How to Choose the Right Employee Advocacy Platform
If you’re considering an employee advocacy solution, chances are good that you’re familiar with the benefits. You know that you can reach more buyers, build trust with them, and keep your employees engaged.
The truth is that some platforms can help you achieve your goals better than others. That’s why you need to create a list of requirements before you start your search for a solution. To help you, we created a list of 20 questions that you should ask before purchasing an advocacy platform.
Organizing Your Team
Before you launch your program, you’ll want to organize your team. Consider the roles that you want your team members to fill, as well as how you will onboard your team.
1. What’s the onboarding experience like?
The onboarding experience can make or break the experience for your advocates. If the process is simple and intuitive, they will want to participate. But if it is convoluted and confusing, some team members may quit before they start. Choose a solution with minimal onboarding friction.
2. Can I assign roles and permissions?
For your program, you will need the following roles:
- An executive sponsor
- An internal project manager
- Content creators – people who create branded content
- Content curators – people who discover content, organize it, and write sample messages for your advocates
- Your employee advocates – the ambassadors who push the content to their social networks
- A metrics and analytics team – It could be your internal project manager or your content curation team or someone else
Your company’s online reputation is one of its most powerful assets. To protect your reputation, you may not want all your ambassadors creating content, finding content to share, and writing their own messages. So, roles and permissions are crucial for your business.
Find a solution that is flexible and can accommodate your specific content distribution workflow needs.
3. Can I organize my advocates into teams?
To keep track of your advocacy efforts, it can be useful to organize your advocates into teams. For instance, you might want to group your EMEA salespeople into one team and your Americas salespeople into another.
Why? The content that your EMEA sales team needs might be different from what your EMEA sales team needs. And, when it comes time to measure your performance, you will want to track how content is resonating with each team’s audience.
4. To which social networks can I publish using this solution?
Where do you want your advocates to be active? LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Google+? Can you share content to those networks – from the platform, without having to copy and paste?
5. Does this tool allow me to schedule posts ahead of time?
Our brains aren’t meant to jump back and forth between tasks. In fact, our productivity decreases by 40% when we try to do two things at once.
If your advocates have to sit at their desk and tweet every hour, they will be distracted and unproductive. But, if your advocates can sit down for 15 minutes and schedule a few posts for the day, they will have more time for other tasks.
6. Does this tool enable my curators to write sample messages for my advocates?
By providing sample messages, you can set your advocates’ minds at ease. They don’t have to fret about whether they are saying the right thing, on the right network.
Additionally, by providing example copy, you can unify your company’s messages across social channels, and, in turn, you can protect your brand.
For employee advocacy to work, your team members need to be active on social media. An easy way to maintain an active presence is by sharing content related to their company and their industry.
7. Can my advocates easily share my company’s content (e.g. blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.)?
Your advocates can reach more people than your company can on its own. So, you want to make sure that they can easily amplify your company’s marketing and sales efforts.
Find out how you can add branded content to the platform and insert it into your workflow. Do you need RSS feeds? Do you have to copy and paste URLs? Is there a web browser bookmarklet?
8. Out of the box, does this tool provide a library of third-party content?
If you want your program to scale, you’re going to need a lot of content. It’s unlikely that your content creators will be able to create enough content internally. Don’t feel bad about it. 68% of marketers are unable to create enough content to satisfy their audience.
To remedy this problem, you will need to add other people’s content into the mix. And that’s a good thing. Study after study shows that buyers trust third-party content more than branded content.
When you evaluate solutions, it’s important to ask whether your advocates can share others’ content from the application – without having to copy and paste. Will your curators have to spend hours building a library of sources? Or does the solution provide a source library out-of-the-box?
9. Does the solution offer content personalization capabilities?
The internet has a lot of content. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will make your job a lot easier. A good platform can help you sift through all the content on the web – by learning what you like and what you don’t like.
10. Does the solution have filtering capabilities?
Want to block your team from sharing your competitors’ content? Not a problem. Want to prevent your team from sharing content with naughty words? Again, not a problem. A solution worth its salt will give you advanced filtering features for your content.
To improve your program, you need to look at what’s working and what isn’t. One of the best ways to gauge your performance is through measurement.
11. What types of reports does the solution include?
Social media reports typically include stats like reach, clicks, and retweets. Does the solution provide that data?
Moreover, check to see how flexible the reports are. Can you organize the reports by network, by team, and in aggregate?
12. Who can see the reports?
Okay, this question piggy-backs off number two, but it is worth repeating. Who has permission to see the reports? Can your curators, project managers, and advocates see the reports?
For example, you may want your advocates to see their analytics for their posts. The numbers may motivate them to advocate harder. Alternatively, the data may provide insight into ways that they can improve their social sharing.
13. Will I be able to measure success based on these reports?
Think about your goals for your program. As you evaluate solutions, consider the type of reports that you’ll need to measure success and to improve your program. Will the out-of-box reports provide you with enough information?
14. Does the solution offer a mobile app?
You need to determine whether the platform is a web application, an iOs application, or an Android application. Will your team be able to easily access the application from your company’s computer system and/or mobile devices? If it is a web application, which browsers are supported?
Pricing, Support, and Training
15. Has the vendor provided me with transparent pricing?
Don’t allow yourself to be duped by the vendor. Make sure that you understand the pricing, and ensure that the vendor does not tack on additional charges at the end, right before you purchase the software.
16. How does the vendor handle technical support?
Does the vendor have priority case routing? What types of support does the vendor supply (e.g. phone support or e-mail support)? Where is the support team located and when are they available?
It’s technology; plan on running into snags and needing help occasionally. That said, you don’t want to run into too many problems. So, ask the vendor about its average system uptime during the last 12 months.
17. What is a typical timeline for implementation?
If you have done your homework, fast implementation should be a breeze. Ask your vendor how quickly you can get started with the their solution and what steps they will take to help you get onboarded.
18. What is the vendor’s training program like?
Is their training package included as part of your monthly subscription rate? How many training hours are included in the monthly fee? And who is eligible for the training? Curators? Advocates? Executive sponsors?
19. Will my team be able to use this tool quickly and easily?
Is the interface intuitive? You don’t want to spend all your time onboarding your team, nor do you want to spend your time acting as internal tech support. Find out what resources your vendor has to support your team in their individual roles.
20. Does this solution give me the full functionality I need now – with room to grow?
Is there anything worse than buying something today and outgrowing the product in 6 months? Who wants to go through the long process of evaluating software – all over again? Who wants to go through the laborious process of training your team – all over again?
We hope that you find the right solution for you! If you’d like to evaluate Trapit, request a 15-minute demo!