LinkedIn Rolls Out Elevate Content-Sharing Platform

Companies Including Visa, Unilever and CEB Are Early Customers

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LinkedIn today is rolling out Elevate, a content curation and social sharing platform, designed to help enterprises turn their employees into brand advocates.

LinkedIn Elevate on a mobile app.
LinkedIn Elevate on a mobile app.

LinkedIn first announced Elevate in April, and its early customers have included Visa, Unilever and CEB.

"LinkedIn members have always been able to share content about their companies, but it hasn't always been easy for them to do so. And sometimes they're not sure about the company's ground rules or what types of content to share," said Penry Price, VP-marketing solutions at LinkedIn.

"Elevate enables employee advocacy at scale," he added. "Now employers have an entire employee base to be activated so they can share content across their social and professional networks."

The subscription-based service is aimed at companies with 2,000 or more employees, and is available on desktop or via mobile app. It provides a platform that lets companies curate content from internal and external sources on the web, categorize content, set up guidelines about social sharing, give employees access to content, and measure the impact of content sharing on various metrics, from profile views to company page views.

Visa has been beta-testing Elevate since February -- initially with a handful of employees, and now with about 500 using the service.

"One thing we've been doing at Visa is changing the culture to become one of more permissiveness around social media in general," said Lucas Mast, VP-corporate social media at Visa, noting that Visa has revised its social media policy, put in place social media guidelines and added more approved social-sharing platforms for its employees.

"This is yet another opportunity for us to take our best evangelists -- our employees -- and empower them with content that is safe and approved and fits across a wide range of topics, that they would want to organically share with their social-media audiences," Mr. Mast said.

At Visa, the corporate social media team, working with other functions in the company, curates content from both inside the company and across the web on topics such as finance, technology and small-business advice. Employees log into Elevate from their internal network or via a mobile app, select content they're interested in, and share it across their social networks.

"With any sort of pilot, the key thing for us is embracing and evolving into a culture of sharing and providing the ability for people to feel empowered to do so," Mr. Mast said. "So any time we see that sort of activity being fostered and growing, it's extremely important and valuable to us."

He said Visa plans to roll out Elevate to between 1,500 and 2,000 employees by the end of the year, with a more extensive rollout planned for next year.

CEB Global, a business intelligence and technology company, has been beta-testing Elevate for about six months, said Rob Chen, CMO at CEB.

"Our objective is to build brand equity and increase the relevance of our brand among our target audiences," Mr. Chen said. "We have a lot of challenges from an awareness standpoint, because we don't have the budgets of bigger b-to-b companies."

CEB provides best-practices insights and technology to senior business leaders in functions such as finance, HR, marketing and legal compliance. It conducts research, holds events and provides content across a wide range of platforms, including white papers, blogs, research papers and case studies on its website.

"A lot of our employees touch customers we serve every day with content," Mr. Chen said. "Elevate gives us a way to supercharge that by creating a platform not only for our sales teams but for other functions, whether on the product side or advisors, to share relevant content with their networks."

About 400 CEB employees are now using Elevate to share content, he said. Since implementing the platform, profile views for those using Elevate have increased by an average of 150%, and company page views have increased by about 90%, Mr. Chen said. In addition, job views have gone up about 100%. "That is pretty key -- we are a very active recruiter of talent on LinkedIn," he said.