With all the hype of the newest features on LinkedIn — video, active status and other cool new features – that were released in the last few weeks, an old popular feature, one that was taken away with the last major release, now returns!

At the Social Jack™ Academy, we had a cool feature called “Network Diving;” this is the simple process of searching your connections’ networks. Well, this feature is now back, and better than ever because now it incorporates the new filtered search system.

We’ll illustrate how it works with an example: let’s say you are going to have a meeting with one of your connections and are going for named referrals, and you would like to have the option to filter ideal connections. With the previous release you would get a list, with no way to search like you used to. Fortunately, now this has changed back to the way it was, where when you click on someone’s connections, it now jumps you to the filtered search like it used to! This is an amazing switch. We caution here that there are a few exceptions, so read on.

You can search within the connections using all the filter options shown below.

The main exceptions here are the following:

1.     If the connection you are “Network Diving” on, i.e. exploring their connections, has their network access turned off, you will not be able to dive unless you have Sales Navigator.

2.     Those of you on Basic (Free) LinkedIn will be able to enjoy only a few selections in the search, then you will be blocked from seeing the rest unless you have Premium LinkedIn. But in my mind, this feature alone is the worth the price!

We are showing this account version chart provided from our friends at Integrated Alliances, thanks Mike O’Neil!

We hope you love this new feature and if you want to learn more of what we call “Power Moves”, please connect with us at our Social Jack™ website. If you are reading this before September 5th, then jump into our next Social Selling class at: http://socialjack.com/linkedin-complete-social-selling-course/ – this is our complete course with On Demand classes, Instructor-Led Coaching Sessions. You will learn more cool fun things like in this article.

Please let us know how this ‘old new’ feature works for you.

We will see you online Network Diving!


Sorry if it sounds like I am geeking out here, but read on!

Most of you know we handle a ton of conferences and provide Influencer Marketing services. When asked by INFORMS to participate in their conference, it reactivated my technical network, meaning that connections from my roots were brought forward. I have been in the financial arena since the early 80’s and I’ve been in or around analytics for most of my career; I’ve been a huge fan of sports all my life. So when I looked at the INFORMS conference and saw this network coming together I was tremendously excited.

Those of you that know me, you know I am all about the network. When you look at the speakers and topics it’s almost hard for me to pick a track. So we are splitting up and coming together on the LinkedIn Group afterwards to compare notes! Then you have the companies connected to the speakers, STATS – the best live sports data provider I know, can’t wait to meet Patrick Lucey, Ph. D., Director of Data Sciences. I will have a follow up interview blog after the conference. Liz Wanless, Ph. D., from Ball State University will talk about something near and dear to my heart, which is Customer Relationships and Sales Optimization, she will be sharing two revenue enhancement case studies. Russell Walker, Ph. D., from Northwestern will be talking Big Data related to Sports Management; this is changing our world and delivery of stats as we speak. Zach Binkley, Ph. D., Lewis University will be sharing sports performance communication, implementation and innovation; with all the data today, this is a massive undertaking.

From my FINTECH world I can’t wait to hear what Michael Rechenthin, Ph. D, from tastytrade has to say about Data Sciences and Collaboration, this is right in my wheelhouse of content. We also know that Machine Learning and Predictive models are hot and that topic will be covered by Justin Dickerson, Ph.D. – he will dig into Default, Fraud and Scoring which is a big piece of our financial world today. Joe DeCosmo, Chief Analytics Officer from Enova, will address Real Time Analytics. We are in such a “real time, on demand” world, and he will share what is trending and what the future holds.

Take a look the chart below, all speakers have a critical handle on what is hot and going on right now, so that is why it is tough to select a track!

IMPAC 2017 – INFORMS Midwest Practice of Analytics Conference

The only negative? The conference only has 100 seats at the current venue! However, you can get on a waiting list for the next conference and early notification for the next conference.

