In Episode 71 of the Influence Factory, I had the opporunity to sit down with my close friend and business partner, Ben Zoldan co-founder and CEO of Storyleaders.I welcome you to a discussion with us about “All-In” culture and what it means to see opportunity in fear, and more importantly what impact does it have in your organization, people and even our world.

 

 

The first area we focus on here is the idea of being present. If you are constantly looking towards the next thing, you are not allowing yourself to live in the experience of now. Constantly looking for the next thing trains your brain to do this even when you don’t intentionally mean to. This can, over time, hinder relationships in the sense of work as well as family.

 

When you grow up learning certain defense mechanisms, they become ingrained in your behavior for the rest of your life. It is up to you to unlearn these techniques to make room for growth. An interaction I had changed the way I looked at fear and how it affected my professional growth.

 

 

“Your problem is that you see fear as the enemy. When fear comes up, you need to see that as an opportunity, embrace it full-on, and go at it– whatever that fear maybe.” By doing this, you are opening the door to opportunities you would have never dreamed of. Nothing is out of your reach when you realize this. Ben points out that we are not fearless by nature; the closest we come to being fearless is when we effectively learn how to manage our fear and turn it into opportunity. At that point, we can cross the boundaries of fearlessness.

 

 

Ben goes on to discuss questions that were sparked within him when he went up to a man to thank him for his work, and he replies with, “Hey man I’m just doing my part.” It makes you wonder why some people are all-in, and others are not. A successful operation is made when all members are in for the good of the project rather than the material, monetary, and selfish reasons. The root of the problem comes from, in Ben’s eyes, “Corporate environments we set up that are operating from a playbook that fails to celebrate the most intrinsic things that govern our souls. This includes being stimulated, being a part of something greater, or working for something truly important to them. People don’t go “All-In” because of the out of date paradigms corporations have set up.”

 

 

For Ben, it was starting Storyleaders and diving into something that he was completely invested in. His passion, his drive, and his motives were “All-In” when it came to this project. He stated that maybe even if he wasn't the absolute best at it, it was about overcoming the fear and putting yourself in a position where you are truly passionate about the job you are doing.

 

When you can effectively communicate your story to your team and open the door to a vulnerable state, it creates a sense of community, understanding, and most importantly, humanization. With an open atmosphere, there is a greater potential for the team to have accountability and drive, due to viewing each other more as fellow humans with the same goals, rather than just coworkers.

 

 

“By and large, I felt like I knew what I was getting into. I couldn’t have been more wrong…This is an experience that has forever changed how I view the world” – Barry Sowerwine, SVP Enterprise Sales, Tableau

 

 

Ben discusses the idea that the reason people act the way they do is because of the broken systems we are designing. If the office culture had always been “All-In” then we wouldn't have to go back and fix it. The thing that gives people purpose and meaning is a connection. You have to find connections with others to truly feel attached to the work.

 

One of our core human interests is to contribute. We are here to work together to create something greater. Ben mentions that what gives us the ability to work together in large numbers is the ability to empathize and have each other's backs. This does not necessarily make us unique, for wild animals also do this. What does make us unique, however, is that we can pick things up and imagine things that do not yet exist. Businesses fail to recognize, in most cases, that this is what makes us so inimitable. They do not foster creativity and fail to remember what it is like to be human.

 

 

On a sports team, there is a sense of looking out for one another. The defense must work with the offense to reach its goal. This is the mentality that should be carried into the office. To listen to this episode with @BenZoldan go to: https://app.socialjack.com/resource-items/ep-71-ben-zoldan-going-all-in-influence-factory/

 

 


It seems that in today’s increasingly digital world, you have anyone on the planet within a click’s reach. So many social media platforms are designed to make communicating and engaging with others as easy and fast as possible. So, with all this immediate contact at our disposal, why not use it to our advantage?

As a Business Influencer (and yes, you are in fact an influencer), your impact on others is limitless— if you implement your influence correctly. LinkedIn, the leading professional networking and job search app, is a necessary tool for taking social media by the reigns and using it to build business. Yes, connecting with professionals in your industry, whether you know them or not, is great for building your network. But what’s the point of your large network if you are not taking the extra steps to convert these connections into clients? With each accepted invitation to connect comes a whole wave of opportunity. Watch this Social Jack Flash Class!

