The Virtual CMO

How to Use Social Media Marketing to Amplify Your Reach with Jonathan Baldock

March 22, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Jonathan Baldock Season 4 Episode 9
The Virtual CMO
How to Use Social Media Marketing to Amplify Your Reach with Jonathan Baldock
Show Notes Transcript

In part 9 of our Masterclass Series on Building a Strategic Marketing Plan for Your Business, host Eric Dickmann speaks with Jonathan Baldock. Jonathan is an Adviser at SocialHP and a social media marketing expert. With 10 years of experience at LinkedIn, serving customers like Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Hershey's, and IBM, he is highly skilled in social sharing best practices.

Utilizing earned media as a results-focused evergreen channel, Jonathan is an expert in social media recruitment, sales, and marketing strategies.

In this episode, we talk about how companies can amplify their reach on social media and exponentially increase the effectiveness of their online content. 

For additional resources on this episode and from our other episodes in this Masterclass Series, visit https://fiveechelon.com/masterclass

To learn more about Eric Dickmann and The Five Echelon Group, visit -
https://fiveechelon.com
https://linkedin.com/in/edickmann

To learn more about Jonathan Baldock more on LinkedIn -
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jonathanbaldock

And for information about SocialHP visit https://www.socialhp.com/

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Carla:

The Virtual CMO podcast is sponsored by the strategic marketing consulting services of The Five Echelon Group. If you’d like to work directly with The Five Echelon Group and receive personal coaching and support to optimize your business, enhance your marketing effectiveness and grow your revenue, visit FiveEchelon.com to learn more and schedule a free consultation.

Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. In part nine of our Masterclass Series on building a strategic marketing plan for your business, I'm excited to welcome Jonathan Baldock to the program. Jonathan is an Advisor to Social HP and a social media marketing expert. With 10 years of experience at LinkedIn serving customers like Accenture, JP Morgan Chase, Johnson and Johnson, PepsiCo, Hershey, IBM and others, he is highly skilled in social sharing best practices. Utilizing earned media as a results focused evergreen channel, Jonathan is an expert in social media, recruitment, sales, and marketing strategies. Social media is such an important part of your overall marketing strategy and a great way to spread the message about your brand and your products at a very low cost. So the insights that Jonathan shares today are extremely valuable to any company looking to increase their reach on social media platforms. Hey, Jonathan, welcome to The Virtual CMO Podcast. How are you today?

Jonathan Baldock:

I'm great. Hey, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Eric Dickmann:

Just as a quick recap for the audience we've been going through this 15-part Masterclass series all around building out a strategic marketing plan for your business. And we've covered a number of topics already. We're right in the middle now. We've covered your target market and ideal customer profile. What it means to have product-market fit and competitive differentiation with your products, then taking that and really building a brand story that resonates with your ideal customer. Figuring out how you can create some compelling three to five word market messages that then you can use to publicize your product Using people like freelancers, digital creators to expand the capacity of your marketing team. We've got a lot of businesses that are in the SMB space and might not have huge teams. So how can you leverage those content creators? And then we got into the little bit of the subject of marketing automation, customer relationship management, and some of the underlying tools that you want to have as part of your marketing stack. And now we get to talk about some of the fun stuff is after you built that messaging, how do you get that messaging out into the world. And so you're a perfect guest to have on the show to discuss this. So if you would, let's just kick things off. Can you give the audience a little bit of background and tell them a little bit about what you're doing today?

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah. Sure. So, um, up until the middle of the summer of last year, I was with LinkedIn. I was there for almost 10 years. And I was building social media recruitment strategies for LinkedIn's largest global customers for the first five years, and then the second half was all around employee advocacy which was really about enabling your workforce to be able to distribute the content on your behalf, and so that was creating really solid evergreen channels that were much less expensive than paid campaigns. And there was a variety of use cases. I was working with a whole bunch of LinkedIn customers, and there were a lot of learnings that we had through that. And, and then when I finished up with LinkedIn, I started doing an advisory role for Social HP. And it's basically the next generation of employee advocacy, where it solves a couple of the big problems that all of my previous customers that LinkedIn had. And so I'm happy to be able to bring all of that kind of conversation to the next level.

Eric Dickmann:

I can't wait to get into that but I think it might be fun to start the conversation, just rewind the clock a little bit and talk about, where social media has been and sort of what it is turned into today. You've been close to this for a long time. How have you seen these platforms really evolve?

