How do I set up an integration between Employee Advocacy and a CRM for link attribution?

You can set up an integration between Employee Advocacy and your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to connect a converted lead back to the sales representative that shared an engaging post from Advocacy. With this integration, you can generate and track leads when potential customers click on a link from Advocacy. Track lead progression and quantify return on investment as your sales teams nurture and manage the sales cycle for generated leads.


  • Marketing Automation Tool (e.g. Hubspot, Pardot)
  • CRM (e.g. Salesforce) 
  • CRM Administrator
  • Developer to write code to customize CRM

Note: Sprout is unable to assist with writing or deploying code to your CRM.


Link attribution can help you understand the sales impact from Employee Advocacy. Here’s how the process works:

  1. An employee logs into Employee Advocacy and shares an article from your company’s site to their social networks.
  2. Employee Advocacy adds an id, called a blaid, to the URL when an article is shared. This id attributes the share to the employee. 
  3. When someone clicks the shared post, they are redirected to your company site. You can update your Marketing Automation to capture the UTM parameter (blaid=) and store it as part of the lead source. 
  4. The prospect (now website visitor) becomes active on your website. Their website activity is then tracked and recorded within your marketing automation platform. 
  5. The website visitor fills out a lead gen form, becoming a lead and providing their personal information. This information is likely already synced to your CRM. 
  6. Since your marketing automation software is already capturing the blaid (in step #3 above), it can pass the blaid to your CRM with the rest of the lead. 
  7. Your CRM can store the blaid and use an API call to the Employee Advocacy API to get information about the original employee who shared the article. This additional information can also be stored in your CRM lead record.
  8. The lead that originated from the initial share is now attributed back to the employee.


To set up your integration, you’ll need to turn on link sharing in Advocacy. To enable link sharing:

  1. Navigate to Company Settings > Story Creation.
  2. Toggle Link Attribution to On.

Note: Link attribution will only work with stories that haven’t already been shortened prior to curating.

You will also need to obtain your Advocacy API key. To find your key:

  1. Navigate to Company Settings > Story Creation.
  2. Select Copy to copy your API key onto your clipboard.

To set up the rest of your integration, you’ll work in your Marketing Automation tool and your CRM.

  1. Add blaid as a new field in your Marketing Automation tool to capture URL parameters as part of the lead source. Depending on the Marketing Automation software you use, you may need to write Javascript to be able to store the blaid. Sample Javascript to use cookies to capture URL parameters can be found in this document.
  2. Create a new module (e.g. “Advocacy Referral”) within your CRM on your Lead record with the following fields:
    • Link Attribution ID (blaid)
    • Advocacy User Email Address
    • Advocacy User First Name
    • Advocacy User Last Name
    • Network
    • Permalink
  3. Ensure your Marketing Automation and CRM are syncing on the new blaid field. Typically the default for syncing fields is set to every five minutes.
  4. Write custom code (e.g. Java) within your CRM. This code should check for the blaid field on the Lead record. Once a value is stored for the blaid, the code should trigger a request to Advocacy’s REST API.
    The request to the API will be:
    curl '[blaid]' -H 'Authorization: api_key=YOURAPIKEYHERE'

    You should see an API response like this example:




            "avatar_url": "",

            "email": "",

            "first_name": "Sarah",

            "id": 24053,

            "last_name": "Nagel",

            "locale_lang": "en",

            "locale_region": "US",

            "network_type": "twitter",

            "permalink": "",

            "timezone": "America/Chicago"


  5. In your CRM, parse and map the API response to the fields you created in Step 3. The lead that originated from the initial share is now attributed back to the employee.

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