For the past few years, Zuberance has focused on helping companies turn their customers and fans into advocates for their brand and products. (In fact, founder and CEO Rob Fuggetta has written a book on the topic.) Today, Zuberance is turning its attention to a new group of potential advocates — a company’s employees.
With its new Employee Advocate product, Fuggetta says Zuberance has basically taken the company platform and repurposed its applications (specifically Advocate Stories and Advocate Answers) for a different audience. Instead of encouraging fans to post positive reviews on Amazon or Yelp, businesses can now ask employees to share positive testimonials for recruiting, for example. Done badly, this could come off as phony or overbearing, but hopefully that won’t be the case if your employees are communicating with enthusiasm and honesty — after all, they should be some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people around when it comes to your company and products. That means large enterprises could potentially tap into “employee advocate armies” with hundreds of thousands of members.
Some of this workforce advocacy is happening on its own, of course, but Fuggetta says many companies are “not really effectively and systematically leveraging their employees.” To illustrate how Zuberance would help, he says a large technology business could use the platform to survey employees on how likely they are to recommend the company as a place to work. The ones who give high scores are probably going to be the best advocates, so companies can then ask them for written or video testimonials, which can then be incorporated into the company’s recruiting materials, as well as shared on Facebook or Twitter. Zuberance also offers analytics that show whether the message is spreading effectively.
It’s not just about recruiting. Like consumers, employees can also be important promoters of a company’s products. And they can help defend the company during “social media ambushes” (as Fuggetta puts it) — if there’s a backlash because their CEO says something controversial on Twitter, employees can jump in to defend the statement or offer context. (Another startup called Addvocate is also developing tools to manage employee advocacy, but for now, at least, its’ mostly focused on sharing company content.)
Zuberance now serves about 100 large businesses and consumer brands, Fuggetta says, including Intuit, GMC, 24 Hour Fitness, and Symantec. You can read more about the employee advocate product here.