Email to a Colleague

Social Media

Why Employers Care

Effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement. Companies that are highly effective communicators had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years than firms that are the least effective communicators.1 Also, employees who say that their company has effective benefits communications, or who recognize that their employer has improved communications, are more than twice as likely to say they are loyal to their employer, and report higher job satisfaction.2

Social media is rapidly becoming a new communications force in organizations around the world, allowing employers to cut through clutter, drive employee engagement and achieve lasting behavioral change.3 According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, almost 80% of organizations said they are currently using social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, multimedia sharing sites like YouTube, and microblogs like Twitter.4 And it's not just the young adults; 66% of online adults use social media platforms, including 34% of Internet users age 65 and older who use social networking sites.5

What Can Employers Do?

It is no longer a question if benefits communicators should develop a social media strategy; the question for most companies is how to best execute a meaningful and engaging approach that generates results. A few tips to keep in mind as you get started:6

  • Think of social media as a way to create an ongoing dialogue with your employees and their families.
  • Set realistic goals about creating content and what you can maintain and let things grow over time.
  • Find personal stories and use social media to share them. For example, feature employees on the health portal who have made great health changes. Success stories are very powerful!
  • Remember that feedback is a good thing. Social media provides insight into where employees and their families have questions, and allows you to respond in real time.

Relevant Tools and Resources Include:




References (show references)

1 Towers Watson.Leveraging the Power of Social Networking to Drive Performance.2010. http://www.towerswatson.com/assets/pdf/2407/TowersWatson-Social_Media-NA-2010-16771v2.pdf. Accessed September 14, 2012

2 MetLife, 10th Annual Survey of Employee Benefits Trends. 2012. https://www.metlife.com/assets/institutional/services/insights-and-tools/ebts/ml-10-Annual-EBTS.pdf. Accessed September 14,2012.

3 Towers Watson.The Recipe for Successful Web Communication — The Right Ingredient Mix for Your Audience. 2011. http://talentreward.com/en/Consulting-Services/~/media/TalentReward/Un-Protected%20Content/PDFs/Towers-Watson-Viewpoints-Social-Media-2011.ashx. Accessed September 14, 2012.

4 Harvard Business Review. The New Conversation: taking Social Media from talk to action. 2010. http://www.sas.com/events/pbls/2010/las-vegas/documents/TheNewConversation.pdf. Accessed September 14, 2012.

5 Pew Research Center. Why Americans Use Social Media. 2011. http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/Why%20Americans%20Use%20Social%20Media.pdf. Accessed September 14, 2012.

6 Benz Communications. Social Media Poster. http://www.benzcommunications.com/social-media-poster.pdf. Accessed September 14, 2012.

Page last updated: July 17, 2015

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