Haiilo is a new name to the Employee Advocacy market, having only made its first public appearance less than a year ago, in February of 2022. But really, it’s just the name that’s new. The software underneath is battle-tested and proven—all three pieces of them. Yes, Haiilo is the result of a merger of three companies, all uniting under a single umbrella to provide a more end-to-end solution for businesses.
Haiilo used to be Coyo, a social intranet platform designed to centralize company communications and resources onto a single portal. Haiilo also used to be Jubiwee, a questionably named surveys and engagement platform. And, finally, Haiilo used to be Smarp, gamified employee advocacy software meant to leverage your existing staff as a marketing/influencer supplement. This is the piece of Haiilo we’re covering here.
Smarp itself has been around since 2011. One of the company’s initial clients had tasked them with improving their presence on LinkedIn by expanding their audience. With only 10,000 followers, this very large brand felt they could and should be reaching more people. Employee advocacy was not yet a marketing practice, so it was a pretty ingenious idea—whoever had it—to look at this company’s employees’ profiles on LinkedIn and see what their reach was. With only 7k of the company’s roughly 30k employees having LinkedIn, their combined reach was still much bigger than their employer’s: 260k unique members comprised their aggregated audience. What if they could incentivize these people to post on behalf of the brand? And what if they could get the other 23k employees to create profiles and do the same?
With this, employee advocacy was born, and Smarp became the first platform to help brands manage and leverage the practice. And, more than a decade later, it’s the leading platform in the EA space. Or, rather, Haiilo is, boasting such prominent clients as Swarovski, LG, DHL, and Amazon. This role as the market leader seems to be cemented with the addition of the Coyo and Jubiwee platforms. While all three of these platforms will continue to exist as standalone products with their own pricing, Haiilo is currently working on several key integrations among them, which will extend and improve the use of each in different ways.
Haiilo is Software as a Service—everything is at this point—but they work their pricing differently than most. Rather than create different subscription levels that increase the features the more you pay, Haiilo charges an annual platform fee that gets brands access to the entire platform for up to 500 users. If more users are required, Haiilo offers additional licenses as a separate charge.
Note that this pricing is only for the Employee Advocacy piece of the Haiilo pie.
From your employees’ perspectives, using Haiilo is a lot like scrolling through any social media channel, with a feed of content that can be scrolled through the main section of the home page. Of course, employees won’t confuse this experience with social media, because the whole thing gets branded with your company’s logo, look, and feel.
From the employer's perspective, you’ll be glad to know that all the content in this feed can be customized. You’re able to segment your users out into different groups and ensure that they’re all seeing content that’s relevant to them. This is a vital feature for encouraging engagement: Accounting won’t want to see articles about Human Resources, HR doesn’t care about engineering breakthroughs, etc. Your employees in Europe don’t need to see APAC news. Your employees in the U.S. don’t want to see content in French. Users get some control, too, as they’re able to subscribe or unsubscribe from channels you’ve created for them. Without relevant content and some control over what they see, it’s only a matter of time before people tune out and stop participating, and Haiilo does a great job of avoiding this.
From this ever-growing supply of content, users can choose to share these articles on their own personal social channels. Again, there’s a nice mix of user freedom and admin controls. When administrators create the post for dissemination, they can choose which social media channels they’d like to see it on, and give suggestions for captions and messaging. Users can choose which of the approved platforms they’d like to post to (if they don’t want to post across multiple channels), and they’re free to write whatever caption they want. This is a good thing: you want these posts to come across authentically, and most of us can identify marketing copypasta pretty easily.
Haiilo also does a great job of recognizing that the relevance of the content isn’t the only thing that’s going to keep your employees engaged with it. They’ve gamified Employee Advocacy, with leaderboards and trophies—post content and earn points, earn enough points and you get a trophy. There are no pre-built rewards plans, but Haiilo’s customers can maintain their own —X points gets you some swag, Y points gets you a day of PTO, whatever you want to do. There’s a Perks section of the platform that can maintain a catalog of sorts and handle the point redemption when an employee wants to cash in.
Now, these are all the things that make up an employee advocacy platform, so they may not sound surprising. But it’s important to remember that Smarp was among the first EA software solutions available; what you’re doing in Haiilo was groundbreaking a decade ago—and they continue to lead the pack. The back-end administration of Haiilo is excellent, giving admins a lot of control over their EA playground.
One clever way Haiilo gives brands an extra boost is its Email feature. It helps to ensure that employees don’t miss any of the content that you’ve been uploading to the feed. See, in a perfect world, your employees would be much too busy to be scrolling through an internal social feed consuming content. The email feature works exactly like a marketing newsletter—you build it out with a WYSIWYG editor and can even segment them according to audience (groups, departments, etc.). Though these emails could be used for just about anything, the primary use is to send out a digest of all the content that’s newly available for sharing, a great way to ensure nobody misses anything.
Haiilo also sports a number of integrations to make sure that you’re meeting employees where they’re at. For some people, having yet another platform to log into is just seen as an annoyance, especially if it’s not required for their job. The integrations help to reach these people, by making it possible for brands to push content out to Sharepoint, MS Teams, and Slack. Or, if your employees download the mobile app (and maybe they get points for doing so), you can always send them push notifications. Haiilo leaves no stone unturned in getting your staff to participate. Finally, as with any marketing platform, we need to look at the analytics. Haiilo lets you look at how your content performs both internally and externally. Employee Advocacy is a bit of a double-edged sword in that respect; if the content falls flat internally, it doesn’t have much of a shot of even being shared. So, before you can analyze and optimize your content for the rest of the world, you’ve got to make sure your own people are finding it relevant. This is where Haiilo’s Workforce Insights comes into play.
In the above screenshot, you’ll see that those are the stats for internal engagement. Click over one on where it says “Advocacy,” and that’s where you’ll get intel on how things are going on your external challenges. In both cases, you’ll get a good breakdown of engagement and an understanding of where that engagement is from. Internally, you might notice that most of your employees are engaging most through your newsletter—that tells you to put more effort into optimizing that. Externally, maybe you’ll be surprised to learn that Twitter is a better performer for you than LinkedIn. The analytics from Haiilo are a constant feedback loop where you learn from your mistakes and successes and put those lessons into practice.
Before it was Haiilo, it was Smarp. And when it was Smarp, it was widely recognized as one of the best employee advocacy platforms on the market. Now that it’s Haiilo, the only thing that’s really changed is the name. Haiilo is still one of the best EA platforms on the market, with a decade’s worth of impressive history behind it. Now, with the merger of Smarp, Coyo, and Jubiwee, the potential for all three of those to improve by leaps and bounds as they integrate with one another is huge. It sounds as though there’s another impressive decade yet to come.