Community Management

Workplace by Facebook Engagement: Drive Adoption During Company Expansion

Whether it’s introducing a new product, conducting an acquisition or expanding a brand’s footprint, it’s not rare for companies to experience growing pains. White Labs, an international yeast fermentation company based in San Diego, is no exception.

“It’s a stressful time,” said Julia Miller, human resources assistant.

In April 2017, the company was in the process opening an East Coast production facility in Asheville, N.C. that was to have full yeast production capabilities, an analytical lab, packaging, shipping and receiving, administrative offices, training rooms for educational classes and along with it will come a tasting room, and the company’s first restaurant. It means more demand on the human resources, marketing and executive teams, in particular.

It’s an example of why Miller, who participated in Talk Social to Me’s four-part Community Engagement Bootcamp, aims to use Workplace by Facebook engagement to break up the workday’s monotony during the company expansion.

“Sometimes we get so caught up in what we have to do during the week.”

— Julia Miller

White Labs programmed a Pi Day celebration last month using Workplace by Facebook to encourage employees from different departments to be PieFace! Showdown game participants. Employees also were encouraged to participate with their March Madness bracket on the platform. Basketball games were streamed in its San Diego tasting room, which allowed employees to follow along.

“It broke up what we were doing,” Miller said.

That’s not to say White Labs doesn’t use Workplace by Facebook as a space to communicate more traditional business information. That’s the “usual norm” of the account, which launched in November 2016, Miller said.

The company’s marketing team, tasked with communicating the East Coast production facility expansion internally and externally, is extremely active on the platform. But before Talk Social to Me’s Community Engagement Bootcamp, Miller said sometimes it resulted in administrators making “blanket statements” to all employees.

Julia Miller, human resources assistant at White Labs

Millers’ Top Three Workplace by Facebook Engagement Takeaways:

1. Planning is essential to really drive business strategy.

Work with different divisions of the company – legal, human resources, executive team, to cover all bases – in creating a community manifesto. Incorporate existing programs into the platform.

White Labs recently integrated aspects of its employee recognition program into Workplace by Facebook. Employees were encouraged to nominate those who represent one of the company’s core values for its quarterly Core Values Awards program. Nominations previously happened through email.

2. Give people the freedom to bring what they want to the table.

Miller said it’s healthy to have a mix between “work” and “play” in Workplace by Facebook. “How can we be better because of what’s going on outside of work and how can we become better because of what’s happening at work?” she said.

“A member of our lab team posted a ‘Who wore it best?’ poll when she noticed two employees wearing the same Hawaiian shirt. She quickly posted in on the Team San Diego page and created a poll. Our CEO happened to be in the office that day and walked into our brewery coincidentally wearing the same shirt as well. What started as a simple post to highlight a twinning moment turned into three members of our team campaigning with other employees to vote for them. We had every member of our San Diego team vote and the three members wearing the same shirt took turns going live to plead their cases as to why they deserved to win. It was a simple and fun way that broke up the monotony of the news feed at the time and emphasized something fun in place of a more serious business-like post that is the usual norm.”

— Julia Miller

3. Frame information for your audience.

Go beyond using Workplace by Facebook as a broadcasting platform. Think of how to cater communications to different groups of people instead of “making blanket statements and assuming what people are thinking of it,” Miller said.

“I feel like all of it was an ‘AHA’ moment.”

— Julia Miller, of Talk Social to Me’s Community Engagement Bootcamp

Talk Social to Me’s Community Engagement Bootcamp taught participants how to kick employee engagement into high gear through a series of four interactive webinars, weekly homework exercises, and online access to experts providing personalized help.

For more information about how Talk Social to Me can help with your online community, reach out at hello@talksocialtome.com.

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