Jonathan Baldock:

Well, so, I mean, I can certainly give you my perspective and the best one that I have is on the LinkedIn platform. When I started, it was at the beginning of 2011, there were 600 employees. When I left, there was over 13,000 employees. And I think we had 80 million members when I started, and there was 750 million members when I left. So a lot of growth. The platform for the first few years was really about people just trying to find a job, so a lot of job postings on there. That's typically, if you ask people what's LinkedIn for, they would say, Oh, it's, you know, Once I'm out of a job or I'm looking for my next one. I update my profile. It's kind of like my virtual resume uh and I get at it. And to be honest For a long time that's kind of what it was initially focused on, the marketing or the B2B aspect, which is you know the paid campaigns that was really, really building up as I started with the organization as well. But it's evolved, it's gone from a platform of just trying to find a job, it evolved to a platform of people sharing ideas, and so you know Hey if I'm working on a project and other people have worked on one before, Uh you know it may be they could help me out, I could ask questions, people could lend a hand. And that that became a real sort of regular part of the conversation. And now it's evolved into a communications platform and a publishing platform, so you can get your news there, you can distribute content about your organization, but you can also really learn a lot. So you can get a lot of thought leadership, a lot of industry news, and uh and and people are consuming the content there. So um you know storytelling has been a big part of LinkedIn's past, but it's certainly I think the foreseeable future, that's where it's headed.

Eric Dickmann:

How much have you seen LinkedIn change, since the sale to Microsoft?

Jonathan Baldock:

It was always left alone right after the sale, but they were looking at ways to integrate the platforms. So I think you're going to see more changes in the future but um the first change that Was LinkedIn had a division called Sales Solutions And so they were selling a tool called Sales Navigator, they still are. And then you've got Microsoft's team which is the Microsoft Dynamics Team, so that's the competitive platform to Salesforce And so uh rather than operating completely siloed and separate their Dynamics team started to represent the Sales Solutions team into their customers, so instead of just selling dynamics they could sell dynamics and uh LinkedIn sales solutions tools. So uh they were starting to do that like introduce the account teams. So if you went on a sales call, perhaps you went out with the Microsoft team Uh those were starting to be regular kinds of conversations Um when you look at the platform itself, I think there's a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to be able to to really do something with it. So for example like when you're in Outlook, and if you and I have a meeting coming up, instead of me having to go over to LinkedIn, and then type in your profile and look it up, it would actually just pop up on the side of your Outlook and say, Hey you know you've got a meeting coming up with Eric. And here's his LinkedIn profile So I don't actually have to go anywhere. So you know integrating the tool so in that way it becomes a little more seamless, so I see for the future, you know the LinkedIn experience being more integrated into the Office 365 experience And um and then when you look at um you know what what's the future, well, there's organizations you know like I mean obviously they're competing with Salesforce, with Dynamics but uh there's another space, which is um you know what are they going to do against companies like Oracle and SAP and others, and and they do have the ability with the intelligence and the knowledge around Uh employees uh you can integrate that into the Microsoft backend. So um you know most organizations um have the the Microsoft Uh um services rusting and then they have their tools in front of it And so uh Microsoft could potentially replace all of those systems because most HRS systems which is the ones that keep track of all the employees what jobs they have et cetera to be honest as soon as you started the company six months after that The data they have about you as old might've learned new tools new skills And or if you change jobs you get promoted that doesn't get updated in the system automatically but almost everybody updates their LinkedIn profile To say that this is what I'm doing and this is the team I'm on So if that information automatically feeds into the HR system then in a way you've got like the self updating Uh HR system which there isn't one now So you know that's like a lot of where they can go And I think there's a big opportunity for them to make money doing that

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, certainly as you talked about the integration with the Office 365, you know they've had a big push with Teams, you could see some integration with chat. There just seemed to be a lot of things that they could do, at the same time LinkedIn seems to be a very deliberate platform. They've been a little slow rolling out video, uh they've introduced that stories functionality that so many of the other platforms have, but it's still pretty limited and not that widely used yet. So as a publishing platform, it still seems to have a lot of room to grow. But for many businesses, especially in the B2B space, right? It's an excellent place to find your potential customers, to find prospects, and get your message out to them. But I think a lot of people struggle knowing exactly what's the best way to do that because as you said it used to be kind of looked at as a job board, so people would post accomplishments and what not to be recognized for other opportunities How do you really see it changing in terms of a publishing platform where businesses can use it to get the message out about their products and services?

