May 19 2015 | Patti Pina, Senior RFP Analyst and Technical Writer

The most effective way to communicate a consistent message to employees is to stay engaged throughout the year, not just during open enrollment. Social media is one easy – and free – way to communicate with employees year-round!

How to Make the Most of Social Media

To effectively leverage different types of free social media tools, do your research:

  • Familiarize yourself with all of the types of social media at your disposal.
  • Figure out which features will work best with your business.
  • Focus on the platforms that best reflect your communication style. 

Popular Social Media Types

Social Networks

What Are They?

Social networking sites are online communities where people interact with friends, family, coworkers and others with similar interests. Most social networking sites provide ways for users to interact via text message, email, video, voice chat, file and photo-sharing, blogging and discussion groups. Popular general interest networking sites include Facebook, Google+ and MeetUp, but there are content-specific social networks for travelers, sports enthusiasts, avid readers, finance and everything in between.

Where Should I Start?

In the U.S., 71 percent of adults with an online presence use Facebook.* With such a large user base, it’s a great starting point for those who are new to social media. You can post important company updates and share links about benefits news with employees. Also, ask employees about other social networking sites they’re visiting and using already.


What Are They?

Blogs are regularly updated online discussions consisting of entries or “posts.” Hint — you’re reading a blog right now! Blogs are often interactive and allow readers to leave comments and engage in the conversation. Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr are popular blog hosts where users subscribe to or “follow” specific accounts and receive information – text, images, links to other content – in their “feeds.”

How Can I Leverage Them?

Users can follow accounts that interest them — but they can also be content creators, posting text, videos, images and Web links that may be of interest to their “followers.” You can use blogs to engage with employees by answering frequently asked questions, inviting employees’ opinions and taking polls.


What Are They?

Podcasts are digital audio or video files that can be saved for playback on a computer or media device. Podcasts help deliver information in a convenient, portable format that can be played on a mobile device or website. Users can create podcasts and share them with the world through links on social networking and blog sites.

How Can I Leverage Them?

You can use podcasts to provide employees access to benefits updates or deliver information. You can create podcasts of enrollment meetings, new hire orientations or company-wide calls and then link to them through other social media so employees can access information quickly from anywhere.

The more that employees and their families understand and use the valuable benefits programs available to them, the more satisfied they are with their benefits and, in turn, their jobs. Social media offers effective tools for promoting your benefits every day, making it easier for employees and their families to appreciate and use the valuable programs you provide.

* Pew Research Center. “Internet Project September Combined Omnibus Survey.” Sept. 11, 2014.