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today, this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline. Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening. Social selling is gaining popularity in a variety of industries, though it is used primarily for B2B (business-to-business) selling or highly considered consumer purchases (e.g. financial advisory services, automotive, realty).

Social selling has become more popular since companies have looked to increase their return on investment of social media interaction. Sales teams within organizations frequently mine data from social media that may help them connect to customers in order to create a more genuine sales lead. The technique frequently focuses on approaching potential clients in a less direct way, meaning they don’t interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and hard sells. Koka Sexton stated that the art of social selling is said to speed up many sales processes, while also improving relationships.

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Let’s take a look at some statistics from the International Data Corporation:

75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level/vice president (VP) executives surveyed use social media to make purchasing decisions.

Online professional networks are the number one information preference of buyers in the final stage of the purchase process.

Social buying correlates with buying influence. The average B2B buyer who uses social media for buying support is more senior, has a bigger budget, makes more frequent purchases, and has a greater span of buying control than a buyer who does not use social media. B2B buyers find the greatest benefit of social media is gaining greater confidence in and comfort with their decisions.

How Many Contacts Do You Have That You Cannot See?

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When we think about our social reach, you may be connected to someone directly, through another person or through many different people. What happens is, information gets passed down a line. One person may see what you’re doing online, believe that it may be of value to someone else they know, then connect you to their connection. This opens up an array of networking opportunities

The LinkedIn Network

Even with 500, 400, even 300 industry-related connections, this puts us within degrees of millions of possible connections. When you look at someone’s profile on LinkedIn, you can see how many shared connections there are between you and them. This is the beginning of the formation of “clusters”. It is essential to know how to talk with the people within these clusters, more specifically, find the ones that matter.

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Goal: Prevent Clicking Roulette!

What we want to prevent is “clicking roulette”. It’s normal to go onto social media and begin clicking on every possible prospective client you see, but it’s not efficient or beneficial to us. We may log onto LinkedIn with one goal, but soon find ourselves buying gadgets from the Amazon trending list, or making trades on Draft Kings. This lack of focus is not going to generate appointments.

Personal Challenge: Make it a goal for yourself to set five minutes (and only five) to go on LinkedIn, and make your sole intent to leave with one appointment. Whether it’s a phone appointment, a Zoom call, or just a coffee date, make that your one goal for five minutes on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Power Moves- Let’s Get Those Appointments!

1) Your Profile = Your Professional Brand

Think about your ideal target and whom you want to start conversations with. Take the time to identify your target audience, then make sure your LinkedIn profile speaks specifically to that group.

Your profile photo should represent who you truly are. It should be current, welcoming, and you want it to portray how you would look if a client were to be seeing you at a meeting or an event. If you put a tie on for professional headshot photo day at work, but you don’t usually wear a tie, that is not a good representation of your personal brand.

Ensure that your profile headline is clear and communicates to people what you do and how you can help them. Putting where you work is unnecessary because it is already located at the top of your profile. You want to answer the clients’ question: “What is your solution that you are bringing to me?”. Your headline is what the potential client will see first when they land on your profile, meaning it should be packed full of keywords (within LinkedIn's limit of 120 characters, of course) relating to your specialties and services. If they were to search for a combination of keywords pertaining to the service you provide, you want to be first on the list of profiles after they press enter.

Joseph has a clear & concise headline of exactly what he can provide to his potential clients. His profile photo represents him well, for if we were to meet him at an event, this is how he would appear. You can see he included speaker and author in his headline-- While this may not be his primary job, he included this service in order to be found via keyword search.

2) Home Page Scan (UNE)

Remember that personal challenge from earlier? When you log onto LinkedIn, use part of those five minutes to scan your homepage. This step is where you literally scroll through your LinkedIn feed. If you’re noticing a lot of content and profiles that don’t apply to you and your goals, you have the wrong network. You can hide this unwanted content, or even unfollow/disconnect to these people that don’t belong in your circle.

Example: If you are hosting an event and have 500 people you know, but 50 of those are the decision makers, those 50 people are the ones you want at your event. LinkedIn, and social media in general, is one huge event. Invite the people who belong, and drop the ones who aren’t benefiting you or your business.

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Above is what your LinkedIn home page looks like. Time to scroll and see who is helping you reach your goals— and who isn't. Remember: Social Media is like an event. Invite those who should be apart of it.

Within two minutes of your homepage scan, you should be able to spot somebody worth starting a conversation with.

