Smarp, a Helsinki-based employee advocacy platform provider, is trying to help companies better communicate with employees and stakeholders through an expansion of its mobile apps.
Bouyed with a $1.7 million investment from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, it's on a mission to position its platform as a "mobile intranet for employees on the go," Mikael Lauharanta, chief operating officer and co-founder, told CMSWire. It's providing a place for employers to push content to their employees either for external sharing or internal communications, he explained.
Founded in 2011 as a consultancy to helps business leverage social media, Smarp shifted gears two years later. It transformed from a consultancy to the provider of a platform to help businesses better leverage social media. Its employee advocacy app is intended to help employees share company news and information in social circles.
The startup is using its latest investment to develop new mobile internal content discovery and sharing features. Those features allow employees access to company content for internal and external sharing in one app. It includes internal commenting and employee content creation and management tools.
"The whole point is to create more mobile touch points," Lauharanta said.
'We're Not Slack'
Of course, these capabilities are not revolutionary. Many companies are happily using existing software solutions to communicate with global employees. But there is intense competition among the major players in the collaboration space to win the hearts of the enterprise.
Lauharanta said Smarp isn't trying to compete with the likes of Slack or HipChat. Rather, he wants it to complement those digital workplace technologies. Where Slack is more of a chat tool, Smarp promotes advocacy through external social channels like Twitter. It also allows stakeholders to discover relevant information that may not necessarily be available elsewhere. They may not have permissions, for example, to a desktop-based intranet.
Smarp's advocacy solution includes analytics and gamification components. App users are scored based on their number of shares and how their social activity resonates. It also includes breakdowns that tie social activity to revenue.
The personal scores for employee Smarp use leads to "friendly competition," as Lauharanta put it, and encourages adoption.
But Smarp also motivate employees to use it because it's a time-saver, Lauharanta said. That's important, he continued, because employees need to be convinced of efficiency and company value in order to be pulled away from their day-to-day chores.
Employees must know: what's in it for them? Increasing their network on social? Helping them bring in sales leads? Better recruiting for HR departments?
Some employees "already understand the benefits" of company advocacy on social. "They engage with people and through Smarp can increase their network. But it comes down to whether or not they have time in day. With Smarp, they can do it all with a push of a button in the app."
Smarp has about 50 employees. Customers include PwC, EMC and Deloitte. Smarp has offices in New York City, London, Helsinki and Stockholm.
Title image Rikki Chan