At times, jWeb’s office culture can be elusive. Our small company has a lot of heart but it’s taken awhile to learn how to document and share it correctly. Even so, I’ve spent the last eight months experimenting with and tracking Facebook posts and across the board, posts about our office culture have been the most successful.
Make “Community” Your Company’s Middle Name
Whether your company sells key chains or teaches children to read, don’t treat your Facebook followers like customers. First and foremost, treat your followers like a community. That means sharing things that you think are funny, important, or just good to know. That means sharing a culture.
Let’s Get Visual
Overall, I’ve found that the best way to show our office’s culture is with photos that show our employees’ individuality. Users are visual, so photos and images get more engagement than any other type of post we make.
Stand Out During the Holidays
Holidays are an easy way to host a company-wide event, but “easy” probably means that everyone’s doing it. So it helps to find a way to set your company apart to draw more attention.
For instance, last Thanksgiving, we used our company’s Mad Men-inspired avatars to give voice to our Thanksgiving wishes.
Not only did using our avatars visually stand out, but the idea gave every employee the chance to showcase their personality. (Note: We still had a great Thanksgiving feast.)
Get Creative, but Don’t Despair if it Doesn’t Turn Out as Planned
Creativity is the best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Have fun and try new things every once in awhile, then learn from your mistakes.
One of my more underwhelming projects was our “Who Donut?” post. The plan: Get each employee to choose their favorite doughnut and then get our Facebook community to guess who picked which doughnut. While the concept was good, my execution had some pitfalls that kept the post from being too successful on Facebook.
For instance, by sharing the photo of the doughnuts 4 hours before the “big reveal”, I didn’t give people enough time to engage in the guessing game. Some people didn’t even see the doughnuts-only post because they didn’t get on Facebook that morning. I learned that if you’re going to prompt followers, you have to give them a longer amount of time to actually see and engage with the post.
The cool thing about social media is that there are virtually limitless possibilities. I’ll admit the lack of engagement on our “Who Donut?” post was disheartening. But regardless of how disappointing a post is, take it as an opportunity to figure out what you can do better in the future.
Stick with What Works
After you’ve tried some new fun things on your company’s page, you’ll likely have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is great for mixing things up, but you should also take advantage of effective patterns.
For example, I’ve learned that National Fill-in-the-Blank Days are your best friend when it comes to planning Facebook posts. They’re random, there are usually existing popular hashtags around them, and they can generate some really unique ideas.
One of my most successful posts turned my boss Amy’s unfortunate situation into a fun office-wide event. Amy had car troubles and brought a rental car to work. The company had given her a red fiat. “It looks like a clown car,” she said sadly.
Cue the little light bulb flicking on over my head.
“You know what might be fun for National Small Business Week?” I asked. “If we fit our company in your fiat.”
In short, sticking what works doesn’t mean getting stuck in a rut. It means using patterns to drive original ideas.
Have Fun with It
It’s not easy to make posts about office culture when 30% of your employees don’t use social media or like having their picture taken. But I’ve found that the best way to get great candid pictures of employees in the midst of enjoying jWeb’s culture is to get them distracted by having fun.
Luckily, my bosses believe in fun and silly events. Last Easter, Jim and Amy planned an Easter egg hunt around the company building.
If employees don’t see it as a chore they’re more likely to not care if you’re taking their picture.
When in doubt, it never hurts to have a cute animal mascot.