Jane Vivier: Should employers use social media to communicate benefits?

For every lover of social media, there is another who hates it, avoids it or, unbelievably, hasn’t discovered it yet. So why is it a good idea for employers to use social media to promote benefits?

Think back to the days when we ‘discovered’ podcasts and webinars. We embraced them, not because we found them easy to make or even fun to do, but because they expanded our reach into parts of our workforce that remained untouched by leaflets, roadshows and posters.

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Using social media is no different, with the UK being the second-highest user of social media in Europe. According to the Office for National Statistics, 57% of adults are active users, which makes the many and varied channels a godsend for reward managers struggling to engage employees with benefits.

Suitable for all generations

And it is not restricted to the younger generations: 48% of adults used social networking sites in 2012 and 62% of those aged 35 to 55 use social networks to communicate online. Contrast this with the ambivalence to printed media and only a fool would fail to include it in their communications planning.

Some employers shy away from using public social media because they are afraid of criticism. Quite simply, if you don’t have pride in your reward strategy, then it isn’t the right strategy. We should use this platform to draw in new talent and even customers by extolling the great things we do. Just think of Google, Innocent, Gandy’s and others.

The world is moving fast. We shop, converse with friends, travel the world, choose partners and broadcast our lives using hand-held technology and social media. In a time-poor situation, we must do the same with our benefits to ensure engagement and return on investment.

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All we need to do now is work out how to explain pensions in 140 characters…

Jane Vivier is an independent reward consultant
Tweet: @TheRewardingCo