LinkedIn continues its expansion as an enterprise software provider with the launch of an employee advocacy product named Elevate.
LinkedIn is the first social network to launch a software product in this space, and this further validates that employee advocacy is not going away. In fact, it boosts the entire space because now a lot of people who are not familiar with employee advocacy will start to pay attention.
The key questions for me are:
- Does the product serve other social networks well? If not, it becomes one more disconnected point solution that enterprises have to add to their already complex stack of social media tools.
- Does it integrate into the enterprise? For example: web analytics, CRM, marketing automation, content management and sales force automation? If not, it will suffer the same fate as most employee advocacy software: difficulty proving ROI as they often measure activity and not business outcomes.
As with any employee advocacy software, when you turn on a tool, a lot of people use it at first, but then quickly fall out of the program, unless the organization implements thoughtful reinforcement that creates clear benefits to the employees.
Too many organizations fail to do this properly because too many organizations only think about the tool and the content.
Anyone considering buying this or any other employee advocacy product should:
- Specify the business goals you plan to achieve
- Determine how you will prove ROI
- Specify a plan for ensuring employee adoption and continued engagement: what's in it for them
- THEN pick a tool that supports the three plans above.
P.S. LinkedIn Elevate should not be confused with Elevate, by founder Sandy Gibson, which was listed in the Buyer's Guide for Employee Advocacy Software last year, until they pivoted to focus on email marketing.