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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.

Snackable Content: Winning an Audience One Bite at a Time

This past month, my team and I were able to attend The Social Media Strategy Summit here in our hometown of Chicago. The three days spent there I was able to interact with colleagues, and learn new techniques from them. At the summit there was a wide range of internet savvy people including Fortune 500 companies down to self-made entrepreneurs. These frontrunners were experienced in everything digital, communal, and content. 

Our contribution to the event was a workshop that helped people create, and utilize a fundamental content strategy and then launch it in a short order.

One thing we’ve learned over time is that content will become smaller, and more brief, for it to than become considered by consumption. Not only did we play the teacher role at the event, we were also learners. Did you know that the average internet user:

  • Has an attention span of 8 seconds, that’s one second less than the attention space that a goldfish has.
  • Visits 2,125 internet pages per month, that’s 1.12 pages per minute!
  • Views over 3,000 impressions per day


With user’s attention span becoming shorter, businesses have to adapt to grabbing consumer’s attention with less. What the doctor prescribed for this is called, “Snackable Content,” or content that is shorter. This means that:

  • Blogs are becoming shorter, and typically under 200 words. Think about Twitter and how tweets have to be less than 140 characters.
  • Videos are less than 60 seconds. Instagram made the switch from 15 second videos to 60 second videos, Twitter allows 30 second videos, Snapchat only allows for 10 second videos, and Vine allows six second videos.
  • Webinar and Podcasts are under 20 minutes, if you take a look at the content uploaded to TED the large majority of videos are between the range of 10 to 18 minutes long.

Amongst uploading shorter content, we as producers cannot forget to build rapport with our customers, but instead of doing it in minutes, we have seconds, and a few works in the place of paragraphs.

Take this advice and apply it to your online sphere, and I look forward to reading or viewing your shorter content virtually.

– Dean


Click  HERE to purchase your tickets to SMSS New York and use code ForwardProgress15 for a 15% discount!

Trump, Hillary, Cruz and Sanders – Twitter battle for the White House

By Dean DeLisle

In the interest of social media, social teaming and all things I love about twitter I just can’t stop helping myself on consuming stats around this election. It’s like a social freak show, but it’s also cool as our curriculum at Social Jack follows Social Teaming and these politicians are practicing at a variety of levels. Let me explain as we use Twitter as the social weapon of choice and notably the most used by all candidates.

First Things First – Accounts and Hashtags:

Trump – @realDonaldTrump

Clinton – @HillaryClinton

Cruz – @tedcruz

Sanders –  @BernieSanders@SenSanders

Social Reach 

One key element of Social Teaming is how far is your reach, to your ideal target. Well here are some stats.

Trump – has 7.2 million followers, at his announcement of the election he was at 4.35 million. His target is 45% female and either very young audience (some not old enough to vote) and the rest of the majority over 40 years of age.

Clinton – has 5.7 million followers, she started with 4.38 million at her announcement. She has 45% women, ages 18-40 make up her majority.

Cruz – he has 977 thousand followers and started with 518 thousand when he announced his candidacy.

Sanders – has 1.7 million and he started at 616 thousand on his announcement.

Summary: While Trump appears to have more, recent report state that 60% of his accounts are fake or idle accounts. Hillary has about 40% of the same. So that makes me feel like their numbers are more even than they look. Although wait till we get through some more of the evidence below and you determine.

Who they Follow 

While they all have had significant growth in their numbers, let look at who they follow. Networking and Social Networking is a two way street and let’s see how those number stack up!

Trump – only 41, mostly family, Trump companies and a few reporters, no competitors

Clinton – 643, mostly, campaign related staff and recently entertainment related people, she does not follow rivals or news reporters.

Cruz – 13.8 thousand, mostly seems to be people who have tons of followers, accounts with a background of American Flag, Confederate Flag, Bald Eagle, does not follow non-conservatives.

Sanders – 1,935, mostly news media, celebrities, labor unions and people from the entertainment industry.