Registration and Waiting List link: http://connect.informs.org/chicago/meetings/impac2017

If you cannot make this conference please ask me what questions you want answered at the bottom of this post and I will do my best to get them addressed here or in the LinkedIn Groups

Also, check the new INFORMS Chicago Twitter account

To follow activity and update use Hashtag: #IMPAC2017

Location: University of Notre Dame, Chicago Campus – 224 S. Michigan Avenue (2nd Floor), Chicago IL 60604

We also want to acknowledge all sponsors that are supporting this event:

Social Jack and Forward Progress are proud to participate in this great event, we look forward to seeing you at the event or on the related social channels on the journey!


So, @Social Media Today had a great article titled 12 Reasons why Your Business Should be Utilizing Employee Advocacy, with a great Infographic from @LinkedIn. This was fantastic for me — and timely – because I had some talks lined up on Employee Advocacy and Social Teaming. I’d like to highlight the numbers I think are the most relevant here.

On Average, a company’s employees have 10X as many connections as the company has followers. 10 Times? Yes — and this is proven. In many of our Social Selling and Social Culture programs, we know for a fact that the average employee has 240 connections, and with their two degrees of connections, their social reach hits about 3.8 million connections. Now, to be sure, they won’t reach all those connections, and they’ll need a level of frequency to establish success, however their potential of reach to the company is far greater. The company page needs to rely on followers and there are only two ways to get followers: from existing followers (like employees) engaging, or from advertising. On average, the employee page has only 3% of the potential reach of the employees, and that is best case from our experience.

Every two employee shares from the company page on @LinkedIn result in a company page view, every six shares results in a Company Page follower! Wow, that is staggering, that is all it takes? Well, almost. We need the participation of those employees. How does that happen, how is that orchestrated?

Let me give you a real-life example from one of our clients, American Family Insurance. While at a recent conference, I was able to listen to long-time associate @TomBuchheim, who led the charge at American Family for their Employee Advocacy Program. I have always known they were on it, and proud to say I have been there since the early days of social, and frankly their approach was brilliant. In fact, it was very synergistic to our Social Teaming methodology for sales and culture development.

He mentioned how they formed teams of champions that would act as advocates for the brand and be willing to share content provided by the company to their LinkedIn pages. They started with a small group, then they continued to grow the teams. They created rewards and recognition for their efforts and it bonded the team and humanized the brand. They are even now tracking the success of this program to new business. They had so much success that it became the “in thing”, to a point where people are lining up to be on the next selection. “Pick me!” is how ! Imagine that.

So you see, these are simple metrics which prove the value of employee advocacy. Tom’s story at American Family Insurance is evidence and it continues to grow. We are excited because all of our programs at @Social Jack, Sales, Career, Recruiting and Culture have Social Teaming at the core. In fact here is our definition below, see how it resonates to the story above.

 

Social Team Definition

A group of professionals who have complimentary skills (1) driving to a common objective, goal or destination for which they (2) hold themselves mutually accountable for collective performance. They stay constant on their journey with the (3) purpose of building stronger relationships, trust and always think of other team members with genuine reciprocity. A Social Team (4) utilizes online social networks and the power of their targeted connections, within their sphere of influence, to (5) enhance the team’s relationships, reach, performance and success in reaching their common destination.

If you would like to read more, check out our blog post on Social Teaming:

Social Teaming – It’s All About Who You Know.

Here is a snapshot and link to the revolutionary infographic by LinkedIn

So whether you are in the middle of this and working to figure it out, ask us about Social Teaming to energize this effort. If you’re not sure if management will approve it, show these numbers and this great infographic by LinkedIn to your boss. Think of it as “it is time or get left behind”, because it’s just too easy and it promotes culture development at the same time. What are you waiting for?

We hope to see you and your employees online and working together for a stronger brand!


