The Key: Social Team Formation, Training, Coaching and Willingness to PLAY!

The Challenge: Help us fill our event in three weeks!

So many of you saw the previous Blog post on the Informs IMPAC 2017 show here in Chicago. Well, the INFORMS people came to us about three weeks before the show and said they needed a short, low-cost campaign to fill their event with paying event attendees at the Notre Dame Chicago Campus. We viewed this as the ultimate Social Influencer challenge: with a small budget and very little time, could we use our core network to make this event pop and possibly put some butts in seats? We took a close look at our network and talked briefly among our team; then we decided to take on the challenge and thought we would give it a shot with our Social Influencer Event System. Spoiler alert: it was a dramatic success! I have outlined the highlights of our steps below.

Strategy: Look at the impact and influence of the network 

We faced the challenge of two networks coming together. FinTech Analytics and Sports Analytics are two different groups, with two entirely different networks. Keep in mind we look at every event like a sporting event, so we assemble networks and sub-networks like “Social Teams”, where there are levels of talent and groupings based on each levels’ commitment to the organization and desire for it to succeed, i.e., corporate championship. So, our typical method is to run what we call our “Inside Out” analysis. It might be easiest to follow along with the diagram below:

Prep work: We make sure first and foremost that we connect all of our teams and brands to the teams associated with the event. We also score all Team Players on the diagram above, both professionals and brands, so we know who the strongest players are – and consequently the ones most likely to participate. As much as you’d like for everyone to participate, we find we mostly get a 50% participation rate; however, some groups surprise us with a higher level of play.

Get the Teams Ready for Play

1.     Core Team (Level One) – these were the Board Members. We were able to get agreement ahead of time for willingness to play. This is critical; without this buy-in, it does not work. So, a big shout out to the Board Members listed below who allowed us to start this machine rolling. A special shout out to Andrea Leiter who was our initial content and spark to get the troops assembled and have them agree to play with us.

They agreed to allow us to train them on how to play on social media and how to interact with our content. Our Social Jack™ Influencer Team Training purposely keeps it simple and easy for busy people to play the game with us and it’s proven to be highly effective. Board Members also agreed to connect us to the next level of the network, the Speaker Team.

2.     Speaker Team (Level Two) – The Speakers were all connected to the Board Members (Team One), so we worked to have them reach out and ask the Speakers to play with our content. We then also provide weekly online coaching sessions for all clients and subscribers so they have a place to go. Don’t forget to also include the Speakers’ brands as part of the game! On our Social Jack™ Platform, we also record all training and coaching sessions for review. We then reach out to all Speakers and invite them to participate. When we have more time, we offer our training and coaching program for Speakers; unfortunately, for this run we could not organize our training for all Speakers.

See Speakers List

3.     Sponsor Team (Level Three) – Sponsors typically are invested; however, many do not know how to play socially. We had the Board Members with the best relationships personally contact the Sponsors and ask them to participate; some even sent email blasts in addition to social posting and engagement. Most are typically invested as they too want the eyeballs on their brand — or they would not be Sponsors. We watched and helped the Sponsors boost their message as part of the process. Reciprocity is part of the success recipe here!

4.     Connected Influencer Team (Level Four) – This is our “secret sauce”: so, we find the Influencer Players in our network, depending on the type of event, audience, etc. Sometimes we have more and sometimes less. In this case we reached out to everyone — from media contacts related to sports and everyone we knew in FINTECH. We wound up with a team of about 35 people of which about 20 played nicely. There was a great variety of participation, ranging from emails to social media placement of banner ads to attendance. Too many to mention here, suffice it to say however that we could not have done it without these players in this process.

Time to Play

Once we have team connections and agreements in place, it’s really time to play! As soon as we had the board trained, we then mapped out our messaging with emails, social media and advertising. We had to move fast since we had a super short promotion window, with very little time for testing. We had to lead out with our best guestimates for the message and tweak on the fly as needed.

