Using the voice of your employees is powerful marketing—but coordinating those voices is exceedingly difficult. Jonathan Baldock learned a lot about this problem working at LinkedIn, where he helped large brands leverage the power of that platform.
Now Jonathan is helping to solve the problems of social media advocacy campaigns as the Head of Growth at Social Horsepower, a startup that offers a system to create, distribute, and track content to be used for employee-driven social media campaigns.
Anyone in marketing wanting to get their whole organization involved in social media campaigns should have a listen.
More information: https://www.socialhp.com/
Jonathan works in an advisory role for SocialHP. With 10 years of experience at Linkedin serving customers like Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, Johnson&Johnson, PepsiCo, IBM amongst others.
He is highly skilled in social sharing best practices, utilizing data to build evergreen marketing channels. An expert social media recruitment, sales and marketing strategies.
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Jonathan Baldock 0:00
You can invest a tiny amount of money into an advocacy platform that is also evergreen. Your employees are more often than not connected not only to your clients, but also to your prospects. And because they’re delivering thought leadership, industry, news and company content, and not just product, product product product, but they are mixing in some product conversation as well. You will have, like, oodles and oodles of touch points with these people throughout the course of the year that you don’t have to pay for every single time they happen.
Alexander Ferguson 0:32
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our Applied Tech series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Teraleap.io. Today, I’m joined by my guest, Jonathan Baldock who’s based in Toronto, Canada. He’s the head of growth for Social Horsepower. Welcome, Jonathan. Good have you on. Thank you, cancer happy to be here. Now social horsepower is an employee advocacy, social selling platform, this concept of Okay, let’s get our employees to to kind of share the social goodness that the content pieces that our marketing team is creating. How long has this concept been around? Like since the inception of content marketing? Would you say?
Jonathan Baldock 1:13
I think the my first understanding of it being around would be say about eight or nine years ago.
Alexander Ferguson 1:20
Okay. And it just started to grow this concept. Hey, let’s let’s get our team to help us from Yeah,
Jonathan Baldock 1:25
yeah, exactly that because the power of the employees voice, my history, my backgrounds at LinkedIn. And so the power of the employee’s voice is twice as trusted as the companies. And so once that was kind of known, then companies were like, Oh, we really need to get the
Alexander Ferguson 1:42
voice of the employees happening. You just made a great point. I used to work at LinkedIn actually helping large brands use the platform further, what are some like key insights you learn there are now kind of applying now and helping more other businesses with that insight?
Jonathan Baldock 1:58
Well, I think there’s quite a few. You know, one is just knowing that the voice of your employees are, it’s powerful. There are a few I think, best practices just around content that were, I think, honed at LinkedIn, there was a sharing ratio that was really, really valuable, which was three to one, which was for every six pieces of content, you want your employees to share three pieces of thought leadership, two pieces of industry, and one piece about your company. Rather than company, company, company, product product product, the employees feel like a shell, they kind of don’t like it. But if thought leadership makes them feel smart. industry news makes them you know, really look like they’re knowledgeable. And then of course, company content should make them feel proud. And if you have a good mix of that, then you have good engagement from your employees, they want to participate, and good engagement from their networks, because they’re not just getting hit by advertising.
Alexander Ferguson 2:52
It sounds like there’s really two parts to if you want to engage employees in your marketing, content marketing is one, you got to make them feel comfortable and good about wanting to share, like if you’re gonna help them that that ratio matters. And then the other is the actual efficacy, the actual power or have it working, that their networks actually see value in it and how it the content is shared. And my understanding those two pieces, correct?
Jonathan Baldock 3:15
Yeah, I think that’s that’s it and just expand further on the employee side is that you want to make not only make the employees feel comfortable, but they should know what’s in it for them. Like, what am I going to get out of it. And you know, when I highlight those things, like for example, you know, making me look smart, making me an industry leader. And then I also am sharing company content that’s making me more of a subject matter expert in my field, I’m looked upon as a leader looked upon a little bit more as a thought leader, that makes me more marketable. So it does actually help my career, if I’m looked upon by all of my peers, as somebody that’s an expert in my field. So without with doing little work. So that’s sort of one chunk and then the other pieces, you need to make it as easy as possible for employees to do this because they’ve got so many different things to do. When I was at LinkedIn, I think we had 80 apps when you signed into your single sign on like we use Okta. And when you signed in yet 80 apps to choose from, I only use five or six of them. So if you’re going to add another one in, and you’ve got to convince me to go ahead and spend time doing that, we’re gonna need to be you know, one motivated to it’s got to be shockingly simple.
