Employee advocacy tools are a popular way to spread content by planning branded social media posts. They give your content more reach through employees, business affiliates, partners, and other stakeholders. Developing an employee-led content strategy will boost your organic reach by 561%. In order to select the right solution for your business, it’s important to compare the capabilities of each tool. There are solutions that serve solely as a social media manager or planner, some offer employee activation features and others will support a full content strategy and Social Reach Optimization program. Also check whether they are restricted to top-down content suggestions or if, like Apostle, they contain features that support the process of gathering authentic content at all levels to gain optimal results.
What is employee advocacy?
When employees promote the company they work for on their personal social media accounts, this is employee advocacy. We like to call these employees brand ambassadors.
The content they share may vary in style and tone. You can promote examples of company expertise, company news and vacancies as you might in standard communications. You can also create (authentic) stories demonstrating your product and service development processes and how you respond to changes in the market through consultation and testing. It’s a great way to offer insight into company culture and how things work behind the scenes.
Making your employees the voice of your company on social media is an authentic, efficient way to improve your organic reach. We know that personal social media posts have six times more reach than corporate content due to how algorithms on most popular channels are configured.
Why is employee advocacy so important?
It’s now one of the most important parts of a company’s reputation management and brand awareness strategy. Communications in future-focused companies have evolved to understand that real people and stories are a more effective way to build trust within your target audiences. The information that your customers and stakeholders demand now extends far beyond traditional product and service information. People want to see evidence of social and environmental policies, staff well-being and responsiveness, and a commitment to improvement.
Starting an employee advocacy program in your organization will increase your visibility, utilizing the varied personal networks of your employees. Staff feels motivated to promote company news when they feel included in decisions and activities, and if this results in increased sales or new recruits, this will boost pride in your company’s work even further. This is likely to happen, as we know that leads that are acquired via a personal contact are seven times more likely to convert to a customer.
10 best Employee Advocacy tools
Apostle is different from the other tools on this list. It enables users to harness the power of Social Reach Optimization for quicker, better quality and infinitely wider results. Apostle has combined and supplemented all of the features of other available tools to become a social media management tool, employee and brand advocacy platform in one. Social sharing, insights, gamification and many other elements of an advocacy tool are joined by AI features and content creation tools. Everything is underpinned by the pioneering SRO principle that educates ambassadors on why social reach is important, their role in the program and the benefits of taking part. The Apostle team has thought about everything that supports the social media communications process and adoption of a new solution, not just the tool itself.
A quick and friendly immersion experience awaits. Your staff can complete a dedicated activation program which will cover how to get started and enthuse your colleagues. It also covers gamification and how to build a scalable growth plan that overhauls your content strategy.
Apostle works for employees and stakeholders at every level, whether they are directly employed, regional and global colleagues, dealers or franchisees. It’s anchored by your marketing department, who coordinate the activity that supports your HR, recruitment and sales to achieve their business targets of more leads, meeting sales targets, better internal engagement and finding and retaining the right employees.
Unlike other tools which focus solely on social media planning, Apostle is the only tool on this list to incorporate features such as multilevel approval and AI variation to help you to get more mileage out of each post. This elevates it to a content creation tool that simplifies and manages your entire communications process. It’s easy to gather authentic content from the front line, back office or wherever things happen.
For a company that wants to ramp up their sales, Sociabble focuses on motivating staff to increase their activity through content sharing and gamification. Their social selling feature forms a large part of their proposition and includes a lead tracking feature that allows users to see which sales have originated from the platform.
Continuing the commercial theme, Sociabble will allow users to create a combination of brand, third party and user generated content. This approach will suit companies whose main priority is social selling.
Integration can be a headache, but Everyonesocial allows users to track content through Salesforce and other market leading applications. It also enables the sales team to interact with prospects and leads generated through Everyonesocial seamlessly through their chosen sales application.
As you would expect, Everyonesocial will allow users to share content directly to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, amongst other platforms. Standard gamification is also present and correct, with leaderboards and performance tracking that can be exported for each employee.
Like the other tools on this list, an admin will create content for other users to share via their own social media accounts. When you need insights to improve your activities, Postbeyond provides calculated group statistics covering a range of activities from EMV through to total reach.
Postbeyond will allow you to track engagement levels in some social media platforms. You’ll be able to measure earned media value, lead generation progress and traffic generated to your website.
This solution intends to act as a customer advocacy tool, not just employee advocacy. Active ambassadors both inside and outside of your organization can be identified and asked to join your community.
Ambassify’s approach to gamification is tied to 20 different types of campaigns that can be used to promote your content, with additional elements that can incentivize ambassadors to share widely. The task based campaigns issue rewards once an ambassador has completed all of the tasks associated with a campaign.
This tool uses SSO authentication and supports the major social channels - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Many of the insights used to measure activity in employee advocacy programs are available, although DSMN8 does lack the page stats that are standard in most of the other tools.
Your administrator will have everything they need to keep on top of everyone’s activity in DSMN8. Member management features make it easy to filter data, carry out user segmentation and view individual performance via employee dashboards.
Soworker is a simple tool that allows different users to publish content to their social channels and share messages with their colleagues. As with many of the other tools, member management is easy for the administrator of the program, with individual dashboards and activity monitoring for each employee.
Almost all of the standard features to manage invitations and groups are present, with just a few minor omissions relating to the ability to filter and sort lists and send multiple emails in one click.
This is an employee engagement platform that also includes the ability to post content to external social channels. Therefore, Haiilo’s functionality includes some of the basic features needed for employee advocacy.
Member management and social sharing is possible in Haiilo and in these areas the features are competitive. As a tool that has been primarily designed to function as an employee platform, internal interaction has of course been prioritized and so you will find some notable omissions if you were to use it as an external advocacy tool.
9. Hootsuite and Hootsuite Amplify
A familiar tool to many, Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows you to schedule content. Without Amplify, Hootsuite is an established tool with scheduling, management and analytical capabilities that will fulfill the most basic social media content needs.
For an additional subscription to Amplify, some advocacy tools are added, including features that will allow employees to safely share approved content via their personal social media accounts.
Sproutsocial is another social media management platform that can also offer an add-on advocacy tool for an additional price. Bambu extends functionality to include amplification and social selling.
Then, it’s possible to carry out the basic range of activities needed to support a standard employee advocacy program - content curation and sharing, social selling, insight, member management and gamification.
Using employees and stakeholders to share news and content is the future - if you’re not doing it already. Whether this is a completely new direction for you or not, the right tool will make or break your employee advocacy program. It’s critical that the program becomes embedded in the culture of your organization and we think that embracing the principles of Social Reach Optimization makes it easier for staff to understand and appreciate the positive impact it will have on your company and their own personal brands.
Employee advocacy needs to be convenient and integrated into your routine, not an additional workload imposed by management or a time limited project. It also has to be something that is fun and inspires pride in your ambassadors’ work. Apostle’s holistic and inclusive approach is designed to ensure that your brand ambassadors understand and are excited by the role they have to play in your company’s future.