Woman in front of laptop looking at phone

The 9 commandments of foolproof team app communication

For most people, posting on their company’s team app quickly becomes as natural as chatting next to the coffee machine. Even so, it’s good to know how to post and message skillfully, to make the most of the platform and its affordances.

Here are some tips for tried-and-tested posting strategies that work.

1. Be refreshing!

Fresh updates generate a ripple of energy or a flush of enthusiasm. Every time there’s something new in the company (or on the app), write a post about it. New feature? Get it out there. News updates? Press send.

2. Tune in. Discuss. Debate.

Be alert to conversations that are relevant to the company. In the past, these used to happen near the coffee machine or the photocopier; now, you may have to stay on Zoom a bit longer. Hear something that could stimulate a conversation? Channel it on your team app. Ask questions, welcome debate and make room for different perspectives. 

iPhone with instagram notifications.

If a post gets lots of traction, summarise the comments in another post; if the next step is action, then explain (where possible) what’s being done.

3. Always celebrate success.

That deal was struck! Someone got promoted! When your employees are living their best lives, shout it from the rooftops. Positive company-related stories inspire and lift people’s spirits. Acknowledging someone’s achievement will make that person feel appreciated, and encourage others to aspire to the same.

So if a colleague has done well, put them in the limelight; if your business has scored a goal, celebrate it; and if a dreaded something did not happen, that’s worth an app toast too.

4. Inclusivity first.

If you are a leader, make sure that at least some of the content you post on your team app will engage employees across the organization. An example: a CEO of a global retailer recently shared on the Blink team app where he walks his dog in the morning.

Business man smiling down at iPhone

That led to replies from employees who previously hadn’t gotten over the threshold of making their voice heard. And it paved the way to other conversations that included more people.

5. Know when to press pause.

Chances are you will encounter things on the app that irritate or annoy you – perhaps even trigger you. If that happens, you will probably feel a strong urge to respond. Resist.

A cool-headed post always achieves more than a heated one. Wait a bit. Focus on something else until your  temperature drops (metaphorically!). Mull it over. Then ask yourself: what can I say that will make a constructive difference, and who needs to hear it?  If it’s specific to one person, message the relevant individual, not the whole group. 

6. Look back to write forward.

Your next topic may lie in the comment section of an older post. An unfinished trail, something that was left hanging, perhaps something that is still rumbling a bit under the surface. Past posts are worth looking at again with fresh eyes. A new perspective on an old topic often engages as much as a brand new topic, or more.

Three waitresses sat together smiling at one laptop.

7. Balance fluff with grit.

Some posts are essential, information-focused and practical; think new company policies, Covid-19 updates, pay slips. Others are more lighthearted – birthdays, baking, outdoor drinks at 6 pm on Friday. Don’t overload on one or the other. Aim for a mix: fluff to relieve the grit, grit to balance out the fluff.

8. Remember your audience.

Companies and organizations differ in their make-up, mission, atmosphere and culture. Post on your employee app in a way that meets the needs and pre-occupations of your workplace. What’s ‘alive’? What matters to your colleagues and employees? What feels true, and vital, to the company culture? Which conversations will take your company closer to its mission and values?

9. No team app beats in-person.

Team apps like Blink are great. We created one, we use it, we believe in it, we know it makes a difference. But an employee app is not a substitute for collaborating face-to-face or by phone. 

Two business women smiling and writing in notebooks.

If it’s safe and possible, have important discussions in person. Emojis can’t take the place of a genuine smile or a team laughing, discussing and working together.