Alexander Ferguson 4:18
How many companies are actually either asking and even getting their Cust their employees to be part of their their content marketing advocacy program.
Jonathan Baldock 4:30
So as a total percentage, I’d say it’s relatively small. You know, it’s one of those things where I think it’s a little more mainstream now, when I first started cuz LinkedIn had an employee advocacy platform called elevate. And so when I started with that, to be honest, most of our conversations were, this is what employee advocacy is. And then towards the end clients were like, which employee advocacy platforms the best one, so you know, they had kind of caught on that, that they should probably looking at this and taking it seriously, but I think it’s a With any technology or any business practice that comes along, you have the people, the early adopters, small percentage, then you have the mainstream the bulk. I think that’s where we’re heading into now we had all the early adopters. Now there’s a general knowledge that like, this is valuable, this is important. And then you’re gonna have laggards that either never do it, or Finally, eventually come around to it. But I think we’re sort of just starting to get into that bigger group of, you know, all kinds of companies having some general awareness of that there is value in doing this, and that they’re starting to take it a little more seriously. But you know, to give you an exact percentage, I don’t have a good answer other than I can tell you, on LinkedIn had 500 companies that were doing it and hundreds of 1000s of customers. So it was a small percentage.
Alexander Ferguson 5:49
So it’s the concept that it’s growing. And but it was mainly been early adopters. And but we’re potentially getting to the early majority, the reason why they companies haven’t adopted or gotten their employees to say, Yes, I’ll share the company content. Is it just because it’s clunky? It’s like, I have to it’s another thing I have to add to my to my list? I mean, who were if I think about who’s the who’s the prime people? Is it? Is it sales folks and the team? Is it? Is it everyone on the company in the company?
Jonathan Baldock 6:19
Yeah, I think it depends on what the company wants to do. So for example, if they want to generate social selling leads, then yeah, they definitely need their sales team or anybody that’s client facing. So leadership support teams, you know, things like that. If it’s talent acquisition, then that could be anybody within the entire organization, because their networks are going to be valuable to attract more people like them, their networks are gonna have a lot of people with similar backgrounds to themselves. And then, of course, the sales as I referenced salespeople, but they have, like, you know, they’re, they’re connected to their clients, and they’re connected to the prospects. So definitely worth sharing through them. And then there’s the pure marketing play, which is just, you know, building on top of the awareness, you know, sales, funnel awareness, and then that could be just about everybody. And then lastly, there’s corporate communications, which would be all around brand reputation. And I think that is very much, you know, starts with the executive group, but then it really does tend to funnel down for the amplification of those messages through the broader audience.
Alexander Ferguson 7:15
You don’t know, as you mentioned, the percentage of how many companies are actually doing this. But as far as the the percentage of the companies that are, how many they actually get the employees to say, Yes, I’m willing, do you know that stat,
Jonathan Baldock 7:28
I can tell you from my experience, so if you haven’t, let’s say your company has 10,000 employees, it’ll be hard to get more than 5000 of the 10,000 to sign up. So you should be able to get around 50%, if it’s a smaller company, that percentage can go up. If you have 500,000 employees, you know, the eventual goal of maybe half like 250,000 people is a pretty good one. But you can’t do that in year one, that’s going to take a few years, because there’s lots of communication. And then there’s some learnings that that happen when you implement these kinds of platforms. So there’s a lot of competitors in the space of all those competitors. They all have table stakes, so they all you know, pull stories in and then they allow you to amplify and share those stories. And that’s that’s the basic table stakes. Another thing that I learned when I was at LinkedIn is that it’s let’s say you have 2000 employees, and you get 1000 of those to sign up. So there you got 50%, then what percentage of those can you actually convince to log in on a regular basis and share content? And the answer is somewhere around 20%? Or 20%. Yeah,
Alexander Ferguson 8:34
I’ll actually log in. And
Jonathan Baldock 8:35
that’s the that’s the industry average, there are some outliers on the high side, like somewhere around 35% 40%. You know, sustainable, meaning not like for one month, or are we just implemented this everyone sharing, you know, this, this starts to Peter off after a while, because employees get busy, and they forget. And also it’s lifting on their part, they have to do work. And then the other pieces, some companies realize there’s like, some administrative lifting on their end to actually run and keep these programs going. And so they’re investing man hours and to, you know, you know, we’re doing this and then they want to measure what are we getting out of it. So you know, if we have a compelling way to measure which we do, and we have an easy way to manage it, and an easy way for employees to share, you know, then you can drive those numbers out. When I left LinkedIn, if I wanted to stay in, like work for any of the competitors, I probably could have, you know, easily done it. The reason why I invest my time. So PHP is there a little different there. In my opinion, the first 2.0 of employee advocacy, which is an administrator could probably spend between 30 minutes and an hour and a half per month on this platform, rather than a couple hours a day. So they could literally manage this platform in you know, a few minutes a day or 30 minutes a week, that kind of thing really, really easily. And then also, our average customer usage is 80%
Alexander Ferguson 9:55
versus 20% 80% of the of the employees actually Correct. Yeah. And how do you get that higher percentage?