Summary: this all seems pretty normal, with the exception of
Cruz, who seems to working the follow back game. This means he is follow thousands of people to get the follow backs to his accounts and build up his numbers. This is an old game in the twitter play book, so this tells me his social media folks are a bit rooky and lowers my feel of authenticity. The rest are pretty normal. I am impressed with Trump only following 41 and having such a commanding lead

Conversations – Tweet Activity

Trump – 31 thousand tweets, these are definitely mostly him. This is the most authentic, not sure if you like it or not but with the misspellings and rants, this is all Donald.

Clinton – with 4 thousand tweets, when Hillary tweets she uses (-H) to sign her tweets, the rest are her staff. They mostly tweet on speeches, gun control, affordable child care, causes she follows. She even tweeted her plan to defeat ISIS. She does have some Spanish tweets, impressive.

Cruz – 15.5 thousand, this feels like a social media team at work. He retweets news (mostly fox and similar) and I do applaud him as he re-tweets his supporters. Even if this is his team, great move!

Sanders – 7,681 tweets, while he has the least he feels the most connected to his followers. He has a higher re-tweet ration and plays the most.

Summary: We get the most real person (like it or not) from Trump, yet Sanders has the best connection to his followers. He engages with his followers at a much higher rate than the others. Hillary has good content, but not feeling the real person here, she is way to filtered for my liking. Cruz, is ok if you like talking to a social media team.

Final Summary

I am sure I will have more on this, however with our recent interview I promised everyone we would report on this further. As for Social Teaming, all of them has some traits and a few of the best practices. The harsh reality is that after the election, I would wager than most of these accounts will go hiatus, less the winner. That is the only sad part, building a team for a single purpose, then leaving until you need them again. This is my own personal view point, but believe it to be true, We will see after the election. Until then we can be amused by the stats and game here. So now let me give out some awards.

My vote is:

– Trump: Most real, authentic

– Clinton: Most newsworthy, best facts

– Cruz: Most old fashioned twitter techniques

– Sanders: Most engaged with his network

Hope you enjoyed this summary and found as much amusement as I did going through the numbers.



Here is a recent media interview with First AM Business with Angela Miles: video

Follow them on Facebook here.

*Statistics came from researchers Yu Wang, Yuncheng Li, and Jeibo Luo – study can be found here:


In the business of Social Selling and micro-learning, we are always looking for those fun power moves that can create results in just a few clicks. So follow this along and I will share my new favorite move, well not new, just newly labeled.

So SCAG stands for four simple actions and here we go:


S – Scan

Simply look for a targeted connection in LinkedIn. Ones that you have a decent rapport with and have spoken to within the last 60-90 days. In Social Jack team building, we call these team members our primary draft picks. Once you find your targeted connection, scan their profile for two connections they might have that would be ideal referrals for you. No you might have to look under recommendations or skill endorsements if their connection are suppressed. However lately I find that many are open. The only clicks here are if you need to advance the page.


C- Connect

This is even easier and mostly required no click unless you use email, however I prefer a phone call to that person. Remember on connections you have access to their phone number field as well.


A – Ask

This is where you simply ask your connections for the specific referrals. There is always a chance they might not know the exact referral, however the intention of asking will spark the conversation for the ideal type of referral you are looking for and most always takes the conversation to the next level.


G – Get

We find in our training that in the beginning over 90% of people stop at the ask and never go for the get. If you have the relationship and can get into the ask as part of your conversation your network will have the desire to help you get to the get!

Now what are you waiting for, join thousands of Social Jack students who S.C.A.G. each and every day, maybe you have been S.C.A.G.’d and don’t even know it!

Enjoy and maybe you will do this in less than 4 clicks once you get going!


See you online, Dean

FUNNY: The Interview – Top Recruiters' Wildest Stories by LinkedIn

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Who is Your Social Competition? You Might Be Surprised!

By Dean DeLisle


Social Selling


When we are looking at organizations we get called into three primary areas with our Social Jack™ Training Programs, Relationship Marketing, Social Selling or Career Advancement. One common theme is that all areas are not only looking to excel in their area and hit their goals, but they have a strong desire to know their social competition, once they know they have social competition!