Jonathan Baldock:

Well you know I think if you look at almost every single kind of platform it was really about pushing out an ad. So you know originally it was banner ads or or you could do videos and things like that but it was like a commercial and ad something like that And uh and then you had sponsored updates Which would be more along the lines of telling a story talking about an issue uh and then that would talk about your expertise, but it wasn't really a commercial. It was more of a piece of a thought leadership piece and article that you could basically promote to the audience that matters to you. So for example if if uh you know you have your business, you have your target audience, you could then go to LinkedIn and say I care about these companies with people from you know these titles these levels these roles et cetera I want to target that audience. What's that going to cost me, and then this is the this is this story that I want to put in front of them, and then this is the actionable item at the end. Like I want them to click and go to our site, I want them to click and view our product page our pricing page Et cetera et cetera or perhaps it's you know book a meeting with me So you know that that's how it shifted It went from straight advertising to providing some value and having a conversation starting a conversation A lot of it was that And uh and so I think that's that's that's sort of you know where it started where it's evolving to and then where it's heading is a lot more around just that storytelling um aspect which is Um even continuing down Uh the road of thought leadership industry news and a little bit about your company having the right ratio of content to share out making sure that you're following those best practices Um so that that way you don't just sound like a blow horn for your products and services And um you know and if you're investing in paid advertising that you have to do it very smartly And so thinking about this at the marketing funnel or the sales funnel if you will building that awareness once we get people through that awareness stage How do we move them to stage two where they start to get familiar with our products and services Then after that how do they raise their hand to say actually this is probably a product or service that I should be learning a little bit more about we're about six months or nine months away from buying it and getting them into the sales funnel getting them connected into your accounts team and then working them through to eventually making a deal And so you know what's how do we form that that that that funnel Are we constantly putting people into the top of it Uh so you know that that's the strategy now is just uh translating that into these kinds of environments

Eric Dickmann:

So you know we're going to get into details here about how we do all this. But of course one of the challenges on any platform is the reach of any one individual, right? You go out there, you post some really good content, and of course there are algorithms at play. Do you post it natively? Do you post a link to something else? Is it video, is it text? What is it? There are all sorts of different decisions that you have to make that can influence that, but then for most people, you've really got your followers, the people who you're connected with, and then if you're lucky and you put some hashtags in and those get some sort of traction, which seems to be fairly rarely, you may get picked up more broadly outside of your network. And so as I talked to a lot of businesses, this is what they fight against. They feel like, Well, we're putting all this content out there, but we don't get any reaction to it, or we get very little reaction. Is it even working?

Jonathan Baldock:

Right um, so I guess we need to look at it in two pieces, you know? You need to have a company page on LinkedIn If you have a business even if you're even if you're a one, you know one-person shop. You need to have a company page because it first It elevates our profile a little bit more Your company is represented products and services et cetera And that's all free to do so you can you can create that and you can build it Um Your reach as an individual If we just focus on an individual sharing out content Um if you have the average person on LinkedIn has 800 connections So if you know if you have somewhere around that Mark if you share something out that's going to go into the newsfeed of 800 people Also if you do any public publicly facing actions meaning if you like comment or reshare any existing story that will also go to your network So uh not just uh let's say not just Producing and delivering and sharing content That's originally sourced by you but it's also good to participate in conversations because you're going to stay top of mind with your network Now if you take a look at who's your network usually it's going to be your existing customers and ideally a bunch of your prospects And so Regularly Uh staying involved in the conversation even if you're not getting a lot of engagements is still keeping familiarity and some and some visibility towards you because you're showing up in the newsfeed not everyone's going to click on your story every single time but they you know they may say Oh look you know Eric shared this That's that's interesting or Oh Eric commented on this Yeah Yeah That's that's a good point And they're not necessarily digging in or they're not necessarily responding to you But they are they are seeing that you're consistently in front of them And if you're doing it thoughtfully meaning you're not just sharing content for the sake of sharing content but you're sharing content or stories or thought leadership That's adding value to your network then you're raising your profile So you're no longer considered just somebody who just happens to be clicking on stuff like you know A sort of a typical Facebook post like Hey here's me at Starbucks And then here's me know doing my laundry and all the other things that people seem to like to promote themselves on various social platforms LinkedIn is really not about that So in order to be uh you know in the conversation We need to think about what is the what is the story that I'm participating in Here's my area of expertise Here's where I can add value I'm a subject matter expert on these kinds of things Then when you see stories about that Share that story Add your perspective That's adding value into the network and that's where your your your network's going to go Oh go ahead Like Eric's really a leader in that So Eric's like you know top drawer on this area Now when I need a product or service and it's related to anything you're a subject matter on your top of mind and you're already considered you know like a front runner If you will.

Eric Dickmann:

I think that's excellent advice because that's really what you're trying to do, right? You're trying to stay top of mind, you're trying to build some authority in a specific subject area, a domain. But just to clarify something that you said earlier, if I have 700 connections and I do a post, not all 700 get to see it, right? There is an algorithm that says some fractional percentage of the 700 are actually going to see that post show up in their timeline.

Jonathan Baldock:

Um it'll it'll go to all of their timelines.

Eric Dickmann:

Does it really?