3) Network Diving – Level One

Find someone within your network whom you believe is reputable, is always making referrals, or who is just a good friend. Then, “dive” into their LinkedIn network.

Example: Tony is a good friend of mine who I KNOW would always be willing to introduce me to people in his network. Find a connection like Tony and try diving into their connections!

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Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your established network and ask them to introduce you to people in their network. Take the “social” part of social media literally, and dive right in to new opportunities.

LinkedIn has a feature where you can search specifically for a certain industry, seniority, or job title of that connection pool to ensure you’re reaching out to your preferred target audience.

Here's an example of a filtered search within Tony's network:

Customize the search on your friend or colleague's network to hone in on a target that meets your needs.

4) Conversation

Now that you took that leap of faith diving into a new network, it’s time to start a conversation. Think back to those first five minutes on LinkedIn, we’re at the point where times halfway up.

You have identified that new person whom you want to start a conversation with, now it’s time to engage. Isn’t engaging what social media is all about? Select a recent post that your prospective appointment has shared and start a genuine conversation with them in the comments. Something as simple as making an authentic comment is a guaranteed way to opening up new doors for you and this potential client. Put the sales aside for a second and really focus and touch on what matters to them. Start that dialogue, and be sure that you are all in on investing in them. This will establish a feeling of authenticity and trust before the actual conversation even begins.

Example: You found a potential appointment, Spencer in this case, from that nose dive into Tony's network. Now that it's time to start a conversation, head over to Spencer's activity to find something you can either comment on or include in your future messaging.

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5) Set the Hook – Convert

Now that you've done all that work (about 3.5 minutes into your 5 minute limit!), you're ready to get that appointment. Here are a few example strategically formulated messages you can send to your future client for your best chances of landing that conversion.

The “Catch Up”

This introductory message shows a genuine, authentic approach to breaking the ice with your target appointment. Writing this message needs to be done in a targeted fashion. Confirm that this person has a reason to utilize you and your services and that you as well are targeted in this initiative.

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The “Fresh Connect”

It is important to thank people for connecting. If you’re lost on ways to initiate that conversation, thanking someone for simply connecting with you is a great place to start. It’s personal, simple, and gets straight to business.

We want to include a specifics with formulating this message. Specify how you want to meet and let them know you’re interested in working with them. Don’t leave this potential client wondering why you reached out.

Always provide two times and dates you are available to meet! If their response is delayed, at least you ignited a dialogue that can get picked back up in the future. Don’t forget to insert forms of contact information so you are easily reachable. While LinkedIn does not allow for automated signatures on messaging, it is always helpful to keep a document handy with a custom signature you can quickly copy and paste.

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The “Continued Call”

One of the most important things about the continued call message is that you started the conversation. Remember that initial chat you had in the comments of the potential client’s post? It should be referenced here in this direct message. You can lead with language like “As promised…” or “Like I mentioned…” as an extension of that previous conversation. Make your intentions clear.

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The “Transition”

This message can be technically viewed as an email validation. Make sure you have that intent to go from this conversation, to the next.
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The “Referral Call”

Adding something relevant and specific to this potential client will allow them to feel like you truly care about them as a person, rather than just another possible conversion. Now, you are actually offering them referrals, letting them know that this connection will be mutually beneficial.

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All of these steps to creating appointments on LinkedIn are meant to be completed within just FIVE minutes after logging on. Ditch the phone, turn off the TV, and focus on using your time on social media to gain new business. Every message you’ve seen thus far has included a personalized touch, clear intent, specific times and dates, and contact information. Who knew that five short minutes could be amplified into creating appointments? It is essential that we utilize the ever-growing digital world to our advantage.

What did you take away from these 5 LinkedIn power moves?

About the Author

For over 30 years, Dean DeLisle, has demonstrated his ability to accelerate bank, financial, and insurance institutions to stimulate business development while in a compliant environment. As Founder of Forward Progress, Dean and his team have helped over 2,000 clients assess and improve their online marketing and social networking results and trained over 120,000 professionals in over 35 countries with their online programs on their Social Jack™ Academy.

Dean has recently launched his new book, FIRST, The Street Guide to Digital Business Influence, which also tell stories of leaders within banking who have changed their culture and brand impact online.

Watch this Social Jack Flash Class

 


According to a 2018 industry report by Social Media Examiner, 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts generated more exposure for their businesses and 78% reported increased traffic to sites. Perhaps most importantly, more than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for more than 2 years reported it helped them improve sales.