The first competitor is probably the most obvious, it’s them. They many times are in their own way, they either are holding back from two primary reasons, fear or they hold on to the wrong social network (of people). What we see is that they have fear. They fear of knowing their true identity, what to do or say and who should they connect with among others. So they simply play small or hold back, which means they are in their own way! The second part of this is that they have the wrong network of people, this at the core can be fatal. Even organization construct very unproductive social networks and forget the target customers and partners, so we often have to reorganize out of the gate more than not.

Social Selling

Relationship Marketing Competitors

Your competition here are all the prospect and customers out there on your social network platforms, and in your databases. Are you holding their attention over the competition? We also see the competition look like content and platforms such as websites, landing pages and micro sites.

Social Selling Competitors

This one might be the most obvious depending on the organization. These are also prospects and customers, however they might be in control of your accounts execs, relationship managers, customer service or no one. As an organization it’s your duty to provide structure and training to your sales force, set guidelines, boundaries and a solid attack plan to form an intentional social network so the competition can’t penetrate.

Career Advancement Competitors

Flat out this is where you are in competition with your peers and can be tricky depending on the culture. We see this from two angles the inside out and the outside in. So if you are on the inside, its best to network with your peers and really work together for each other. Unfortunately many cultures don’t allow this so they tend to breed a protective environment and dictate survival of the fittest wins and this can be unproductive and harmful to growth in most cases. It is so much better to approach this from a position of authenticity and relationship. From the outside, it’s great to be in this mode to penetrate the walls of a corporation and take out someone who is in competition for a position you desire. Then remember to shift once you get on the inside, be the thought leader here!

In my next blog on this I will get into how to really take out the competition and what we see as our best techniques used by our Social Jack™ students. Social Jack™ was developed by Dean DeLisle and his team at Forward Progress in response to an overwhelming demand for their social media training and development workshops, which are delivered both in person and online. With, clients can select their professional destination, map out a plan, and access the coaching and training needed to support them to that destination. They will develop the skills they need to build and manage the social networks required on their journey.

Want to take your strategy to the next level? Join us  on Feb 10th – 11am CST: Social Jack™ hosts “LinkedIn – How to Knock Out Your Social Competition”

Are you wondering why some people are generating new business from LinkedIn and you're not? Or, maybe why your competition is getting in front of your current clients? Join our webinar and learn how to use 5 steps to take out your competition and create new business. Register Here

Facebook Organic Reach Decline | Next Steps

facebook organic reach declineDoes the Facebook organic reach decline have your business' marketing plan turned upside down?

Facebook Organic Reach – The What and Why

According to Facebook's VP of Ads Product Marketing Brian Boland, the organic reach enjoyed by countless small business owners on Facebook is going away, potentially down to zero.  Put in plain terms, your fans and audience on Facebook will not see your posts anymore unless you pay to “boost” them.  Wait – WHAT?!  Yes, this organic reach decline is coming as a shock to many business owners, especially those who have invested tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a massive following on Facebook.  Many Facebook business page owners are rightfully angry that they now have to pay just to get in front of their own fans.


The main impact of the Facebook organic reach decline:

According to the latest reports from Facebook,

your “Facebook organic reach” on fan pages is now only 5%.


facebook organic reach declineFacebook Organic Reach – What's The New Push Look Like

According to the latest reports from Facebook, your “organic reach” on fan pages is now only 5%.  Yes, this means that every time you post approximately just 5% of your total fans will be shown your post in their news feed.  Pretty awful, huh?  It seems like just yesterday that Facebook had no ads on it and there was no sign that it was every going to try and suck money out us.  Well times have changed, Facebook is now a publicly traded company, and it appears they are doing absolutely everything they can to track our every move and use that data as justification to business owns as to why they should pay money just to get their posts in front of their own fans.  So where do we go from here and overcome the now virtually non existent Facebook organic reach?  Read on to the next section:

With Facebook's organic reach basically gone, how do I thrive in this new model?

You can still get the absolute cheapest, targeted traffic from Facebook to your posts and/or business's website using Facebook.  You just need to pay for it now so it is crucial that you understand some general best practices for getting the cheapest clicks.  First, understand that the more you use all of the Facebook ad platform's features, the cheaper the clicks get because the more likely the audience is to like your post or ad, the better it is for everyone.  Specifically, Facebook gives you the ability to create a “tracking pixel” which is basically just a snippet of code that you can copy/paste into the “head tag” of your web site and that enables Facebook to begin building a list of your website's visitors to market to on Facebook.  Since that new “custom audience” are all past website visitors, they are most likely to click on your ad and therefore Facebook will charge you the least to get in front of your own website visitors.

