Social media can elevate your reward events

Author: 
DANA LASALVIA, VICE PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, RYMAX MARKETING SERVICES, INC.

FOMO – The fear of missing out.

We all have it. Thanks to social media platforms and modern communication, the feeling of missing out on a good time has become more prevalent and contagious, as our friends, family and colleagues continue to share every thrilling (and
not-so-thrilling) moment of their lives.

When we’re standing on top of a volcano on our next vacation or enjoying a company dinner against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, we too, will post our fun and excitement for our followers to see. Snapchat. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Don’t look now, but you’re a social butterfly. Whether home or away, we’re all attached to our devices and we’re all obsessed with capturing the perfect moment in time.

Some say we are spending so much time taking pictures and posting to social media platforms that we actually miss the moments while they’re happening. That may be true in some cases. In other instances, social media can help enhance and prolong the moment...even in the professional world.

Create selfie moments

Take, for example, your annual sales meeting. Intended to bring employees together to discuss goals and boost engagement, annual meetings often fall flat with attendees.

Organizations should consider hosting on-site, interactive recognition events. These exclusive experiences provide employees with a unique, hands-on opportunity to redeem for trending products, carefully selected just for them. They make employees feel valued, and renew their sense of commitment to the organization, while empowering them to set new goals for themselves. Recognition spreads like wildfire through an organization, as employees continue to talk about their unforgettable experience.

These events are certainly worth a social media post, right?

Create an environment that encourages selfies. Provide your attendees with a chance to take a picture with your company branding in the backdrop and their reward choice in hand. When your employees are choosing between a Michael Kors handbag and a pair of Coach sunglasses, they will be excited to show off to family and friends. They’ll feel good about posting their items to their social media page in celebration of their latest work achievement. Every time they visit their feed, it will commemorate the moment and reinforce the feeling of gratitude and enthusiasm for your organization. Can a company ask for better organic, employee-driven exposure?

Additionally, create a hashtag specific to the meeting or event. By asking your attendees to use the hashtag when they post to their personal social channels through the duration of the meeting, you create an interactive hub of photos and posts that can be visible after the event. This drives additional enthusiasm for the meeting and will help continue the positive energy and excitement long after employees return home.

Minding millennials

Incorporating socially driven, team-building activities into your annual meeting agenda can elevate engagement. For example, designing a scavenger hunt that has built-in photo opportunities at varying points throughout the course will encourage interaction and create moments that go viral. This will unite employees, elevate culture and stimulate a healthy sense of FOMO from other employees who did not attend the meeting, thus driving everyone’s desire to attend next year.

These methods for engaging your audience are especially important as we think about what the workforce looks like today. There are currently 56 million millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) working, making them the largest generation in the work force. Millennials have grown accustomed to instant gratification along with social and collaborative experiences, and they want to see that replicated when it comes to office culture and annual meetings.

A well-executed interactive rewards experience that leverages the power of social media will keep attendees focused and engaged. It keeps the dialog about your event going long after it ends, creating an eagerness among employees to attend next year’s sales meeting.

Dana LaSalvia is a certified recognition professional with over 17 years of industry experience. She is responsible for overseeing all marketing, creative, loyalty events, communication and business development initiatives at Rymax Marketing Services.