However, as brands begin to see greater results and budgets increase, more pressure is put on marketers to prove ROI, stay ahead of the competition, and strategically align their efforts with business goals. Given these realities, it is more important than ever to assess your social media strategy and make sure it’s working for you. Below you will find 9 components that are critical to a successful social media strategy.

1.  Perform an audit of your current social media practices

What is a social media audit?

Social Media Strategy Audit

Perform an audit of your current social media practices

An audit is a detailed look at current social media practices. Digging into the numbers will provide a clear look at what’s working, what’s failing, and what to improve. This lays the groundwork for identifying your goals and the steps required to reach them. It’s also an important way to identify opportunities and challenges.

According to Social Media Examiner, only 42% of marketers were able to keep a measure of their social media marketing activities. But how can you get the most out of your social media program if you don’t know what’s working?

Your audit should include the following:

  • A list of all owned platforms with handles and login information.
  • A list of your most engaged followers
  • Calculation of your engagement rate
  • Content performance, recorded by asking the following questions:
    • What type of content performs best? The worst?
    • What time and/or day get the most engagement?
    • What is your current post frequency?

Getting started on an audit can be a little overwhelming, so here are a few resources to help:

Social Media Strategy Audit Resources

Social Media Strategy Audit Resources

2. Perform a competitive analysis

Once you’ve reviewed your own practices on social media, it’s time to look at competitors. This is a good way to see how you compare, and can also be helpful in identifying industry standards, trends, and threats. The first step is to identify which competitors you want to research. Pick 4-5 competitors, including brands that are bigger and smaller than yours.

For each competitor, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How are your competitors using social media? Include a list of all platforms they are on, how active they are and what type of content they are sharing.
  • How many followers do they have compared to you? And what is their engagement rate?
  • How is their content performing? What types of content perform the best?
  • How do they engage with their followers?

It is often difficult to see everything competitors do. Here are a couple tools to help with your research:

3.  Identify your goals and objectives

The cornerstone of any strategy is understanding what you are trying to achieve with your social media marketing. Without this, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of content creation and posting while forgetting why you are doing all of this work in the first place.

The best goals are written and posted in a place you will see them every day. They should guide all of your campaigns, content creation, and community management activities.

To identify your social media goals, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are my overall business objectives?
  • How can I use social media to align with these objectives?
  • What does my audience expect from me?
  • What do I really want from my social media efforts?
  • Are my goals measurable?

The Metrics Map chart below is a great tool to use in aligning your business goals with specific social media activities. For example, to drive more traffic to your site from Instagram, you’ll need to set goals that relate to increased awareness and increased demand.

Social Media Strategy Metrics Map Chart

Social Media Strategy Metrics Map Chart

The map’s recommended social KPIs for these stages are impressions and engagements. Now that these metrics are identified, you can create S.M.A.R.T Goals for each of these buyer stages.

4. Build an audience persona(s) to target the right customer

An audience persona is a research-backed profile of your ideal customer. A whopping 70% of people in North America use social media every day, but that doesn’t mean that you want to speak to all of those people. An audience persona will profile your ideal customer.

Furthermore, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience. Personas also help to identify authentic and personalized opportunities to reach your customers through social media.

Use research and data from your social platforms, Facebook Audience Insights, Google Analytics, and your internal sales tools or CRM to find out more about your customers. While you are digging, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the customer demographics?
  • What are this person’s challenges, goals, values, and fears?
  • How do they interact with social media?
  • What social activities (platforms, hashtags, accounts) should be used to reach them?
  • What is your persona’s name?
  • What is the visual representation of this person?

Here are a couple resources to get started building your audience personas:

5. Define your brand voice and visuals on social media

Showing up consistently on social media is an important tactic to increase trust and brand awareness among your audience. Consistent use of color alone can increase brand recognition by up to 80%. It can also help to drive revenue: consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by roughly 23%, according to Lucid Press.

Your social media strategy should outline the look and sound of your brand across different platforms by identifying and recording the following items:

  • Brand Voice. What does your brand sound like? What words would you use to describe your brand’s voice? Is it silly, fun, professional or thoughtful?
  • Grammar and Terminology. How does your brand follow grammar and punctuation guidelines? What words or phrases do you embrace and which ones do you avoid?
  • Post formatting. What do your posts look like? Do you break lines often or write in one paragraph? Do you write long-form posts or keep it short? Do you use emojis?
  • Hashtag usage. How are you using hashtags and what do they look like within a post?
  • Visual guidelines. What type of photos do you share? Is there a certain filter that you use? How should social graphics look?