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah. Will they actually see it is another question. Meaning it depends on how busy their timeline is. So if they have 2000 connections or 20,000 connections A lot of people could be sharing stuff which means You could share something in five minutes later it's a hundred items down on their on their timeline so they could easily miss it. But it's definitely going to go to everybody's timeline

Eric Dickmann:

Oh, that's interesting.

Jonathan Baldock:

Are they scrolling all the way through. So if they have a less active timeline you're going to be showing up often. Whereas if they have a more a more active timeline you're going to show up every now and again because it's around the timing that they're on The good news is that LinkedIn Well I mean you know since COVID It's just skyrocketed the amount of usage people run it all the time You know they're they're they're doing some work and then they're jumping on LinkedIn and catching the latest news and information because it's it's providing so much information These days people are using it as a as a real source of news in relation to business

Eric Dickmann:

So you talked about the importance of having a company page. Company creates some good content, you as an individual within that company in a specific role, you're obviously trying to build up your reputation, your knowledge in a particular domain of expertise. And so you've got both of these potential places where content can reside, but then how do you start to accelerate that? How do you start to build momentum around the content that you create? So for example we're doing this podcast today, I'm going to create some social media posts when it goes live, my hope is that you'll share those to your network and some other people will share them as well. That starts to get the ball rolling, right? You get a little bit of a snowball effect once that content gets shared. But as a company, how can you be more effective at doing them?

Jonathan Baldock:

Um so I guess one is being thoughtful about what is it you want to communicate. And so a lot of times people they're very reactive, and so they they you know they don't necessarily have a thought like a thought out marketing plan as to how it relates to telling stories, and so uh something comes up and then they react to it and then they post. Whereas um and and let me just take a step back first Let's talk about the the ideal sharing cadence Of content which is sort of the ratio So there's a what LinkedIn would consider to be a best uh best in class or best practice kind of ratio Which is for every six pieces of content you share Three should be thought leadership Two should be company content sorry industry content and one should be company content So it's the three two one So for every six pieces you're only talking about yourself once You're providing value to the industry twice And you're providing value to your network from a thought leadership perspective three times And so you're and that doesn't necessarily mean you have to write three original posts on you know what your subject matter on that subject matter expert on but what it means is that you're participating in a conversation but those those every you know every six Every six posts that you do about yourself You want to tell a story over a period of time So you know just like that marketing funnel how do I build awareness for a little while then after I build awareness then how do I step it down into now we're getting into You know what specifically are we doing in a market that's different unique how were we providing value And then specifically You know what are some of the services that we have that that uh really lifts up that market that we're servicing And then finally you know here's an offer or here's um you know a webinar that people can participate in And of course we're going to follow up and see if we can book calls and meetings from it So um so that I think is you know being thoughtful about the you know the distance or you know how you go through there Um then there's a ways to try and drive more engagement There's a few tricks One is video Video is very engaging and so that you get a lot more clicks on pretty much every single social channel and most social channels just autoplay So as soon as it shows up in the feed it just starts playing that video So Um so that's a good thing Um and there are some other little tricks that I've noticed that seemed to be working really well which is like lists top five list top three list Um top six ways Um and as long as there's substance in it It's it's like Oh yeah I can read six things I have time for three things you know like but if it's you know if it's like a diatribe about something really important I'm not going to take that on I don't have enough time but if I have three minutes and I see an article that's that's really interesting That's great You know cause then it's like you know here are the top five ways Don't miss number three You know And you know number three is the clincher You know and then people click on it and I'm like yeah Yeah it actually it is And you know and you can even add uh put in a little action item like you know Uh you know do you agree are there any things that we missed or uh you know Um you know what are your top five it is you know and then people then a conversation starts Uh you could do surveys on LinkedIn So uh those are all free So you can launch one of those Um and then Uh I would say it depending on if it's rolled out to you uh there's LinkedIn live Is is available for some not all yet but rolling out across the network Same thing with video Uh just standard video That's that's rolling out I think You can do a lot um The The updates across the top like other social the stories I think everybody's got that now So uh so I would say that's that's a you know a few things to drive some visibility

Eric Dickmann:

So it was interesting sort of the three two one example that you used before because, uh seeing that you do two pieces of company content versus a you know one personal post or something that was talking about you. In some ways that seems to be the opposite of what I would expect, and the reason why is I don't see that many are companies creating the volume of content that would really easily facilitate. I'm a big fan of HubSpot as a company. HubSpot produces amazing contest tons of blog posts, there's always something to share at a company like that. But many others are in this kind of press release you know mentality or upcoming webinar or new product release, but it's not a lot of really great original content. So it's interesting to me that the LinkedIn model sort of favors still sharing more of that company content before you're sharing your own content.