Next, you can save money by testing up to 6 images with each ad and monitor which image converts the best.  You may be surprised to discover that the image you think will work best almost never does.  The images that usually work best are those that include people and specifically one with a person's face looking at you.

Finally, its smart to launch your first ads using only small amounts of money so you can test to see what gets cheap clicks, and then increase the budget for ads that are converting the best and for the cheapest amount of money.  Targeting-wise, its cheapest to have the widest audience, yet one that is still pretty targeted.  For example, one service we sell is sales coaching so we might run a Facebook ad to all Facebook users who list “LinkedIn” as one of their main interests.  You can combine multiple “interests” when targeting your audience in general Facebook ad campaigns but your conversion will nearly always be the best when you target your custom audience in the form of the past website visitors (using the tracking mechanism mentioned above).

In conclusion, yes it stinks that Facebook has become a major sell-out and is restricting the organic reach of your business page big time however there are definately cheap ways to leverage Facebook in the form of boosted posts and cheap ads.


Social Selling Step Two – Use Valued Reach to Ignite Your Social Reach by Dean R. DeLisle

Before we can ignite our Social Reach with Valued Reach (VR) we need to understand what Social Reach is. Through our friends at Hootsuite (they have a great glossary by the way) we have a pretty good definition:

Reach is a data metric that determines the potential size of audience any given message could reach. It does not mean that that entire audience will see your social media post, but rather tells you the maximum amount of people your post could potentially reach. Reach is determined by a fairly complex calculation that includes number of followers, shares and impressions as well as net follower increase over time. Reach should not be confused with Impressions or Engagement.

Social Reach


Now for Social Sales, LinkedIn Social Reach is pretty easy to see and understand. On your home page about half way down on the right you can see what your current reach is, as shown below.

Social Reach

So what does this mean? Well this means that I have 4,169 connections, people that I have either sent or accepted invites and are now my level one connections. Then those people have connections which are your second level connections. That with the next level of connections and groups you belong to make up that number. In fact, LinkedIn used to resolve this, now they just show you a few levels (shown below), which is ok, because I cannot even fathom thinking about a million let along 18 million!

Social Reach

So hopefully you are getting the definition of your social reach. Now in social selling, from our definition, Valued Reach is what we care about and teach in our curriculum. This is where we first define a destination or outcome to your sales goals, how much do you want to make by when. Then we determine how many appointments, proposals, closes you need to achieve that goal. Next we define the target, and determine who will get us there or help us achieve those goals. Next we build a structured, tactical team of TARGETED connections, clusters and hubs (defined in in Network Sciences ( by the US Army). The ones that will help you get to the connections you are trying to achieve. Not the thousands that you accept without knowing who they are and what they are about. We would prefer you just connect to those you know or people that you see potential relationship. Then we score the relationship in our system to arrive at your Valued Reach. Now you don’t have to have our system to get the juice we are talking about here, although we would like you to join us, you can still gain a valued reach for yourself by following these simple rules below.

Social Reach

In summary

  1. Own your destination, your outcome
  2. Be clear about the target that will take you there
  3. Build a team of connections with the intent for relationship
  4. Engage in relationship with your new team
  5. Keep scouting for more targeted connections (#3)
  6. Keep engaging and driving to your destination (goal)

Now – Your “Valued Reach” keeps going up – your “Social Reach” is now ignited!

About Dean DeLisle

For over 30 years, Dean has demonstrated his ability to accelerate companies, stimulate business development, and make operations more efficient. He has harnessed the ever-evolving power of technology, paired with his consulting, coaching, and training skills, to implement sound business practices. Using the power of online social networks, as well as traditional media, he has helped numerous clients pack the room for events, establish their online and social media presence, and develop countless company, brand, product, and service launches. Dean uses every tool available, weaving aspects of every medium to achieve the end goal and accelerate his clients’ business growth.