The incentives industry is (or at least should be) very people focused. An incentives company shouldn't be solely interested in selling its product as much as it is about motivating and driving behavior. The best methods of influencing behavior are designed around what employees want. What makes them tick? What will motivate them to achieve greater results?
As much as the reward influences behavior, recognition behind the reward carries as much weight. We all love that warm fuzzy feeling we received when we get that pat on the back for a job well done. Some of these methods of recognition include verbal praise, an email or even something like an award at the end of a quarterly meeting (like we do here sometimes).
So what does this have to do with social media?
Like the incentives industry, social media is a very people oriented channel. The most effective social media users are the ones that help promote or mention what other people are doing. Through retweets and blog comments, we give others verbal recognition and praise for their work and ideas. We also use LinkedIn recommendations to give props to our fellow co-workers and/or employees.
Wouldn't it make sense to combine the two?
Social media is one of the fastest growing tools of communication, bar none. Most active web users are engaged with some social network in some way. Employee engagement (generally speaking) is at a low nowadays. Integrating a social component with your rewards program would enhace your engagement and make the program that much more interactive. Interactivity and the added transparency social media would provide could make your future programs that much more effective.
Employee recognition programs and social media are both very people oriented industries. Shouldn't they be combined?