Jonathan Baldock:

Well and so uh what I mean by content about you is the company content. So I'm thinking about you and the company I was like one like so you're representing your business If you're a if you're a one person shop Um and and or if even if you have employees You don't want them sharing stuff about the company too too often I'll just quickly review So three pieces of thought leadership My mistake on when I first said it but three pieces of thought leadership two pieces of industry news What about the company The company is is is about you

Eric Dickmann:

Okay. Okay, all right.

Jonathan Baldock:

Which means that's actually much easier to do, because it's easier to find thought leadership You know Harvard Business Review, there's like all kinds of channels of that Uh and then um there's uh industry news it's easy to follow There's all kinds of blogs and and streams that you can you can pull in You know information And then even just participating in conversations is still you know still sort of lends to that And then it's And then uh you know of those then you know one thing about you or your company and you know about how you guys are driving value or service or uh you know an upcoming webinar or product You know something that you're trying to get some action on to create some business Um so so it's it's about providing value before you ask for the business is really sort of the theme there and then uh heading into a conversation around if you have a business and you have employees You will see uh and it's pretty consistent and it's exceptionally rare that you would see like a lot of followers And I mean like a high number of followers for a company page And uh where the employees reach isn't dramatically more So for example if there's a company of 50 people Um their company page might have A thousand or 2000 followers But 50 people We're the average of 800 connections Well that's a reach of 40,000 people so I can do a cup Yeah so I could do a company page update and I reached 2000 I can reach I can get my employees to share it out I reached 40,000 And who are my employees connected to while they're connected to our customers And they're connected to our prospects So we definitely want our employees sharing that content And that's the value of being able to amplify messaging through that employees network And that's the value also of making it the least expensive channel to do so Because the paid campaign to target those customers and those prospects is going to cost you a lot of money and the most money on LinkedIn you know average cost per engagement Uh LinkedIn is by far in a way more expensive than all the other ones It's also by far and away the most effective but you're going to pay for it Whereas if you can consistently share content through your employees For the most part you're reaching the same audience the differences that it's not costing you anything Other than your you know your employees that are already there but you're already paying them and they're doing their jobs.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO onsulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. When we first talked about the topic for this livestream, you know one of the things that struck me is how rarely I've heard anybody talk in these terms, about the way that you could get exponentially more visibility by engaging proactively with your employees to push out this content than you could on your own. It seems so obvious when you say it, but I don't really think many people are doing it

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah I mean so I guess first off it's not necessarily a brand new idea. The idea has been around for eight or 10 years But the execution of it is not necessarily that easy Uh so uh yes you'll get a reach of maybe 30 to 50 times more people than you would If you did a company page update The downside is that you've got to convince all your employees to do it And so there've been advocacy platforms or advocacy tools they've been around for years And LinkedIn the one I worked with which was called LinkedIn elevate they actually just sunset it And um and I can explain why but it makes sense that they do because they're gonna make more money from getting rid of it to be honest Then if they kept it But um the um the idea here is that you you want your employees to share it but with any tool like this if you if you buy a so if you don't buy a service you've got an email everybody and beg borrow and plead and try and convince your place to do it And to be honest most of the time they're just not unless you've got the most engaged employees and they just love everything you say but I think that's probably not the case They're busy and they're trying to do their jobs and this is a distraction

Eric Dickmann:

You've rated the best company to work for. Number one, GlassDoor or something like this something that they want to share because it makes them feel good. Yeah, they're proud it.

Jonathan Baldock:

Exactly, yeah So, that wasn't that was not too tough to get them to share. But the rest of the stuff like about products and services it's going to be a tougher sell So then you can buy a tool or a service like an advocacy tool And they've been around a long time But I can tell you the overall average monthly usage is about 20%. So if you have a thousand employees 200 of them are going to log in and use it, and 800 are going to forget about it

Eric Dickmann:

Because it still requires them to do something.

Jonathan Baldock:

It does. It requires them to log in, it requires them to look and find the story they want to share, then they need to select it, then they need to click share, then they need You know maybe they add in their comments about why they think it's important for somebody to read it within their network The people that are doing that are the people Those are the early adopters Those are the people that when a new iPhone comes out You know they race down to they order it right away and it shows up at their house and they're super excited about it Most people are not early adopters And so you can talk to them about this idea and you can say Hey do you think this is a good idea And they'll say yes And you can get them to sign up for the platform Good luck on having them follow through on it It's kind of like uh if you send people out on a training course I've been to so many different training courses through my career and they gave you a binder And at the end of the course they say what'd you guys think And everyone's like Oh my God this was so amazing Like thank you so much for giving us the course And then they say okay every week you're going to open up the binder and you're going to write in Your goals your notes you're this you're that And you go yes Yes I will And then you get back to the office and you close the binder and you cited on your shelf and you never look at it again.

