tomfoolery at Parthenon

A Social Medium: Why Your Business Should Show Who You Are

Companies can be pretty guarded when it comes to sharing on social media. They have a committee that considers every post. They have approval paths so cumbersome that posting is difficult, and almost never timely. These companies know who they want you to think they are, and they spend a lot of time trying to project that persona.

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 1.22.51 PMBut that logic is backwards. As a marketing-savvy business, you need to show people – future employees, clients, people you want to network with – who you actually are.

At Parthenon, we use our different social channels differently – based on what the audience wants and expects in each. For Facebook and Twitter, we showcase our personality and who the Parthenon people are. They are the most logical places for more casual, transparent communication.  For LinkedIn and Google+, Parthenon focuses on what we do in the professional landscape.

Professional vs. personal

The professional posts are obvious – share your company’s achievements, participate in industry discussions, and tout new talent and staff strengths. People need to be able to find you on these platforms to see what you can do, so be there.

But don’t ignore the personality piece. At Parthenon, we know we are only as strong as our people. We recently rewrote our website bios, and we asked everyone “Why Parthenon?” Almost everyone in the office said they ended up here because of the people; Their passion, their quirkiness, their sense of humor – all of this is why we came, and all of this is why we stay.

Aside from employee retention, though, employee attraction is another reason to pump up the personality. No one interviews for a job these days without checking out the company on social media. If you’re not a stale, buttoned up, formal company, don’t be that way on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone we hire scouts us socially, so we want our pages to help him or her decide if Parthenon is the right place for them.

Finally, people (potential clients) want to know who they would be doing business with if they chose your company, and social media is a great way to get a snapshot of your culture and communication style.

So how do you showcase your people?

Setting up a plan and showing your company’s personality is simple, but many companies stumble when putting it into practice.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. Empower everyone to contribute.
    Everyone in our company is an admin of any social media platform they’d like to help us participate in. If you run across a funny video on Facebook, share it. If you take a great group photo at happy hour, tweet it. Social media is just that – social – so let your people participate.
  2. Put someone in charge.
    Participation aside, you do want to make sure your presences is consistent. Sometimes when everyone is allowed to do something, it doesn’t get done, so make sure you have a social media “traffic manager” who will at least ensure you post frequently. You can also have your employees funnel posts through the manager if you’ve cultivated a specific tone or posting style that you want to keep.
  3.  Have the fun you want to see in the world.

So that’s not exactly the version of the Gandhi quote you always hear, but the sentiment is the same: If you want your workplace to be fun and energetic, make it that way.

This last one deserves a breakout. It’s simple: If people do not enjoy the place they work, they will not stay; and if for some reason they do stay despite that unhappiness, gloom, funk and sadness will seep into your office and your work. (Pretty desperate picture, no?)

We’re not going to pretend we’ve never struggled with this. Last year we hit a slump, so we implemented bi-weekly fun events.

The rules are simple:

  1. Everyone gets a turn to come up with a companywide fun event.
  2. You have one hour and $25.

Other than that, the sky’s the limit. (Except for bringing dogs to the office. Carlton says that’s illegal in our building, but we’re not sure we believe him.)

Fun quickly became the most anticipated part of the week. It also became a great outlet for us to show our creativity and humor, to each other and to our followers.

Below are some albums that show what we’ve done so far. If your company needs an injection of fun, take one of these and make it your own.

And remember: It’s pretty impossible to have a bad time with a face full of whipped cream.

Parthenon Fun Ideas