How to Choose the Best Employee Advocacy Platform

If you’re trying to find the best employee advocacy platform, then it’s likely you’re now working to scale and expand your employee advocacy program.

Well, we’re excited for you!

You’re on the verge of driving big impacts across your marketing, sales and much more through social media. Here’s what you need to know to get to the next level as rapidly as possible.

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Why Choose an Employee Advocacy Platform?

Marketers start their employee advocacy programs when they want to get employees to share branded content with their social networks.

This typically begins with a grassroots-level or pilot program centered on a few select team members. They’d take the lead in sharing blog posts, videos, and company news.

This is a great way to start a program. You get a chance to test out new ideas for sharing content, find what works for your employee advocates, and build knowledge of how social media algorithms work. However, when it comes time to scale, you’ll need an employee advocacy platform.

When managing a grassroots employee advocacy program, you’re leaning almost entirely on manual work. You’re writing emails and newsletters to notify employees about content. You’re sharing links on spreadsheets. You’re asking people to download and re-upload videos to their LinkedIn profiles.

Basically, you’re working through a lot of friction that could not only disinterest your employee advocates, but potentially, even you.

It’s manageable when you’re running a small-scale program, but it’s impossible when scaling up. This is when marketers start looking for dedicated employee advocacy platforms.

What Does an Employee Advocacy Platform Do?

An employee advocacy platform helps you launch your program at scale and/or expand it by mobilizing employees across your organization.

Think of it as a vehicle that helps take your program to the next level. It provides helpful tools that make managing employee advocacy easier.

You can build a central library where your brand advocates can peruse for content they’d like to share. It gives you the ability to track the performance of each of your sharing assets. And it can even help automate certain tasks or processes that you need in order to drive more activity and engagement.

Basically, employee advocacy tools or platforms aren’t programs in themselves. Rather, these are vehicles that help deliver existing employee advocacy strategies, especially when managing it manually isn’t an efficient process.

9 Key Features You Need in an Employee Advocacy Solution

You’ll want to think about this in terms of the goals you want to achieve with your employee advocacy program. When it comes to amplifying brand reach, driving social selling, seeking talent, and engaging executives, our customers leverage the following features:

1. Central Content Hub

Your employee advocacy platform should have a home for your social media posts. This is the place where your employee advocates – new and existing – would visit to find something they can share. Not only that, but it should also give them the ability to suggest content.

You can rapidly build a big library if you have the ability to bulk create content using an existing channel, like social accounts or blog RSS feeds.

However, you’ll also want content curation tools as well. For example, you wouldn’t want a Thanksgiving post lingering for months after the day. You want your employee advocates to only see content that’s timely and relevant. Look for a platform that not only lets you purge or archive old content, but also put an expiration date in advance so that it purges/archives automatically.

2. Personalized Hubs

Your employee advocacy platform should equip you to provide filtered views to your advocates based on their teams, regions, and other attributes.

The goal is to ensure that your employees only see content that’s relevant to them. This helps avoid overwhelming your advocates when they first login. It also ensures that your advocates see content that’s interesting to them and their audiences. For example, if you’re filtering your groups based on regions, you may have content in different languages.

3. Internal Marketing

You’ll also want your employee advocates to know that you have new content available for them to share. Ideally, you’d want an employee advocacy platform that connects with communications channels that your team’s already using, like Slack and Teams. This helps you ‘meet’ your team where they’re already active and engaged.

If you’ve already built a workflow through email (or are planning to set one up), seek a platform that lets you build newsletters from within the app.

4. User Management

You’ll want an employee advocacy platform that helps you organize your advocates based on their teams, regions, and other attributes. Not only does this tie into curating content for those specific groups, but you can also measure their performance as teams, set up department or team-specific competitions and more.

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5. Automation

Your employee advocacy strategy may lean on executives and other busy employees. They may not have enough time to drive their social media activity, at least on their own. So, you’ll want to help them by incorporating automation into your strategy.

Look for an employee advocacy platform that lets your advocates pre-schedule their posts, or upload videos to their profiles in just a few clicks.

6. Gamification Tools

If you’re planning to ignite people’s competitive spirits, then you’ll want gamification tools in your employee advocacy platform. Look for the ability to set up leaderboards, contests, and tracking for individual and team/group performance. These are all great ways to drive early interest and keep your employees engaged through the long-run.

7. Analytics and Attribution Suite

Data is in the creed of every marketer. From acquiring hard social proofs for leadership buy-in to finding out what works (and doesn’t), a solid analytics suite is key.

Seek an employee advocacy platform that helps you track the performance of each asset or content piece you’re sharing. And, as importantly, to find where your marketing progress (like lead gen) is coming from on social with attribution tools.

8. Native Video Sharing

On LinkedIn, users are 20X likelier to share a video than any other content type. Not only that, but 86% of marketers say videos increased traffic to their websites.

To leverage videos in the most optimal way possible, you’ll want the ability to frictionlessly drive native video sharing. You want your videos to play from within the target social media platform and not push the viewer to another website. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others want to keep users on their platforms, so they’ll favor native videos.

Look for an employee advocacy platform that lets your advocates pre-schedule their posts, or upload videos to their profiles in just a few clicks.

9. Customer Support

This isn’t a technical feature per se, but it’s incredibly valuable. There’s no doubt a wide-scale employee advocacy program needs some change management. You’re trying to secure buy-in, onboard and train new advocates, and promote the new platform.

On top of that, every company is different. You have unique circumstances and challenges you need to address. A one-sided, self-service system isn’t optimal. Look for an employee advocacy platform that assigns a point person, like a CSM, to help you implement your program and, over the long-term, guide you to achieve and exceed your goals.

Next Steps to Getting the Best Employee Advocacy Platform

Keep in mind, an employee advocacy platform isn’t just a social media management platform.

Yes, it can help with managing your social media activities, but it does so much more than just that. It helps you mobilize employees to share content, drive your thought leadership, employer branding, and brand share-of-voice.

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