Here are some helpful resources to identify your brand guidelines for social media:

6. Build a content strategy for the types and amounts of posts you’ll share

Social Media Strategy Rule of Thirds

Social Media Strategy Rule of Thirds

With a strategy framework outlined, you can start to detail the tactics required to engage your ideal customer, reach your goals, stand out from the competition, and reinforce your brand. Your content plan is the primary way to achieve all of these things. In 2018, marketers plan to increase their use of videos (77%), visuals (68%), live video (63%), blogging (57%), and podcasting (25%), in that order.

Social media content should be a mix of different types of content. One helpful guideline is the Rule of Thirds, which states that content should be ? promotional, ? curated and ? engagement based. Identify types of posts that fall into each of these categories. (There are some ideas in the chart above.)

Next, create a calendar to identify key dates and authentic opportunities to share content from each category. Pay close attention to make sure you aren’t overloading your feed with promotional content.

7. Integrate your social media strategy with other channels

In today’s marketing environment, an integrated approach drives results. A well-integrated and customized campaign can boost effectiveness by 57%, according to AdReaction: The Art of Integration. This isn’t surprising, considering that 86% of shoppers are regularly channel-hopping across at least two channels (CommerceHub).

Despite all of this evidence, marketers are still struggling to integrate their channels.

Make a plan to cross promote your social media content. Your strategy should outline how you will share and promote social content via email marketing, website, direct marketing, and any other channels you are utilizing.

8. Identify the budget, tactics, and tools required to achieve your goals

Identify social media strategy budget, tactics and tools

Identify social media strategy budget, tactics, and tools

Almost all marketers report to someone, and that someone is going to want to know how much your strategy is going to cost. Although budgets differ across companies and industries, most companies spend about 5% to 15% of annual revenue on marketing. Social media is becoming a bigger piece of companies’ marketing mix. Social media spend is expected to increase 89% in next 5 years (see graph above).

Aside from your team (either internal or external), a social media budget should include resources for:

  • Creating content
  • Paid social promotions
  • Influencer campaigns
  • Social media management tools
  • Community engagement efforts
  • Analytics tools

If you’ve never created a marketing budget before, here are a couple tools to help:

9. Create a reporting plan

Create a social media strategy reporting plan

Create a social media strategy reporting plan

The last step of your social media strategy is to set up a way to track results. Create a template that records the KPIs identified when you set your goals. A good report will show progress (or lack thereof) over time. Reviewing reports on a quarterly or monthly basis can inform changes in strategy, new opportunities and areas for improvement.

Companies are investing more and more into social media programs, but many are still struggling to improve the channel’s impact. A recent study by eMarketer uncovered that 6 out of 10 small businesses find it difficult to track the ROI from their social media marketing efforts. And even a survey (reflected in the chart below) of CMO’s found that the impact of social media remains difficult to prove.

Chart Showing Your Social Media Impact

Showing Your Company’s Social Media Impact

A strong social media strategy will identify the metrics that matter and help marketing teams to understand where they are creating an impact on the bottom line.

Need further guidance in taking your strategy to the next level? Attend a Social Media Strategy Summit to hear the latest in best practices from top brands across multiple industries.

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On – 18 Oct, 2017 By Jeff Rojas

A quick Google Trends Search and you'll quickly see that the search for “Influencer Marketing” has skyrocketed over the last five years. Rightfully so, as Entrepreneur contributor Daniel Newman pointed out in 2015, and several studies have proved: Influencer marketing is the fastest growing and most cost-effective channel.

But for every success story, there's a dozen other nightmare stories of influencers who've mishandled their responsibilities and botched their marketing strategies along the way. Case in point, a celebrity influencer who neglectfully forgot to remove the copy from their post. If you’ve ever hired an influencer and didn’t see a return on your investment, don’t worry you’re not alone. In an ideal world, you’d hire a Michael Jordan or David Beckham for your company, and products would start flying off of the shelves.

The reality is that influencer marketing is significantly more complex than that. Even though you’re paying for access to a specific audience, that audience is still a consumer market that you need to use a strategic approach with — and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset.

1. Seamless integration — find someone with real interest in your product.

While it should go without saying, you want to invest in someone who actually uses your product or service, or someone who could potentially benefit from using your product or service.