We created content calendars and sent those out to all the team players that were trained and those that had agreed to play with us online. As always, some jumped in right away and some needed a little nudge and still others did not show up. No-shows are a hard fact, but in this case, most showed up to play with us online and some even went the extra mile with sending extra emails and even posted their own supply of social media. The most important thing is for all team members to understand what and when you will be posting so they can interact with you, so the best bet is to have your content done in advance, let speakers and sponsors know when they will be featured and where, and then communicate like crazy on approach.

Ongoing Coaching Support

In our weekly Social Jack™ coaching sessions, we provide unlimited support for all clients and students. This means if they want to understand LinkedIn more, we teach that; if they want to play more on Twitter, we teach that. Whatever they need we are there to help them. This way they never feel alone in the game, and for many this is a new game for them. We understand that many of these people are new to this game and we want them to succeed just by being part of the event.

That Extra Reach

To continue this thought, think about if you have a speaker that only has 50 followers on Twitter, then you show them how to get another 20, then how to attach to their brand and other influencers in their world. You are now changing the game one person, one network at a time. We literally received many inquiries and orders just from this method alone.

In this case we had:

8 Board Members

7 Sponsors

13 Speakers

20 Connected Influencers

The total estimated “targeted” social reach ended up being over 75 million connections, and that is a very conservative estimate.

 

The Outcome: 85 attendees for a paid event within 20 days!

 

One More Thing

Always think of the “one more thing”: what is one more tweet, post, share or like that can be done and where. We went into LinkedIn Groups, Alumni Groups and other areas, and in the home stretch that also helped. So, remember when doing this, stick to the plan and — like you do at the gym — always go for one more thing!

There were many more things that we did behind the scenes as part of our process, but I hope this brings you ideas and thoughts of how you can bring more people to your events through Influencer Marketing. We are all Influencers and have a powerful network once it is activated, it’s just that some of us are new and just starting out. Remember that the largest Influencers started with just a few followers at some point and built up to what you now know. The cool thing is that it is never too late to start.

For many of you this seems way out there, it is new, it is growing, it is changing all the time. If you want to know more or want to get a walk-through of our system, I encourage you to visit our website or our Coaching and Training Platform.

Oh — one more thing, remember as you start your journey, you are never alone as long as you follow the Social Teaming methodology described earlier in this blog post. Please let us know how you do as you grow your brand and yourself as an influencer, we would love to feature you or maybe refer to you during one of our upcoming events. After all, our event clients are always looking for the next up-and-coming influencer!

We will see you online…. Influencing!


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 you have been asked to be a guest on a podcast…Great! In the spirit of Influencer Marketing, we hope it receives plenty of traction and social reach. In our previous blog, How to be a Social Influencer, we spoke of being a “Thought Leader” and turning on the “Content Machine”. Fortunately for you, podcasting is a great way to do just that. People get to hear your voice, know your personality, gain insights and knowledge from you, and even better, you can attach the podcast to blogs like this and to social media. In fact, my previous blog references a podcast I was on — speaking about this very topic. Once you follow the steps I describe below, your podcast will also support your efforts in Personal Branding, described in another one of our blogs, Personal Branding – A Great Start to your Social Selling Journey!

With so many of you getting interviewed, we thought we should tell you what to do before, during and after the podcast. For Social Jack™, we have a promotion process for each and every production, whether it be a podcast or webcast, so the best thing to do is understand some critical information about the podcast you are working with. Examples include what is their promotion cycle, what is their timing, etc. We reference this in the following list of steps.

7 Steps to promote your podcast interview

1.    Promote on social media and other outlets 2 weeks before, if the podcast producers have a show schedule that references you. There is typically a website they have for the blog that will mention upcoming shows. You should sync the timing of this “xx” with any posting of your show. If they don’t have one, you can choose to promote a couple of weeks before, no further out than that. Once you’ve done this, you can tag and link back to that show, discussing how you are looking forward to the podcast.

2.    Notify your Team! Remember Social Teaming, it is the essence of teamwork: you’re not doing this this all alone! Tell them you are on this podcast, ask them to watch for social media, ask them to listen and provide feedback and get in the game with you! It’s collaborative, and it’s fun. You will also pick up more podcasts and speaking gigs this way too, it’s proven.

