Quick Summary: Regardless of your feelings about social media, they’re a fact of modern life. If you use these tools to communicate benefits information in your workplace, exercise care. There are definite dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
This is not a discussion of the merits of using social media to communicate with employees. But if you do elect to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or other platforms, be sure you have a company policy about accessing social media while on the job.
These tips will help guide your social media experience:
• Use social media such as Twitter for timely reminders such as these: Open enrollment closes soon. Use your FSA funds by the end of the year. Sign up for wellness programs. Short, simple, time-sensitive prompts are likely to be the most successful in this venue.
• Focus on action-oriented messages.
• Answer common, general questions such as requests for plan phone numbers.
• Be sure health/medical information comes from a medical source, not the company.
• Tie the use of social media to your overall benefits communication strategy. Use it to direct employees to other, more comprehensive information sources such as your intranet or your health plan provider’s Website.
• Accept the fact that regularly updating social media such as Facebook can be time-consuming. Start only if you can keep it up.
• Take it slowly and see what works for your organization. Any results will take time to develop and may not be obvious.
• Continue to provide other benefits communication that is easy to access, read, and understand.
• Include information of a personal nature. Never respond to questions related to individual claims, coverage, or payments, but do tell employees where they can find the answer or direct them to call a specific number for more information.
• Overwhelm employees with the number of messages. It becomes clutter.
• Use acronyms or unfamiliar terms in your posts.
• Forget that using interactive media requires you to be interactive!
• Overlook the fact that social media are public. Messages can be forwarded, and others outside the company can access what you post. Plan accordingly.
• Look for other companies that seem to succeed using social media and learn from their successes and problems.
• Know your objectives. Don’t use technology simply because you can.
• Know your audience and ensure that employees want to and can receive your information this way.
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