It’s not worth your time hiring someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in using your product. For instance, if you were a wetsuit company targeting surfers — you wouldn't try to engage with a surfer who is known for not wearing a wetsuit.

It is probably not the most efficient use of your time to employ a non-wetsuit wearer, unless you can come up with a compelling reason why your specific person is jumping out of their skin to start wearing your new wetsuit for a distinct and definite reason.

You want someone who wants to use your product and who is willing to provide you “real world feedback.” Think of it like a small focus group for research and development (e.g., this is what I LOVE about your product, but I think you can improve on it). This way, you know exactly what they’d tell their audience behind closed doors when you’re not around.

2. Know the difference between depth vs. reach.

Just because a person has a large audience doesn’t mean they’re successfully reaching them. And just because an influencer has a large following doesn’t mean they have the attention of their audience. Worst yet, what if your influencer was one of those who bought their followers?

A large following doesn’t mean anything if that audience isn’t listening to you. Think about it this way: If you had a physical brick and mortar store, what’s more valuable for immediate sales?

  • A list of 100,000 people in your area. Or,
  •  A list of 1,000 people in your area who have genuine interest and need for your product or service.

While the first scenario may help reach a broader audience and start promoting brand awareness, it's not as likely to convert to sales if you're trying to cover overhead. Most, companies would rather take the qualified list of leads — and rightfully so.

In order to make the most of influencer marketing, you need to hold influencers up to the same level of accountability as any of your other marketing outlets. It doesn't benefit your business to invest in a lead list with no qualified leads.

3. Hold influencers accountable.

The problem with traditional influencer marketing is that most companies don’t set themselves up for success to begin with. Simply put, they’re paying for something or someone they don’t even understand how to efficiently use.

The secret to making influencer marketing efficient is to first define what your goal is and exactly how and why that influencer can help you get there.

If your focus is brand awareness and you’re trying to build your Instagram following — great! Define a reasonable number of views and followers that you’re expecting per post. Define how many followers that you’d like to see by the end of the month. Define what tags to use to promote your content. Be explicit with details.

If you’re trying to sell products, then define how many sales you’d like to see per month or per quarter. There are quite a few fitness companies on Instagram who offer commission sales to their influencers as opposed to paying them per post. In order to keep anyone accountable, you need to define what your goal is so that you can track of their progress with specifics.

In addition to that, most influencer marketing is done with a “shake of the hand” deal, or a “nod of the head.” That type of mentality doesn’t lend itself well to accountability or success.

If you want to make the most of any influencer marketing, you need to focus on defining a specific outcome and then holding your influencers accountable just as you would your other employees. By defining target goals and defining expectations, you can set yourself up for success from the beginning.

For instance, a couple of my clients have hired me on a monthly retainer rather than hiring me on a project by project basis. Each contract has different stipulations, but my obligations range from speaking engagements to demonstrating products and mentioning new products on social media. The benefit for companies to work with me on a consistent basis is that I’m able to incorporate them seamlessly into the work I’m doing already.

For example, say that you’re a men’s sportswear brand and you’re looking to pay an influencer to wear your attire while they’re working out. Rather than doing a one off video or project, sponsor them and require that they wear your attire anytime they’re on camera.

Keeping that example, say your influencer gets picked up by a vitamin brand — now your influencer is wearing your attire while marketing the vitamin brand’s product.

By incorporating several brands that seamlessly integrate with one another into my daily outreach, the companies can then benefit from the marketing dollars my other clients spend. Think of it like a mutual fund and my brand is the bank.

Individually, each company may have a limited budget for outreach, but by pooling their resources into one brand (me), they’re able to reach a consumer market they may have not had access to. With those contracts, my clients and I sit down and write up a contract that defines specific dates, projects and expectations that they have — then I follow up monthly with a report and phone call.

Contractually, what you’ll want to do is make sure that your influencer doesn't include your competitors. This seems obvious to entrepreneurs, but not so much with influencers.

Just like any other employee, you have to keep your influencers accountable or you’re not going to see a return on your investment. I also find that the brands that have the most communication with me are usually the ones seeing the most benefit out of working with my brand.

Even if I’m putting my best foot forward, usually clients who are uninvolved don’t see the value I bring to table until it’s too late. Coordinating our efforts allows me to create the content that promotes their products in the most seamless way possible.

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295436


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.