Jonathan Baldock 10:04
That’s because we built a really nice white glove do it for me functionality. Which is, which is, which is there’s that 20% that want to log in and do it, and they’re gonna do it. But what do you do with the other? 80%? Well, that 80% if you ask them, Hey, you understand the value, you can see, there’s gonna be value, like, there’s gonna be a benefit to you. Do you want to log in and pick up content and write copy? And you know, do that most of the Ready to go? Kinda Not really. But it would be great if I could like, what can someone do that for me? Because if someone will do it for me, then yeah, good. Yeah, let’s do that. And so we built the do it for me functionality. So most employees just raise their hand and say, this sounds good. I just don’t want to really bog my day down away from work to make myself try and look special. You know, and and also help the company,
Alexander Ferguson 10:54
basically, API connection to each of your employees account, the employee say, yes, you can have access to my account, you can post on my behalf. Yep. Just make it happen. Obviously, there has to be the trust there of the employee to know that it’s
Jonathan Baldock 11:07
about the communication, you’re 100%, right? So the company can’t go, oh, and we’re gonna post once a week, and it’s gonna be this kind of stuff. And then the employees, like you posted five times today, what’s going on? Like, you can’t do that. So if you set the right expectations, and you deliver exactly on those expectations, it works beautifully. You know, so that’s why there’s that ratio, where you say, like, hey, for every six pieces of content, you know, we’re gonna share this ratio, right? So like thought leadership, industry news company content, and then here’s how often we’re going to share. And then the admin can literally just go in, grab a story put in multiple images, multiple copy options, so not everyone’s sharing the same. But that was my next
Alexander Ferguson 11:45
question like is everyone suddenly be seeing all the same content.
Jonathan Baldock 11:49
So you can, you can provide, like, within 30 seconds, I can put in 25 options, because the images and the copy can mix and match. So I could put in five copy options, five images. So there’s 25 options, I put it across 50 people only one in every 25 people who share the same thing. So now only two people out of 50 shared it, and then I can spread it over a period of time. So not everyone shares the same time the same day, I could say let’s have everybody share between 7am and 11am, between Monday and Friday, these 15 people, and then it’ll randomize those shares. Plus, it’ll randomize their their content. So it’s not the same as me individually going in and like selecting a story and putting, you know, reading the entire article, then putting my spin on it, and I then become like a pretty decent copywriter. And if I do all that, you’re right, it’s gonna be better. But this is miles better than not doing anything. And it’s almost like it’s not far off them actually just going ahead and doing it, especially if you’ve got a good copywriter, like a good admin, who knows how to like write some, like, you know, those headlines to make people to make it a little more clickable,
Alexander Ferguson 12:56
works really nicely. It’s like a couple a couple of factors of success here pieces of success as having a good admin that knows how to write those pieces, creating a lot of variations, having good trust level with your with your team. So they know, okay, this is what’s going to happen. That’s what you’re actually going to do. And you have enough varieties of the three to one model. So it’s not all just your account, just having to promote your company all the time. And then you’re right, where it gets annoyed. And this brings brings me back, though, to one of your earlier points of why would employees want to do this.
