We’ve said it before: employees make great advocates on social media. They’re more trusted than your C-suite and they’re more approachable. That said, in the highly-regulated, compliance-bound world of finance, it can give a finance brand the heebie-jeebies just thinking about their employees talking openly on their behalf. The answer? Find the right employee advocacy platform to leverage the voice of your employees in the right way. We review four of the most widely used employee advocacy platforms.
Employee advocacy platform one: LinkedIn Elevate
For companies using LinkedIn’s Elevate platform, the journey starts with identifying your most active employees on LinkedIn. Elevate then suggests content that’s trending with your target, with employees only seeing content that’s relevant to their interests. They can then share it with their audiences on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; Elevate provides metrics on the resulting performance, e.g., site traffic, sales leads and new hires.
Social media managers can choose to add disclosure messages that appear on every post, use locked text that employees can’t edit, restrict which networks employees can share on – even ask employees to acknowledge a social media policy before signing into the platform for the first time.
That’s the good news. The bad news? LinkedIn announced on January 24 that they were merging LinkedIn Elevate with Pages, essentially shutting down Elevate as a standalone app by December 2020. And pundits are suggesting the new merged functionality will be missing some key features.
The announcement isn’t all doom and gloom. The new opportunity will be FREE. Page admins will be able to engage their entire organisation on LinkedIn, “curate unique content, broadcast it to their employees and measure the impact of engagement on their Page”. Further updates will be issued from LinkedIn in coming months, but it wouldn’t hurt to check out some alternative platforms.
Employee advocacy platform two: Hootsuite Amplify
Already a market-leading social media management platform, Hootsuite introduced Amplify in 2015 so employees could share approved content across their social networks. It integrates with existing financial compliance tools and has its own tools for permissions, security and archiving – all accessed from a single dashboard.
Similar to Elevate, the idea is for social media managers to push pre-approved news items, interesting articles and other engaging content from the dashboard to end-users, ensuring messaging is “accurate, clear and on-brand”, and timed to match campaigns. Employees can release the content to their individual social channels with a few quick taps. (Users do complain that some social channels require a few more steps, e.g., Instagram.)
If you’re already using Hootsuite, this option could make onboarding and training a lot easier. With the Hootsuite brand awareness capabilities in tow, you can also track engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments and overall reach.
However, Hootsuite isn’t cheap. And like most of these platforms, you need to contact them directly to find out the actual cost for your size of business.
Employee advocacy platform three: EveryoneSocial
Pitched as an alternative for those companies who might be a bit frustrated by the more established players (e.g., Hootsuite), EveryoneSocial integrates with major marketing automation software, CRM, social, analytics, single sign-on, content management and communications platforms. Users get a constant stream of approved content to share, they can tweak messaging, schedule posts in advance across multiple social media platforms (Twitter, Xing, Facebook and more) and check their analytics. Employees can suggest relevant shareable content as well.
“ Engagement comes through fun tools and gamification elements including a leaderboard that encourages employees to increase their content sharing.”
EveryoneSocial’s key point of differentiation is that it’s more engaging for employees than other platforms. Engagement comes through fun tools and gamification elements including a leaderboard that encourages employees to increase their content sharing. (Users have suggested the scoring system could be a little more sophisticated.) The platform also collects employee engagement data which helps it decide how to modify its interface to keep employees engaged.
Employee advocacy platform four: Dynamic Signal
A global solution used by “more than 30% of the Fortune 100”, Dynamic Signal lets users share across the usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) as well as Weibo, Xing, BlogSpot, Tumblr and WordPress blogs. It also supports 12 languages and users can receive alerts on email, mobile and Slack when posts are ready to share.
The platform offers surveys and quizzes to encourage employees to participate; it also lets site administrators control the content their employees share by setting some sites as read-only. There is a point system for gamification but the purpose of the points gathering is unclear.
Admins can also write multiple versions of social media messages for employees, which appear randomly, making it less obvious that a bunch of employees are posting same-same, pre-approved messages. It also has the smarts to understand the reach of individual employees and target particular content at them depending on the type of people who follow them.
There are many, many platforms in this market – these four are just the tip of the iceberg. But they’re a starting point for your research and inspiration.
Need help crafting quality content your employees will want to share? The Dubs specialises in strategy and content creation for finance brands.