In reading recent articles the last couple of weeks, it seems there are mixed reviews on the good and the bad around the purchase of LinkedIn. I have a few thoughts on this:

  • Microsoft has stated that it has plans to integrate LinkedIn and Social Selling into its existing CRM product, Microsoft Dynamics CRM- which is second to sales. I believe this is great for Microsoft but not so sure how it will impact the rest of us that do not use Microsoft CRM. There are also current LinkedIn tools, like “Sales Navigator,” that work well in the sales force. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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  • My personal thoughts are that Microsoft is genius at wanting to own the data that LinkedIn has. The business intelligence that LinkedIn has from a social perspective of how people are connected and how people work and communicate together, there is nothing out there like this. Microsoft will be able to obtain social trends, social data, business trends, business data all blended together. I believe this is the main reason why they wanted to do this and also give new life to their new CRM products.
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  • Microsoft has historically not been that successful when it comes to social networking or social media. This to me validates that now they’re seeing the value, and it has increased, of social media and social networking. Many people think that this is potentially the death of social media, where these platforms cannot survive on their own, however I believe just the opposite. Microsoft has proven the value of connection, which is what we teach in our Social Jack training programs on coaching individuals the value of their connections based on their own ROI (Return of Investment).
    Microsoft-buys-LinkedIn
  • The fact that Microsoft paid $26.2 billion in cash for 433 million users, tells me that they found the cost per user came out to be $60. In our system, we look at it by value of user based on the ROI and outcome of the relationship, which is expediently more. The fact that Microsoft has placed a value on those connections, which have relationships, shows us that there is a value in social networks and connections.

So, connect with someone new today and you never know where it will take you.


The inspiration for this blog post came from two recent conversations I had with fellow colleagues, along with life experiences that come along with working in the Social Media field. We currently live in a world that is ever changing, and we have access to so many different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) in which we can connect with our network.

 

Think about Facebooks new feature Safety Check, during major disasters the feature will let friends and family know you’re safe, and can mark other friends as safe.

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Now let us discuss your entire network. Over your lifespan, your network has grown by connecting with people around us and we can classify these connections and put them into three different categories.

 

The first is “Friends.” My definition of friends is, people who we connect with, with the intent for relationship. They can be career connections, friends and family, or even the team you build for your life.

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The second is “Followers.” That is defined by, people who have interest is us in some capacity, either professional, or personal and they literally follow what you do. As a professional, often times people follow your social media pages to stay up to date on what you are posting. Having followers is a choice, check your privacy settings on your social media accounts, because each platform is different.

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Lastly, “Foes” can be identified as the people who connect or tune into your page, for reason of harm. Like theft identity, competition, or possible stalkers. When connections begin to feel disruptive they start to feel more like a foe.

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Here at Social Jack it is purely about relationship building from connections and acquaintances with the intent to attract good targeted followers that someday will become friends and relationships we do business with. That stems from the practical business side of social networks. Once you have categories of friends, you can then decide how you want to operate those friends and networks, we define this as your Social Team. These networks and collection of friends can help you with building a business, marketing a brand, and having a good life team.

 

Remember that there are positives and negatives when connecting with people from your past, but above all it is your choice if you stay connect. Never feel obligated to stay connected if it is not a mutually beneficial.


Employee Advocacy is where we are now seeing the effects of Social Media and the power of Social Networks work on behalf of the employee and brand together, however only if done correctly. Otherwise, it’s just another brand request which can work against us or fall on deaf ears!

First let me share my favorite definition of this most recent hot topic.

Employee advocacy is defined as, “the promotion of an organization by its staff members.”

A business may ask employees to actively promote the organization, often through social media, as an element of their jobs. However, the most compelling employee advocacy consists of freely-offered communications on the part of the workforce. The question of whether or not staff members are likely to freely promote an organization is highly related to the degree of employee engagement in the workplace, and employee engagement is largely a factor of the corporate culture and the employer’s ability to make working for them a positive experience.

Source: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/employee-advocacy

 

How strong is it?