Jonathan Baldock 13:26
Yeah, actually can help build their career because Great, now I’m doing content marketing without having to do it. And I’m providing value, ideally, because it’s three things that are content pieces, industry news. Absolutely. And what we found when I was at LinkedIn was that when employees shared content, they would get way more profile views, they would get more way more connection requests, from clients, from prospects from people in the industry that wanted to connect with them, because they’re visible now. And they’re, and they’re, you know, promoting the company. And I have had clients tell me like, Oh, well, we’re afraid now all of our employees are going to get recruited? Well, if all of their connections are just recruiters, then yes, they’ll probably get recruited. Right, but very few people are like, their entire network is filled with recruiters. And the other thing is, you know, if they’re going to quit your company, they’re going to quit your company, whether you know, they’re promoting content for your company or not, but why not get them to promote content for the industry, thought leadership and your company drive value, and then if they leave, you know, and you help them along the way that helps their career, maybe they’ll come back, you know, Boomerang employees are becoming more common these days.
Alexander Ferguson 14:29
Now, for the distribution side, LinkedIn, obviously is the main channel. As far as b2b side Sure, we’re using your voice, but are you the other social platforms you guys are engaged on?
Jonathan Baldock 14:40
Yeah, so we also can share through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And then if clients have offices in Germany, we also have zing, which is x i n g. It’s basically the LinkedIn in Germany.
Alexander Ferguson 14:53
Interesting and as far as what does success look like? is for for someone to be able to roll this out, and to run a good employee advocacy program, if someone wants to build one of these,
Jonathan Baldock 15:10
yeah, what does success look like? So really depends on what their what their goal is, like, if it’s social selling, then usually it’s about leads, and visibility and brand and adding followers and things. So there’s a variety of metrics that we would look at for that. Whereas if it’s talent acquisition, it would be more job applications. And we would see that they’re connected to the employees. So we’re driving more referrals, because this does a really nice job of driving referrals. And I think it’s pretty common knowledge that referrals are way more successful and stay longer at any company than not. So it’s why companies love them. So this really kind of puts that visibility in at the top of the referral funnel. But so it’s, it depends on what you’re measuring. So success, the program from an administrative and management standpoint would be, you know, least amount of input most amount of output, you know, so like, I don’t have to spend my, you know, I don’t have to spend my full time job just like, you know, okay, Sarah, can you please show us Oh, Michael, you know, hey, such and so can you please, you know, it’s less of that and more just about selecting and choosing thoughtful stories, and then putting them into the end of the mix. And then, when we talk about data points, we’ll measure things like likes, comments, shares, reach, total number of clicks. And then what we can do with companies is if they’re doing paid campaigns, they could tell us, hey, this is what we pay average cost per click on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And then we take the dollar value of those engagements, when they get them through the employee shares. And we can add those dollar values up. So we can say, hey, like you earned $30,000 worth of earned media value. So it’s like, you know, offsetting, you know, this, the spend, clients can say, hey, look, not every single one of those engagements is our target audience. And then we can say, Great, we can do an analysis of your employees networks, figure out what percentage on average is the appropriate audience, meaning like, if you were do a paid campaign, what percentage of your employees connections would be in that pay campaign, and then we can just take that percentage of those engagements and say, then this is the value would have as an exact or direct offset against spent. So there’s a couple of examples, I can go to a whole bunch more. Because, you know, with my background at LinkedIn, like we can do things like, you know, Oh, you want to hire these kinds of people, we can figure out which of your employees have the connections with those kinds of people, and then just get those employees to share that kind of content. Same thing with, you know, marketing, same thing with sales, etc, etc. So a little bit of analysis goes a long way, in being able to drive some really effective results.
Alexander Ferguson 17:37
I feel like we’re definitely have been in the age where personal connections matter more than just a company profile, putting something out like, nope, sure. Nobody pays attention or cares about your company, LinkedIn or your your company, Twitter, it’s the individuals if you follow the leader, or you follow someone, you know, yep. Are you seeing that same? That’s not even really a trend. Do you agree with that statement? And do you see that changing at all?
Jonathan Baldock 18:02
I do agree with that statement. I don’t know how it’s going to evolve because more people are getting involved in, in having a voice for a company or a brand or a product. So who knows depends on how well it’s done. I think it’s really you know, the net result of that. But that’s totally true. Like, it’s the same, you know, for me if, like, if I’m on Instagram, and I see Kim Kardashian says this yoga mats, great. I don’t care. But if my yoga teacher says this yoga mats, great. I’m like, oh, maybe I should buy that yoga mat. Because my actual yoga teacher is saying this is really good. Like that, it must be good. So the power of the micro or nano influencer is much much more valuable than a like an enormously you know, like someone that has millions of followers. Yes, they’ll get paid lots of money to talk about something and yes, it’ll create some buzz and that buzz is worth something I’m not denying that but if you want dollars and cents like in the bank, you need people that have the connections that are promoting the thing that you know, like if you if you and I are friends and you’re like yeah, I just bought this pair of runners and I’m going to be doing some tracking and they were amazing this weekend I’m like oh wow, I was like gonna be doing that See? Which ones did you get? Probably just got literally just go buy those like as long as they’re not ugly. I’ll just store those up. Just makes it sound like you’ve done all the research for me and you’ve you’ve already product has today. So if you say it’s good I’m like yeah, that sounds good. Like he’s got it figured out. So so that’s compelling.
