Hey everyone. Hope your 2020 is off to a great start!
As you may be aware, we had some big news in the world of employee advocacy last week: LinkedIn is shutting down their Elevate employee advocacy product by December of this year.
In LinkedIn’s announcement they mention that they plan to build some Elevate functionality into Company Pages (more on that below).
However here’s the net: LinkedIn will NO LONGER offer a stand alone employee advocacy product as of December 2020.
We’ve been having conversations about all of this with current and prospective Elevate customers over the last week and here’s my advice:
If you currently use LinkedIn Elevate and are serious about continuing to build your employee advocacy program beyond the end of 2020, you should start looking at alternative solutions right now.
But, wait! Didn’t Linkedin say something about incorporating some Elevate functionality into Company Pages and that it will be free of charge!?
Yes they did, however and unless you’re brand new to the world of employee advocacy, you know that in order to run a real program you need a real, purpose-built employee advocacy platform.
Simply leveraging the free and public features offered by LinkedIn or any other social network won’t come anywhere close to giving you what you need to build a successful program.
I would be happy to speak with you further about this.
However, the following features (which are table stakes when it comes to choosing an employee advocacy platform), are unlikely to be built into LinkedIn Company Pages:
Employee verification and authentication via SSO
If you’re running an advocacy program with more than a handful of people, you need to have full control over who has access to your platform and you need to have confidence that those are who they say they are!
For these and many other reasons, support for Single Sign-On (SSO) is a critical capability. Just ask your IT department; they probably won’t let you use a platform that doesn’t support SSO.
Analytics (brand/non-brand shares, clicks, engagements, and referral traffic)
Data and analytics are everything. An employee advocacy program takes real resources to run (money and time) and your admins need to know:
a) What results it is producing.
b) How those results are connected with the objectives of the business.
The deeper and more comprehensive the data, the better picture you’ll be able to provide.
Automated content emails
Content emails are another basic part of any successful advocacy platform.
You and your team will be putting a lot of effort into curating and approving engaging content; having that content automatically flow in an email newsletter is important to driving sustained user participation.
Also, you can use email newsletters to extend the reach of your program beyond your employees, to alumni, channel partners, and other external constituencies.
Employee-suggested and created content very often outperforms all other types of content: it’s not only shared the most, it often generates the most clicks and engagements.
In short, employee-suggested content NEEDS to be a part of your strategy and any platform that doesn’t support it should be disqualified from consideration.
Internal (non-shareable) content
Employee advocacy success starts with user participation: how often your people are in the platform you’ve provided them with.
Said differently, external activity (sharing, clicks, engagements) is the result of internal usage.
Internal content (stuff that isn’t shareable, like announcements, news on the competition, personal updates, etc.) is an important ingredient to driving sustained participation.
Leaderboards and gamification
Let’s face it, we’re all competitive! While a little can go a long way, leaderboards and other forms of gamification are an important part of most employee advocacy programs.
Sometimes it’s about driving results (more shares, clicks, etc.) but it’s also about driving behaviors: rewarding your people for engaging, contributing content, inviting co-workers, etc.
In short, leaderboards and gamification make your program fun and bring people into the fold who might not otherwise choose to participate.
Multiple user permission levels (admins, moderators, contributors, etc.)
Here’s one thing we know about employee advocacy programs: when they succeed they grow, because the more users you have participating the more and better the results.
Supporting a global program with hundreds or thousands of users requires that you solicit the help of some of your trusted/power users to contribute, review, and approve content. Because of this, multiple user permission levels are critical.
Automated content sources (rss feeds, twitter handles and hashtags, etc.)
Automated content sources have been a part of employee advocacy platforms since the very beginning. Why?
If success starts with user participation, user participation is in part driven by ensuring all of your people have fresh, engaging content in their feed every single time they log into your platform.
Automated content sources ensure you’ll be able to provide ALL your people, no matter their role or where they live with content that matches their interests.
Share scheduling (via smart queue or specific day and time)
As we like to say, it’s no one’s job to use an employee advocacy platform. We all have day jobs: we’re executives, salespeople, marketers, recruiters, etc.
Being active on social is important to us all, however it can’t/shouldn’t get in the way of all of the other things (the real work) we need to do.
For this reason, being able to schedule your shares, either via a smart queue or by specific day and time is super important.
Sharing to Facebook and other networks
Trigger warning! The world doesn’t begin and end with LinkedIn! ????
Seriously though, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, Weibo, WeChat, WhatsApp, etc., etc. are all important, especially when we’re talking about supporting a global program.
Advocacy is about engaging and sharing with those outside your organization, no matter the network or channel they are active on.
Transitioning From Elevate To EveryoneSocial
As a LinkedIn integration partner for the last 10 years, we’d be more than happy to talk with you and your team about what a transition from Elevate to EveryoneSocial would look like.
I’m also happy to share that we have some special pricing and terms we are extending current Elevate customers to make the transition process as smooth and successful as possible. Get in touch to find out more.
If you’re not already familiar with EveryoneSocial, here are the Cliffs Notes:
- EveryoneSocial is the #1 rated employee advocacy platform on G2 Crowd; employee advocacy is all we do, and we love doing it
- We’ve been helping leading companies such as Dell, Adobe, and T-Mobile build and manage their employee advocacy programs since 2013
- We’ve transitioned many clients from competitor platforms, including those who were using LinkedIn Elevate
- Our clients span regulated and non-regulated industries including tech, financial services, professional services, staffing, and pharma
- We generally work with clients that have >1,000 employees, from hyper-growth unicorns to the Fortune 100
- Our platform is used by marketing, communication, sales, recruiting, employer brand, and exec teams in over 70 countries worldwide
- We have and are happy to share data and case studies on how advocacy drives value across the org
If you have additional questions about Elevate being shut down and/or you’d like to talk with us about potentially transitioning your program to EveryoneSocial please contact our team or submit a demo request.
Even if EveryoneSocial isn’t the right fit for you, we’ll be happy to share useful information on best practices, case studies and supporting data, and make sure that you get pointed in the right direction.
We look forward to speaking and helping you achieve even greater success with your advocacy program in 2020 and beyond!
CEO & Co-Founder