So many brands are working on this effort, and there are so many variations that it is tough to gage how strong it is across the board. It still feels like it is brand and content driven rather than people driven. We believe that there must be an initiative to train and coach employees so they understand the benefit  themselves (WIFM) first, then for the brand. From our observations, these brands are the strongest.

Being a “show me” type person, I have put down some of the stats that jump out at me as we research the net and ask our friends focused on this space. I especially like the lift on blocking stat by Gartner, this shows that even the most compliant environments are loosening up and shifting to the employee being trained and doing the right thing on behalf of themselves and the brand. 

What are some of the benefits?

HR and Company Culture – As employees become part of the “brand” culture, they automatically become raving fans and attract their network to that workplace. See some of the evidence below.

Sales and Marketing Leads – Employees hold a stronger voice than most brands, meaning that people trust other people before they trust brands. If you activate the culture, you then activate the brand from a better position. See the stat below that employee content ranks over brand content shared by over 8x.

Employee Communications – Great communication, produces great everything else. Once people communicate internally and externally with social media, then all areas work in part on behalf of the whole company.

Brand Awareness – When we speak of humanizing the brand, it brings life through the employees to the brand. It’s an automatic trust builder. People trust and buy from people, they pay attention to what their friends say and do. This supports and builds the brand faster than any other method, and at a lower cost!

 What is the Evidence?

General Advocacy

  • 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media (Source: MSLGroup)
  • Social CEOs are much more likely to be seen as good communicators than unsocial CEOs (55% vs. 38%, respectively (Source: Weber Shandwick)
  • Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM)
  • According to Gartner, the number of companies blocking social media access for employees is dropping at 10% per year. 50% blocked access in 2010 – less than 30% blocked in 2014. (Source: Gartner)

 

Sales :

 

Marketing Perspective

  • The average cold calling appointment rate is 2.5% (Source: CEB)
  • B2B buyers complete 57% of the buying decision before they are willing to talk to a sales rep.(Source: CEB)
  • 92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when comes from someone that they do not know. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
  • Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source: Social Media Today)

 

HR Perspective (Source: Jobvite):

  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires (Source: Jobvite)
  • 67% of employers and recruiters said that the recruiting process was shorter and 51% said it was less expensive to recruit via referrals (Source: Jobvite)
  • 47% Referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies (Source: Jobvite)
  • Employees of socially engaged companies are… (Source: Altimeter & LinkedIn Relationship Economics 2014)
    • 57% more likely to align social media engagement to more sales leads
    • 20% more likely to stay at their company
    • 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future
    • 40% more likely to believe their company is more competitive

 

How to jump start – Social Teaming

When we are training our clients, we use our methodology of social teaming. See: Social Teaming Definition. You are simply selecting a team of people inside the organization, then forming them into clusters and then becoming a hub. This can be started by following the simple guidelines below:

Every project starts as a pilot. It never happens when a company says, “yes, lets change our culture and breed employee advocates on behalf of our brand”.  Although companies like Starbucks, IBM, Dell, Sprint, SAP and others have surged into Employee Advocacy with both feet, they all start as pilots. The great news is that you don’t have to be a fortune 500 company to make this happen. It’s imply a top down initiative and people are trained and supported on being advocates. So what are the steps we recommend and take with our clients?

  1. Determine which area to start, marketing, sales, HR, customer service, etc.
  2. Identify your champions, people who believe in the brand
  3. Define what it means it be an advocate of the brand
  4. Pick a platform that can make content access easy and manageable
  5. Create a training and coaching schedule. **
  6. Measure results and adjust program
  7. Select next group or area, repeat.

** Coaching is always on the bubble here and needs to be left in as a priority. Everyone learns at a different rate. They need support and a place to go for assistance.

Many times organizations make this the elephant project and then wait, delay and miss windows of opportunity, overspend on marketing, retention, recruiting, etc. While all along they just need to simply start to shift the culture to root and talk for the brand.

It is really easier than it feels. We love talking to companies and groups about this topic, so please call me if you want to have a discussion. The companies that get this will be growing and surging faster than their competition.