3.    Ahead of schedule, plan to blog about it, then you can have a link to the show from the blog post. This will provide good traffic between your site and theirs (and remember to use ample keywords). Also consider shooting a video talking about the upcoming podcast, or plan one for the release date of the podcast.

4.    Promote the podcast on social media the day of the show recording; some podcast producers promote as well, but others do not because it locks them into a production release schedule.

5.    Once the podcast is published, it’s time for you to go gonzo, tag your show and host, also remember all your channels. Once published, go ahead and cut lose with the blog or update the blog if done ahead of time.

6.    30 and 90 days after: (if relevant to your current business you can thank them and repost) – don’t forget use of #hashtags and @tags!

7.    Forever after…. Keep using the podcast in your content cycle as long as it is relevant!

Now, go do the next podcast interview and keep following this protocol to put yourself out there to support your influencerness (yes, I made up this word just for you!) ?

PRO TIP: Remember to always listen to your blog interview and think about what you could have done better or said better to improve your position as a thought leader. Also, listen to your competitors and colleague’s podcasts as well. You should always be looking for those nuggets to be better.

TOP RESOURCE: We recently did a full course on podcasting with top Podcaster Scott Kitun, from Technori, one of the top-rated media podcasts featured on WGN Radio, here in Chicago. Below is access to the slides; if you would like access to the full class we did, simply go to Social Jack™ and join for a 90-day free trial and you will have access to this class and over 200 others for that period — and weekly coaching, too. This is our gift to you for being part of our community.

To learn more about Podcasting, check out Podcasting 101 Marketing on SlideShare

In closing, let us know when your podcast airs and the team at Social Jack™ will gladly listen and promote your efforts. Remember, we are on your Social Team and we are all in this together!

See you online!


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!


conquer

Blogging for the Topically Challenged

How many scintillating and insightful blog articles can you write in 1 day? Oh that’s right you have a business to run. If you are running a business that needs leads, don’t expect exponential growth from that one blog article you squeezed into your busy schedule. Don’t expect it after five. Or even ten.

Here’s the reality check you need around expectations for that spike in your Google Analytics campaigns into the uncharted waters of graph-dom:

“Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%.”

Source:TrafficGenerationCafe

So, that is the breakdown, best case 21 – worst case 54. How can you get to the finish line? First you need to get re-inspired as to why you are going to climb this mountain. For instance, did you know:

  • Reason #1: Email is also sort of like blogging, so might as well make it worth the effort…”Among those who use e-mail marketing, companies that blog get twice as much traffic from their email than those who don’t.” (Source: HubSpot)
  • Reason #2: A good impression…”60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.” (Source: Content Plus)
  • Reason #2a: A secondary good impression…”90% of consumers find custom content useful, 78% believe that companies behind content are interested in building good relationships.”(Source: TMG Custom Media)
  • Point #3: Your competition is probably getting the customers you want by blogging…“92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.” (Source:HubSpot)

IS THAT SO?

Now that you understand the WHY….Let’s dive into the how to get it done. Let’s look at some of the roadblocks – the main ones being: writers block and research!

TIP 1: Take A Break

Step away from your desk – with that glaring screen of Google Doc notes that make absolutely no sense. Just take your bruised self-esteem and take a break from the grind.

Leave the room. Go outside. Go for a walk, or even a run, and let the fresh air and kick-start your brain. Go see a movie and relax. Cook yourself some nice food, or check out the new restaurant that everyone’s talking about. In short, do something that’s new and different for you. The experience won’t just relax you, it will also rejuvenate you and spark some ideas in the process.

TIP 2: Find the questions that your audience is asking

Now let’s start mining Q&A sites like Quora to find out what else people want to know about.

Let’s say your topic is: Paper Towels

A quick search turns up no direct search results, we discover that people want to know …

Then we can turn our attention to Yahoo! Answers to find more questions people care about, like:

  • Why do paper towels absorb?
  • Where can I find information on the history of the paper towel?
  • Substitute for paper towels?
  • Is it possible to grow plants from wet paper towels?