Alexander Ferguson 19:31
Is that his idea of social selling it? It’s always been right. That’s how we like to connect with those that are similar trust earner network and say I can trust you. I feel like I can follow what you’re saying. The the kind of future if you can’t want to pontificate What does it look like with an employee advocacy and social social selling part of it, whether it’s in your own roadmap at social HP Just overall anything come to mind where you think it’s headed?
Jonathan Baldock 20:03
Sure, I would say it’s going to be more closely aligned with tying into buyers and tracking that process. So for example right now, and not about getting involved in like, you know, people’s private matters, it’s not like, you know, oh, you’re at the Starbucks great. Like, let’s, you know, try and sell you this. It’s not that it’s more about. So, for example, like your employees share content, we want to know when your employees share stories, and then their connections, click, what companies are those people coming from that are clicking on your employee shares? And then when they go to your website, what pages are they clicking on on your website? And then how long are they spending? And then can we tell those employees, hey, some people that you’re connected to from this company spent literally 10 minutes on our pricing page? Do you know anybody that you maybe want to book a call with? And then that employees like, Oh, yeah, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s this person. Okay, great. Well, I think they spent 10 minutes on our pricing page, so maybe, you know, you might want to reach out. So it’s just a little bit closer to like, intent, where like, when they’re down at the bottom of the sales funnel, and someone should be reaching out to connect with them, that we’re able to prompt the appropriate people to be aware of those activities. So that way, we can see this sales funnel, so we’re trying to bring it down to the bottom, so that when you’re in your CRM, and you’re, you know, marking it close to one, if you’re in Salesforce, that’s their term. So when you market closed one, that you know, like, what contributed, what are all the touch points that have the story that got them to their, you know, was it these three ads and these 17, employee touch points, and this and this, and this, so that we can tell the story of how the deal was done. Because, you know, if I’m in the market for a car, I’m going to be buying one in six months, I’m not driving down the street, see a billboard for Mercedes and go, Well, that’s it, buying a Mercedes, you know, but if Mercedes for six months, is, you know, not only do I see that billboard, but also their employees are sharing really thoughtful stuff about the awards, they’re winning, and the great community that they have and the technology they’re using, and how they’re innovating. And all of a sudden, I buy into the brand, and I feel connected, and I feel connected to the company and the people, and I have this kinship with it. When I go, you know, to test drive something probably I’m going to include that cart like it’s going to put them into the mix. And that’s what you want you want to be you want to be in the conversation, when it’s time to sell, then your salespeople can do their job.
Alexander Ferguson 22:35
I think a lot of the research out there has been around the fact that it takes multiple touches multiple interactions for someone to say, wow, I like this brand. As you said, you’re not going to see a billboard ad and say I’m going to, you know, buy this really expensive car. Here’s all the pieces but tracking all of that good for Mark marketing tech for a marketing person is not easy. How do I know what’s working? What’s not? What do I What should I invest more in? You are painting the picture saying that you would even employee advocacy could play a role or you could even see someone from this company and came to this page off of an employee advocacy program that you have did so that actually contributed two points out of the seven touches that led to a sale. Correct. Is that an existence today? Or is this something that you guys? Yeah,
Jonathan Baldock 23:21
July July 1, we launch that functionality? Yeah. Okay.
Alexander Ferguson 23:27
Okay. And is this something where the data is able to feed back into a CRM like Yep, yep.
