Social Platform Hootsuite Adds Features To Help Employees “Amplify” Company News

A new mobile app and dashboard controls make it easier for workers to share their company’s news on their social networks.

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Hootsuite announced this week the addition of tools to help employees pitch their companies.

New controls in the platform’s dashboard allow a company manager to curate content or links and make them available to a new Amplify mobile app on employees’ mobile devices. The manager requests that the employees “Amplify it” by sharing the content on their personal accounts at Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If they like, employees can add a comment.

Hootsuite users have previously used the platform to help employees advocate for their companies, VP of partnerships/corporate development Matt Switzer told me, but it was ad hoc.

With the new capabilities, management can see — and highlight — the most prolific sharers and the top-performing content, but otherwise only aggregate analytics. This means they can’t easily scold you on Monday morning for not showing enough social love about their new product.

The advocacy is supposed to be voluntary, Switzer said — although anyone can visit an employee’s profile and see the sharing activity.

The Hootsuite website now displays a tool where you can project your reach using Amplify, by entering the numbers of your employees and your company’s social followers.

For instance, with 500 employees, 5,000 company Twitter followers, 50,000 Facebook fans and 10,000 LinkedIn followers, the company’s social reach is 65,000.

But according to Hootsuite, the estimated social reach with Amplify for those same numbers is more than 400,000, because it calculates an average number of followers and fans for each of the employees. Amplify’s analytics also show such metrics as the number of likes, reads and shares resulting from the sharing.

A screenshot of the new Amplify employee advocacy tools in the Hootsuite dashboard.

A screenshot of the new Amplify employee advocacy tools in the Hootsuite dashboard.

Switzer noted that such clients as the University of Michigan are using the new tools to support their enthusiastic alumni in their promotion of the school’s brand. While alumni organizations are a natural fit for advocacy tools, this use case shows the tenuous distinction between a brand advocate and an employee advocate, since alumni, of course, aren’t actually employees.

Standalone products specifically designed for this growing marketing tactic include Dynamic Signal, Social Chorus and Trapit. Switzer said that no competing general social relationship platform has a similar built-in employee advocacy as a part of the normal social management workflow.

But others are supporting advocacy, in one way or another. Social platform Spredfast, for instance, gives tips on how to promote employee advocacy, and SocialFlow unveiled a tool two years ago to measure such activity.

Just this week, social intranet/extranet Jive announced additional features in support of brand advocates for its external social community component, called Jive-x. Given the effectiveness and inexpensiveness of this variation on influencer marketing, we can expect dedicated advocacy tools to become a regular feature of most social platforms.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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