These may seem like incredibly mundane or ridiculous questions to you, but keep in mind, real people are asking these questions … in public. If they’re spending their time looking for answers, why not spend yours providing them with them on your own site?

Every product on planet earth has at least 20 questions that require at least 2-3 paragraphs worth of information to explain – boom, you’re halfway there with 20 blogs cranked out!

Tip #3: Pop on over to your favorite news-feeds: Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for what all the hoopla is about RIGHT NOW!

When you just can’t think of any way to make your product/service relevant – sometimes you have to gain inspiration from what other people are already gibber jabbering about online. If you’re feeling especially subject challenged – hop on over to Facebook or Twitter and read the newsfeed for 5-10 minutes. Are there any relevant news articles that you can provide an opinion on or add to? Are there any humorous tie-ins between a great play during a football game that you can relate to a smart play by a vendor in your industry?

Relevancy makes your content “clever” and quite frankly more likely to be read. This is where the likes and shares become a reality to you. Secondly, when you speak about something that is top of mind to your audience – the more likely they are to partake in the other 75% percent of information you are slipping in to create a connection. Also known as striking a chord!

Tip #4: “The Reverse Info-graphic Move” – Huge time saver.

Even if you’ve thought of the spin you want to put on your article relating to your business – there is still that whole fact finding support search step. ANNOYING and TIME CONSUMING! It can take hours to find factual arguments for your case. How about instead of Googling your topic for articles with facts – type in “Infographics on Hand-Towels vs Hand-Dryers” and select “Google Images”

Did you ever think about the fact that there would be more germs in the air by using a hand-dryer? Yes, I mean – I’ll admit it, I didn’t think about it. Now I am grossed out. Great….

Back to the point: That’s the kind of nugget of information that even Bounty could use as part of an article on “What Makes Bounty the Greatest Picker Upper.” It’s all about creating that “aha” moment that makes your reader think: “I’m so glad I just read that. Hey Suzy, did you hear… Bounty wrote this blog article about hand-dryers vs. paper towels – can you believe…” Equals clicking of the “share.”

One point for BOUNTY and for you! And, don’t forget – your fan wants to feel smart because he posted it. So ultimately, you could get a raise – Bounty a sale – and your audience a new friend. It’s all about that make everyone win thing!

Plus, info-graphics tend to have the meaty information without the long-winded storytelling around it. In one search you can probably scan 10 info-graphics for 10 seconds each and gather 10 new facts that are wildly interesting. Just think about it? If it’s on an info-graphic, it’s typically already gone through the scrutiny of “Is this interesting or cool enough to spend additional time/money to graphically illustrate?”

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I hope you are feeling less like this….

You can conquer the blog writing mountain without losing your mind with the above tips! For more ideas on how to smoke your competition on the blogging front – just comment, like and share this article.

Thanks and hope to see you around again – ask questions in the comment stream if you like. It could be my next blogging topic!

Your digital marketing expert: Corinne Meier!

 


face-386626_640

Okay, this first move is both easy and hard. At Forward Progress, when we engage in what we call a Rapid Launch Plan, we figure out where to help an organization structure their relationship and community marketing efforts. We often find that there is one critical thing that everyone finally has to deal with and we all need work on this, even us!

This is your first move with the relationship. We are not sure why we see so many people who have great landing pages, registration forms, website capture forms and often see people overlook that next step conversion. Remember, you started a conversation with your audience, don’t misguide them or leave them hanging. Think of your own experience’s online. What turns you on and what turns you off? Then think of what you are offering out on the net.

“What turns you on, what turns you off?”

 

 

blog 7

For example, you get a person to fill out your form, make a request or give their email, and what is your first impression? Follow these simple steps to test yourself.

 

  1. Ask people who enter your world how did we do, what do you think?
  1. Test it yourself, do you feel welcomed and tended to, do you feel a relationship forming?
  1. Track your success or failure rate to convert leads into customers

 

Remember once you do these, you can then adjust the experience of that first move accordingly. Your next customer could be closer that you think, like in your CRM or lead database, you just misfired, dropped off or forgot about them. Look and let us know what you find!

See you online – Dean