Jonathan Baldock 23:31
Yep. Yeah, HubSpot, Salesforce. dynamics, Zapier. whatever it is you’re using, we can get it because Xavier connects to everything. And then on that note, just to make that that point on the multiple touchpoints, unless you have buckets of cash, and you have like, you just have like an endless supply to run an evergreen paid marketing campaign. evergreen meaning always on. So if you go to LinkedIn and go, Hey, it looks like I’ve just got this huge, unlimited bucket of cash. Can you just target these people relentlessly forever, and we’ll just keep putting all the stuff, then yes, you will have all of as many touch points as you want, with all the people that you care about. And it’ll cost you unbelievable amounts of dollars. Or you can invest a tiny amount of money into an advocacy platform that is also evergreen, your employees are more often than not connected not only to your clients, but also to your prospects. And because they’re delivering thought leadership, industry, news and company content and not just product product, product product, but they are mixing in some product conversation as well. You will have, like, oodles and oodles of touch points with these people throughout the course of the year that you don’t have to pay for every single time they happen. You only pay once and the employees to share the content. And now you’ve got access to communicate to tell your story. You don’t have to rush. You can you can stage it so that like hey, for the first couple of months we’re going to talk about our culture number Gonna start talking about, you know how we’re innovating, then we’re gonna start talking about our technology. And then eventually, we’re gonna start talking about our products. And you bring people down that sales funnel, so that when you start talking about the products, and they’re ready, you know, they’re now at the point where they’re starting to think about things that lines up really nicely, you might have had 30 touch points, by the time you start talking about the products, when the salespeople start to engage with those clients, they’re really warmed up, they’re not warmed up, like, oh, I’ve heard you guys sell this stuff. They’re like, I know all about you guys. I know about you, I know what your CEO like I know about all your leaders, I know about what you do, I know that you’re smart, and that you know what’s going on in the industry. And I should trust you, like, it’s all part of the story. And just to give you some quick stats, if we take like a small company, so let’s say they have 50 employees, the average small company that is 50 employees has somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 to 1000 followers. So if they do a company page update, 800 to 1000, people will see that update, the average person on LinkedIn has 800 connections. So if you just get one employee to share that same story, you aren’t you just doubled the reach of your company. If you get all 50 employees to share, you reach 40,000 people. So that’s 50 times the reach of what your company can do, just by getting your employees to go out to what Yeah, okay, send, you know, or they you know, as we have to do it for me functionality, literally, the admin goes 40,000 people, bam, and then it 40,000 people get it. What’s the average size of a company that has 40,000 followers, they have 2000 employees. So now 50 person company can compete with a company that has 2000 employees, because their employees are sharing this other company’s employees are totally levels, the playing field, small companies can compete like big companies, if they utilize the technology properly.
Alexander Ferguson 26:49
You mentioned earlier if you had oodles and oodles of money, you could just run a an ad series and get the same result. I just had a conversation recently at an another marketing a SaaS company and they they’re like, everyone is now on digital and marketing and using the pay per click on LinkedIn and surely, because we’ve had to go digital, and no one hasn’t oodles of money. So it I think it’s a top of mind for a lot of folks. It’s like, Yeah, we do need to run some paid ads, oh my gosh, wow, the costs have gone up. But finding new ways to have that consistency in front of someone’s face. There needs to be more options, or a better system. And and I’m using employees, I appreciate the the numbers, the numbers alive of what your own company may have versus what your access to your employees have. Jonathan, you were mentioning something about Share of Voice at LinkedIn when you were there. What was that?
Jonathan Baldock 27:46
Yeah, so the easy way to define it is if you pick a topic, like let’s say artificial intelligence, LinkedIn can look at all the different conversations that are happening on the platform, and then they add them all up. So let’s say there’s a million conversations about artificial intelligence. And then they’ll come to you, your company. And they’ll say, what percentage of those million conversations are you engaged in, or employees engaged in? are you guys talking about are you advertising about what percentage of those and then they give you your share of voice, that percentage is your share of voice. So you could have 5% of those million conversations, you can have half a percent, and then they’ll come to you and tell you how all of your competitors can compare to you. So they’ll stack rank you against all of your competitors. So one of your competitors could have 25% Share of Voice and you could have half a percent. And then of course, it’s a very compelling argument to say, maybe you should invest more dollars to increase your share of voice in this particular topic, because they’re trying to gain more business. And this is something where advocacy can really affect your share of voice. Because if you’ve got the power of your employees, and this is a topic, like you may have 10 different business lines, but there’s two you’re really focusing on that you want to grow. Then you put out more content about artificial intelligence, where your employees are sharing it, people are engaging, and they’re liking, commenting, clicking, then all of a sudden, you go from almost no Share of Voice to a leader and you’re controlling the conversation through your employees networks, by delivering that thoughtful content. And that thoughtful leadership, this concept of having a share a percentage of of a particular topic, I feel like there’s a lot of companies that especially that are open or trying to to move into a new field and like we want to not own but you want to be super present in the conversations that are happening. I feel like that’s probably the big deal for them to
Alexander Ferguson 29:30
say our we need to crease that share voice
Jonathan Baldock 29:33
100% if they’re embarking, like some companies have to pivot, or they’re like, Okay, now we’re going to get into this space. Well, they’re just not known for that. But if their employees are engaging in the conversation, and they’re sharing out this content, and they’re having dialogues with everybody, then all of a sudden they’re a part of the conversation. They go from nowhere to Oh, yeah, yeah, no, no, that company they’re in, they’re an AI for sure they are because I constantly see stuff from them about AI and all their employees and so it takes you from now being present, to really filling out that, that that, you know that part of the conversation, and it boil it all the way down even just to like a single person where they own their business, if I’m a plumber, and I’m willing to drive 20 miles in any direction from my home in order to get business, how many online conversations are happening about plumbing in that 20 mile radius around my house, and what percentage of those involved me, Jonathan the plumber, that’s my share of voice. So if I can occupy 80% of all the plumbing conversations around my house, I’m gonna get a lot more business. And I don’t have to drive too far to get it. So this is the same kind of concept, but you know, for big business, on topics that are really important to them.
