter is a channel for them to promote volunteerism and distribute extra tickets to local events. For anyone who has worked at a large corporation, you know how often you’ll hear a “what do we do with these extra tickets” comment. Well, Intel is using Twitter to distribute these and employees love it.
Checking out the feed, employees are attending concerts, sporting events and movie premieres. But better yet, not only are the employees attending, but they are saying thank you and sharing pictures. If your company wants to dip its toe in the Twitter pool, this is an easy and smart way to start.
— Rebecca Nevin (@RLNevin) November 23, 2013
4. Public or private
If you’ve made it this far and you believe Twitter is a viable internal communication vehicle, the next decision you’ll need to make is whether or not you want your account’s tweets to be public or protected (private). This is a simple security setting but that’s where the simplicity ends. The benefits of a public account is that you can draw in followers by your content being seen ahead of them following and there’s no administrative burden on managing the account. The benefits of a protected account is that you get to choose (accept) who your followers are but you do need to manually approve or deny followers.
I know of a few companies who are using Twitter for internal communications behind protected accounts. And to respect their privacy, I’ll refrain from mentioning their names and accounts. But they have chosen to be protected at the beginning just to make sure Twitter is where they want to invest the time. Validating whether or not a Twitter user is an employee or not could be a tricky task but there could be procedures around it (i.e. send us a Tweet with your employee ID or make sure you have a clear picture/name, etc).
I think a protected account limits the reach and exposure BUT it could build a sense of security for those starting out.
UPDATE: Rachel Miller shared with me this post she wrote a few weeks back about how some key Twitter accounts in the UK were used during an emergency.
REQUEST: If you are aware of other companies (whether it’s yours or one you know about), I’d love to see other examples. Feel free to add them to the comments section. It would be great to have a list so that other communicators can witness the successes and lessons learned.