This month, LinkedIn announced they’re shutting down Elevate, their employee advocacy product, by the end of December. Cameron Brain, EveryoneSocial’s CEO, couldn’t wait to share the news. The impending shutdown of Elevate means companies will be looking for a replacement in 2020. I’m sure Cameron’s secretly and gleefully rubbing his hands together and quite possibly doing an evil genius “Muhah-hah” laugh. Rightly so, a lot of business may be coming his way.
I don’t profess to be an expert on employee advocacy tools, but I can share some valuable insights into how we use ours and a list of five things you should consider when evaluating an employee advocacy platform. For us, our associate advocacy comes in two flavors: sales-centric and talent-centric. For a while, we used the same product for both until we realized that we had deeper needs on the talent side.
Five things to consider besides cost
Ease of Use: The ability to easily amplify thought leadership and company news with the click of a button is probably the number one reason to purchase one of these platforms. Not only does it turn your workforce into a mobile marketing unit, but it allows them to build their networks and their personal brands.
The Breadth of Sharing: Some tools limit platform connections to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, while others open it up to other platforms like Instagram, and global social sites like Xing, WeChat, as well as give access to internal/external group collaboration such as Slack and that old-fashioned option, email. What will be right for you?
Gamification: How deep do you want to go with gamification to reward your brand ambassadors? With what tools do they integrate? How do you administer the programs?
Internal engagement vs. external sharing: Every good employer brand marketer knows that an EVP is built from the inside-out and that it shouldn’t only be externally-focused. Brand advocacy also involves internal culture-sharing and community-building across the organization. Having the ability to do more than share to external social platforms is essential to some. Being able to drive and host internal discussions, fun challenges, track employee referrals, these things were all important requirements for us. We traded breadth of sharing for a more robust internal engagement offering. As a result, we’ve built an incredible platform that captures internal stories and provides us a harvesting ground for engaging employee stories that support our EVP and our recruitment marketing.
Reporting: The one thing that is often an afterthought. The depth of reporting and range of metrics may be a deciding factor for some companies. In addition to giving up our breadth of sharing, we gave up the ability to track top-level social impressions (though we have clicks, etc.). But for us that mattered less than the rich content we’ve captured and the internal engagement we’ve achieved.
We’ve been happy with our choice of products and the ROI from our program. We tie the success to Employee Referrals, non-incented reviews that meet Glassdoor guidelines, and overall NPS for program participation (we exceed the industry average!)
Employee advocacy evolves and grows over time. It’s been a journey and remains a program bursting with potential. If you’re currently using Elevate, or considering starting a brand ambassador program, I hope you find the tool that’s right for you.