3 Tips for Informing and Engaging Employees with Text Messaging
Employee engagement begins with inclusion, which means ensuring everyone benefits from your outreach efforts. Adding text messaging to your omnichannel employee communication strategy can help ensure this for a few reasons. Number one – almost everyone has a mobile phone with text messaging, and number two – people of all age groups prefer text over other communication channels. Here are some text messaging tips to help you get the maximum benefit out of your internal communications texting program.
#1 Mix It Up
Naturally, many of your messages will be important notifications like benefit renewal deadlines, timecard reminders, inclement weather alerts, building closures and the like, but it’s important to add a little levity to the mix. Sharing work anniversaries, birthdays, awards, virtual happy hour invitations, company history trivia, and opportunities to win small prizes will keep everyone reading your messages and engaged.
#2 Send Text Messages Regularly, But Don’t Spam
It’s important to send messages regularly because otherwise people may forget about your text messaging program and not understand (or believe) a message is from your organization. But on the other hand, you don’t want to spam people either. Sending multiple messages on a daily basis may distract people unnecessarily or cause them to give less credibility to your messages.
Using an editorial calendar and scheduling recurring messages to automatically send can help with this. It can also help you remember to “Mix it Up.”
For instance, you might:
- Designate a certain day of the week or month to consistently share employee birthdays and/or work anniversaries.
- Schedule an automatic timecard reminder to go out on Friday afternoons.
- Break up the work week with a company trivia fact on Wednesdays.
- Send daily reminders the final week of your annual benefit renewal.
#3 Make Sure Your Text Messages are Easily Understood
This may seem obvious, but every communication channel is different and you need to tailor your message accordingly. Make sure your text messages are easy to scan and understand by doing the following:
- Be direct and include all applicable who, what, where and when information. For example:
Everyone is invited to “Coffee with the CEO” this Friday at 2pm in the 3rd floor conference room of Building C. Bring your own cup. There will be donuts :)
- If you need to send a message longer than 160 characters, by all means send 2 messages, but break the communication up in a meaningful way and pause 5 seconds or so before sending the second message. This will help ensure the mobile carriers deliver your messages in the order intended.
Following these three tips will help make sure your internal communication text messaging program is engaging and successful. Read 4 Best Practices for Mass Text Messaging Campaigns and Best Practices for Using URLs in SMS Text Messaging for more helpful tips.