Eric Dickmann:

Its so true.

Jonathan Baldock:

And that's what happens And so this is the exact same thing Most You know most organizations once you've got to like a single sign on kind of tool like Okta you sign into that You've got access to 50 apps 80 apps a hundred apps You're not going to use all those apps yet They've assigned them to you as if you should be But you're what you're going to do is you're going to do the least amount of technology to get your job done because otherwise your full-time job will feel like I'm just clicking on apps updating things And yes they want me to do it but it's just not like I'm not getting my job done any faster In fact now I'm just an administrator clicking on stuff So this will very quickly feel like a burden And the employees that use it Understand the value of it and are willing to go that extra mile spend you know a few minutes a day Uh going in and finding a story and giving their perspective They are also the people that really love the likes You know comments re-shares and they they you know they You know if they're on Facebook they're the ones that are posting themselves Holding the Starbucks coffee with their name is spoken, they did it

Eric Dickmann:

Right. Exactly!

Jonathan Baldock:

Misspelled my name and then they get you know a lot of old you're still funny know and that's cool And there You know they're going to adopt this but the uh and I'm not saying that everyone that's like this does that but just that Um It's the people that are more engaged are going to be using a tool like this the rest of them the other 80 they can raise their hand and say this sounds great And once it comes to the practical experience of actually doing it Uh the fall throughs low And so you need some functionality If you in in in invest in something like this That uh can handle it So that you know you go from being you know 20 usage to something much much higher where it's still the same cost But the value of these platforms is very very high So now I go back to your first point which is you don't see too many companies doing this There's a variety of reasons One is they don't know about it too Is it sounds difficult Three they couldn't sell it internally Uh for they've done it before and it didn't work because they couldn't get anybody to do it And they got frustrated And then Five they just can't be bothered They're like you know like it depends on the motivating factor of of who would be the decision maker You know sometimes people are motivated because they want to get promoted and there's positive visibility And if they see a pulling in a tool like this and having it not working out being risky on their career they're not going to do it There's very few people that their main motivation is the greater good And so you know that that handful of people uh that are organized and willing to put in the time and work and effort to make one of these programs successful you know those are the you know those are the people that are going to get the job done So if you want to stand out You know in a perfect world you find a tool that gets you a very high usage with very low input and a very low cost If you've got that you've got the perfect recipe And then the result is You know might be the same price as one two week campaign But you've got now got a channel that's available to you the entire year And when you've got an entire year to tell your story you can really be thoughtful All right The first couple of months we're just going to be talking about our culture and the great work we're doing in the community and and how we interact Uh you know with the community everything else Uh then we're going to start talking about our uh employee value proposition and uh um you know how we're donating You know to this and to that and and maybe some profiles on our employees and how exceptional they are and they start pulling in the executives and your subject matter experts sharing their thought leadership and then you work your way through to eventually Everyone's got some familiarity everyone's got a lot of engagement and then you go by the way we just launched this amazing new product and we've got this webinar coming up about it We would love for everybody to attend And that's you know that's why companies like HubSpot that are very engaging Uh they are very smart with how they're telling their story Most of their blog posts aren't by HubSpot right It's it's you know blog posts just about helping you you

Eric Dickmann:

That's very true, adding value.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah what's the story about your business? And then you go Oh my gosh this is going to be super helpful for me And you click on it And there's a few little tidbits in there about you know why you're going to make more money And you just remember it HubSpot shared that to me added value to my day Now when I need a product or service that's something you know and then I realized Oh HubSpot actually sell something like that Oh yeah They're top of my list for sure

Eric Dickmann:

So if I was going to over simplify things, is a tool like Social HP, Is it almost like a multi-user Buffer in some ways? So uh you're having multiple people opt into a tool, a scheduling tool that is automatically going to reshare posts on their behalf? Is that an overly simplistic way of looking at it?

Jonathan Baldock:

Um I mean that's a part of it. So I would divide it into two things. Uh an advocacy platform where you get 20 usage So that's you know Social HP has all the functions of all the other advocacy platforms which is if you want to go in and you want to you know find a great story to share out to your Uh your network It's there You know Uh thought leadership industry news company content It's all there It's all curated It's all set up for you And if it's approved and it's available it's in that tool So I don't have to look all over the company in websites and You know different blogs Trying to try to source the stuff I'm allowed to share It's all in one spot Brilliant So if I'm part of that 20 that's willing to go in and do it It's awesome It's all set up for the other 80 That's that second portion is if I'm the administrator A half an hour a month I can send out a couple of posts a week on behalf of the rest of the 80 of the employees So now they're actually sharing and we're reaching that that huge amount of of customers and prospects that we would never have been able to engage before just with a few clicks And that employee Group gets two choices They can just basically say You guys are the social media marketing experts and I'm not I'm you know employee Sergeant So doing this job over here I don't actually want to become a social media marketing expert It's a whole Separate job So I'm not I don't want to be an expert on media but if you are Brilliant You pick the right stuff make me look like a genius to my network All good And so for those folks they can just it's basically we have a do it for me functionality and so that you know that marketing social media marketing person They do it on the on the backend And then it just happens you know for my calendar And it gets shared out to my network So that's one The second piece is Hey I want a little more control And so I signed up with a locked calendar And so you can still do the perfect cadence of sharing once a week twice a week You share out these great things for me but instead of it automatically going out to my network the day before it's scheduled to go out I get a quick email saying Hey Jonathan can you review and approve this And so I just hit approve and it goes out or I can hit edit and I can personalize it and then I can send it Now dinner is literally being served up and put in front of me And I just have to decide if I want to eat it

Eric Dickmann:

I'm curious because that sounds so flexible. What is the breakdown? I mean do you find that a lot of people are willing to sort of turn over control and say I trust you, I'm going to be able to just let you go and do that, or do you see most people on the more conservative side saying I have to like take a look at it first.

Jonathan Baldock:

So I guess there's a few factors. One is how is the message delivered? So if the message is delivered to employees this is what we're doing You have no choice you better sign up this way There's going to be some resistance But but if the message is Hey this is what we're trying to accomplish We think these are the benefits for you as the individual employee we're going to raise your professional profile We're going to be sharing thoughtful stuff that your community is going to be engaging with And it's going to add value to the network and and Oh by the way every now and again we're going to put in a post Great It's not going to be very often going to be like every six posts that we do on your behalf And when we do Um it you know it's going to be something that's related to your your business You know your your your job or you're in that division For example like you sell these services it's not advertising stuff that you have nothing to do with So that that way if one of your clients or your prospects actually sees it and they're they clicked back and they're like Oh Hey Eric Thanks for sharing that And you're like Oh I don't have anything to do with that So now now it would be like yes yes yes please You know respond and you know let's book that call So if it's helping me get sales call a sales meetings it's helping me close business and it's helping me look good You can get some hands raised Um then um so if if it's done well you get you get a good uptick then I think it's about culturally Like where in the world are you So in North America I'd say it's not that it's it's not like a really big hurdle to get past Definitely You're going to see some you know some conservative employees And I think for those employees If they're uncomfortable with it they just shouldn't sign up Just don't do it But you know at any company like if you have a thousand employees you shouldn't expect all 1000 to sign up for one of these typically you usually like after you roll it out and you do well with it you get about half of your employees to sign on And then of those half if you deliver the message really well Then yes they have no problem with signing up and saying Hey you know take care of it And then there's a small portion that say you know what I still want the approval or maybe you know an executives because we can do like the sort of VIP uh you know white glove treatment for executives where somebody can literally share and build out the perfect calendar just for particular executives for example But if you're in a place like um uh Mia Uh so through you know different parts of Europe culturally it's very different it's it's it's all about like you do not get access to anything of mine Uh my network is my network Uh I work at the company and I do my job And then when my job is done I go home or I stay home now But uh you know I do my job and I technically work here but good luck on getting me to do anything else And it's a little more that way I wouldn't say you know everyone's like that but it's a little more that way So you're going to get a smaller percentage of people Um that are gonna buy in depending on where you are regionally but you know in North America uh my experience has been that a lot of people are are very open and willing to do it And uh and in fact lots of places throughout the world but I have noticed in certain locations within Europe Uh it's a little bit tighter and which is totally fine Like Hey let's let's be respectful There's no reason to push this kind of stuff on anybody but there's definitely a lot of value in people participating

Eric Dickmann:

No that makes perfect sense, cultural factors would certainly be in play here. I guess as we're sort of nearing the end of our interview here, the last question that I really had for you is for a solution like this or an advocacy platform to really be effective, I would imagine an organization needs to be of a certain size. You know if you're a 10-person company, is something like this really going to make sense, or is this really for enterprise level customers? Where do you see the sweet spot or maybe below a certain point is probably not going to be that effective for the money?

