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Why Some Employee Advocacy Integrations Are Problematic [Podcast]

By 02/11/2022March 7th, 2023No Comments

[Episode Twenty Four of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇

Why Some Employee Advocacy Integrations Are Problematic

Organizations all over the world in every sector are driving strategic competitive advantage by scaling the impact of their employees’ voices… and now YOU can too! As we delve beyond the why and get straight to the how so that you can put employee-driven growth at the heart of your organization.

Hosted by employee advocacy practitioner and CEO of DSMN8, Bradley Keenan.


Welcome to this episode of The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast. My name is Bradley Keenan and I am the Founder and CEO of the Employee Advocacy Platform – DSMN8, and this is the 3rd instalment of the DSMN8 special which is the look at some of the content that we’re going to be putting into a book we’re producing, which should be available in Q1 of 2023.

The basic fundamentals of this book are we’ve created a list of 101 tips, hacks, whatever you want to call it, that will help you run a successful Employee Advocacy program. 

What we’re going to do is take a random number, I’m going to pull that out from the content and just talk about it with the goal that it’s going to help us refine the content, but also it’s going to create some feedback from listeners so we can see what works and what doesn’t work.

Before I start rambling on, if you are interested in receiving a copy of the book before anybody else, please send me a LinkedIn message and just say I’d love a copy of the book. You don’t need to say anything else. Give me your address and then as soon as the book is ready in Q1 of 2023, I will send you a copy of it with the hope that you’ll read it and provide a review of some description before we release the book to the wider industry.

So, let’s go with asking Alexa to give me a number between 1 and 101. OK. So now go inside the schedule of the book. Ok, so number 9. The tip is ‘integrate, but only when it adds value’.

The Challenge With Employee Advocacy Integrations

So, this might be a little bit divisive because some people don’t like it when I say this, but integrations are a funny one, right? Because they are years ago and I’m old enough now and have been selling software for as long as I can remember. And years ago all software pretty much ran in a silo, right? So you’d have one platform that did one thing, CRM did something else and they didn’t really talk to one another.

And single sign-on came out and we had Okta with places where you could log into the different platforms using single sign-on. Fantastic. It reduced friction in being able to access platforms, and then platforms started communicating with one another.

So as an example, in our business we use HubSpot as our CRM and we pull in Gong data into HubSpot because it means that when we’re looking at a prospect’s record, we can look at the call that happened on gong, tie these things together, makes sense.

The challenge with integrations is now whenever you talk about a… so, if we go and sell our product to somebody, we’re talking to them, sometimes we’ll get and I see it ironically in the gong calls, we’ll have people say, do you integrate with… enter name of software. And we’ll say uh, no we don’t. Why do you want to integrate with that? What’s the practical application of that integration? And honestly, 9 out of 10 times people can’t tell me why they would want to do it. They just have technology and they have other technology and somehow they want them to talk because they might think that is actually improving the experience.

Employee Advocacy Integrations Vs A Dedicated Platform

So when you are integrating, and we integrate with many, many other products, you just want to make sure that it makes sense for you to do it. And sometimes integrations can be counterproductive. So as an example, an Employee Advocacy platform needs its own identity and its own space to breathe. It has to be its own thing. The moment you take it out of that and it becomes a feature or a function of another piece of technology, then it gets diluted.

So as an example, let’s say that you had a CRM and the CRM was Salesforce and you wanted to integrate your Employee Advocacy program with Salesforce. It’s very logical. You have to do it very carefully and the education around the integration has to be there. If you just put your Employee Advocacy program inside a tab inside Salesforce and call it social, nobody’s going to click on it unless they’re curious enough to do it. And in that case, they may forget that tab’s there. It just becomes another feature or function.

If you have your own standalone Advocacy program that has its own analytics, its own leaderboards, etc. people are far more likely to use it because that’s its purpose.

Ask Yourself WHY Before Seeking Employee Advocacy Integrations

In the same way, as when I use my phone, I use the Trainline to book my trains when I go into the office, I use Google Maps when I get to London to find where I need to go. I don’t need Trainline and Google Maps integrated because they operate perfectly well as two separate entities. In fact, if I was to integrate one with the other, it may get lost in the message of the original app. So it becomes secondary functionality.

So, if you are going to integrate, great, do it. But just ask yourself what integrations do you actually need and what is going to be the impact on the things that matter to you from a perspective of ROI? So, is it going to increase user adoption is one thing, but user frequency and share frequencies, what is that going to do to that? Because you may get more users, but they may use it less. So those are the things that you need to think about. And again, going back to our tip in the last episode where we spoke about testing, it’s something that you can test and track the metrics of, don’t just do it and then leave it for a year because it could literally be the death of your Employee Advocacy program to hide it away somewhere as an integration on another product.

Now, here is the BONUS content that I promised.

If you want to find out how active your employees are on social right now, if you click the link in the footnotes of the show, we will create a report for you that will show you not only how active your employees are on social, but also the competitors of your choosing. So you can see how you benchmark against your competitors.

And we will show you how this breaks down by seniority inside your organization and geography. So hit that link, and one of my team will be in contact. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this week’s episode, and we look forward to seeing you same time next week.

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