When I want to read the latest news or learn about the newest trends, I don’t rely on classic channels (newspaper, TV), or more modern versions of traditional channels (online news outlets like Huffington Post). Instead, I use a specific social media application—Snapchat—to access all the information I’m looking for.

If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, it’s a social media mobile app that lets users post photos and videos that expire after a certain amount of time. With more than 300 million active users, including celebrities such as Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled and the Kardashians, it’s one of the more popular social media platforms. More recently, the app also added a section (called Discover) where users can view content from sources that interest them.

The Discover section allows users to subscribe to different feeds that update almost daily. Three companies utilizing this section are Food Network, Vice and NowThis.

If you adopt what these three companies are doing to attract attention, you’ll be more likely to engage employees in your communication.

Food Network: Add visuals

You may think being a food company gives you a visual advantage, but Food Network always keeps it fresh (no pun intended). Every day, the feed includes a new theme—recently, stadium food—and includes a mix of animation and real photos.

Create vehicles that pique employee interest:

Employees are always more likely to look at something if it’s visually interesting. Black text on white background is boring. Even adding a splash of color is going to get more views. To decide which visual to use, consider what aspect of the topic appeals to employees. If you are communicating about wellness, for instance, add photos of happy and healthy people. 

Vice: Improve headlines

Known as a news outlet that covers provocative topics, Vice has the content to get attention, but still needs to use headlines to bring readers in. Even if Vice is writing about a topic I’m not particularly interested in, the headlines tend to pique my interest. For example: “Why I Started Trafficking Cocaine with My Dad,” and “I Was Tortured into Giving the Police a False Confession.”

Craft your headline to get employees’ attention by:

  • Adding a numbered list
  • Asking questions that employees want answered
  • Being vague but intriguing

Think about what employees most want to know about the topic and write the headline accordingly. Ask these questions about your headline:

  • Will it help them do their jobs more effectively?
  • Make life easier?

Speak directly to employees by using “you” and you’ll have an even better shot at grabbing their attention.

NowThis: Be quick

NowThis is a social media-based news outlet that’s only available on Snapchat and Facebook. It has fully embraced the social media state of mind, giving all of the information for a news story in one headline and one short paragraph.
Here’s an example:

A Plastic Bag Replacement?

These dissolving bags could be a solution to the world’s plastic bag problem. Solubags can completely dissolve in water within minutes and the leftover water is environmentally friendly, the creators say. It’s even safe for consumption.

Improve your communication by providing updates that:

  • Have very little content (maximum of 25 words)
  • Include information that employees NEED to know
  • Add a call to action (if necessary)
  • Get to the point quickly—most employees only spend three seconds on a message before moving on

 

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