Jonathan Baldock:

Okay. So most of our customers are 50 employees and up

Eric Dickmann:

Okay that's smaller than I thought actually. Yeah.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah You know could you make it very successful with 10 employees Yes Uh but but uh the smallest sweet spot is about 50 employees and up And then after that it goes all the way up to 500,000 employees So um It's the gamut but um you know if if you're a small business and um You just have like two or three employees it's probably not necessarily the best solution that does it A product like this That doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing these kinds of things getting your employees to share but I think you could pop out a quick email and say Hey everybody do mine with 10 employees It's not that difficult to you know you've got such a small team you're so cohesive ideally that uh um that you know they're more than willing to share it out but it's once everyone's really dispersed and they're all kind of doing their own thing and teams are talking to teams but not everybody's communicating as a whole It's a little bit harder to get everybody on one of these types of topics and consistently You know delivering out a thought leadership and and you know company content Uh easily So that's that's one one of these tools really becomes extra value

Eric Dickmann:

That's really helpful. You know we're fortunate in the MarTech space, we've got so many solutions out there, all of which do a lot of very cool things, but clearly everybody's got marketing budgets. They have to decide which is the most important place to put their marketing investment, and so yeah it's helpful to know what the sweet spot is really for a tool like this because it seems like you could really get a lot of leverage from your content by being able to get it shared more frequently, and by people that are trusted already within their network. So I love the concept of it.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah and I would quickly say um so for example if you have 50 employees the. Cost of a platform like this for a year is $4,500. Whereas one small campaign on LinkedIn is $10,000 And that and that small campaign on LinkedIn Might last you two three weeks And $4,500 is going to last you a year And 50 people's gonna reach 40,000 For the entire year So when it's actually like if you don't have a big budget this is a no-brainer And then when you have a huge budget unless it's unlimited Which is when we talk about evergreen marketing when I was at LinkedIn they would say Hey you know what Like like if you're for example in AI and uh you know you want to win all the AI business um they would measure your share of voice which is the total number of conversations happening about AI Then they would measure how many conversations you're involved with many of your company And then they would say your share of voice is X percent your competitors then they could stack rank you against all of your competitors Like IBM's in AI this company's in AI and here's how much of the share of voice they have And then you know if you have big budget they would say okay great You have half a percent of share of voice If you want to be number one which would be You know 15 you need to give us about $5 million and we're going to flip the switch and you're going to be talking to these people for the entire year Brilliant Or Or and you know just go through your employees who happen to be connected to everybody in the AI space because that's where you are and own that conversation And that's this is how it could be a great equalizer because Uh a company with 50 people reaching 40,000 What size a company has 40,000 followers They've got 4,000 employees So a 50 person companies now competing with a company that has 4,000 employees And they appear the same on LinkedIn They're occupying the same amount of space In that conversation yet one is spending $4,500 and the other one is spending no money And yet they appear equal That's that's a win in my book.

Eric Dickmann:

No it's definitely a win And that's a great business case. I'm glad you shared that with the audience because yeah, it's all about choices, right? But sometimes uh especially if you're going into paid advertising which is our topic for next week, it gets expensive quickly.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah. And look paid advertising is effective it's it's so targeted And so you can't argue like Hey every single one of your employees connections are exactly you're trying to sell to But the answer is they are connected to everybody and trying to sell to for the most part So you know um it's not it's not about like trying to measure apples for apples like, Oh, that 40,000 rates. They're all, it's like we're running a paid campaign on 40,000 people every single week when we're sharing content. No, you're not. It may be 5,000 of the 40,000. That's all your buyers. And then the other 35,000 could be people that you're trying to hire. Um, people that you're, uh, you know, that may be move into this space or that are supporting your business. There's, you know, obviously your networks. Your employees networks are going to be broad. So, um, you know, it's not an apples to apples comparison between paid, but I will say it's certainly the least expensive Avenue. We're trying to get your voice heard.

Eric Dickmann:

I love that. And I'd love to give you a few minutes here just at the end to tell people where they can find out more about the platform, where they can find out more about you, because you've shared some great insights with us today, and I think it's something that people should definitely check out.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. I appreciate the opportunity. So we're found at socialhp.com. And if you visit our site, you can just hit click, uh, uh, to ask for a demo. Um, otherwise, if you're looking to have a chat with me, then you can just go to LinkedIn. You can just type in my name, Jonathan Baldock. Uh, my name is the URL. So, uh, if you just go to linkedin.com forward slash Jonathan Beldock, you'll pull me up and you can just, uh, hit me up with a message and I'm happy to help out.

Eric Dickmann:

Jonathan, this is great. I love talking about solutions like this, especially when they can help in the very complicated world of social media. There are so many innovations that are happening regularly, new platforms that seem to be coming into prominence quickly. Uh, but it's tough to keep up with, and I love to see the innovation in this space and some of the new solutions that are coming online. So I really appreciate you coming in today and sharing all the great things you guys are doing over at Social HP.

Jonathan Baldock:

Yeah, thanks, Eric. It's been my pleasure.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.