Alexander Ferguson 30:41
I, on that note, for large topics of this, does those geolocation when it comes to online conversations ever come into play? Or is it always just a global piece? No, it
Jonathan Baldock 30:50
absolutely comes into play. Yeah. Because you may service a particular market. And so you can own that share voice in that market by localizing and empowering the employees to share content that are there, you know, so if you’ve got certain services, where you’re trying to grow that, that market share, and there’s other places where you own it, you know, like, you’re, now you’re heading into Asia Pacific, and you really don’t have a big presence, but you do have employees, then you can start to get that voice out. So you’ll become from, you know, an unknown entity to a known entity, just by doing that localizing the conversation. And of course, localizing the content to so that, you know, it’s not like we’re talking about stuff that’s happening in Texas, in Singapore, no one in Singapore, Singapore cares about what’s happening in Texas. But if you if you, you know, have similar content, and then localize it for the Singapore market, and then have your Singapore employees talk about it, all of a sudden, you go from no sure voicing Singapore to maybe you know, 30% or 10%, whatever it is, and that puts you into the conversation.
Alexander Ferguson 31:53
If a thought popped in my head to our any companies, including in their their advocacy program, contractors, a obviously employees make sense we want to get you employees there. I’m curious, anyone that does that make sense even to
Jonathan Baldock 32:07
Poland, it does, depending on the contractor. So it certainly does from hiring standpoint, if they’re willing to share content for you. Because, for example, like technology, people are really, really hard to hire. But all the contractors, no piles of other technology people if that’s what they do. So if you get them sharing, brand, and thought leadership and and ebp stuff about, you know why it’s great to work at this campus, and the great benefits and the cool projects you’re working on, they will attract people to apply for these full time jobs that you’re struggling to hire. So that’s one note. The other thing is there are organizations where they have resellers, or business partners that are acting on their behalf. So you can pull all of them in. So a great example would be like a company like, either, you know, like an air conditioning manufacturer, where you have all bunch of heating and air conditioning people all around the, you know, the country that are selling products for you, but you need your voice, you need that brand to go through all those people, well, they’re more than willing, because it’s going to promote their business, they’re more than willing, if they can get the content, they just, you know, they don’t have time they’re driving a truck, they’re running their business. So you know, if you can control and deliver that content for them, where they don’t have to do any lifting, and it helps to promote their business helps to show they’re a leader in the industry, that’s a great way to do it. Same thing, if you pick like Benjamin Moore paints, you know, they’ve got their corporate stores, but they also have hundreds, if not 1000s of stores, or maybe hundreds of 1000s of stores that are selling their products. But if you can get those messages through those retail channels, to those customers, then that that brand is now Top of Mind, and it didn’t cost you much to do it. So it’s a great way to utilize other resellers, partners, or even advocates like if you’re a not for profit, or a could be a school with alumni, or it could be a an association, you might have 30,000 members in your association, they don’t necessarily want to share all of your content. But if you can get some of them to share some of it, it’s going to be pretty powerful.
Alexander Ferguson 34:12
If you had to just then kind of close with a word of wisdom for someone who’s running one of these or pondering like who would be running it starting an employee advocacy program, I guess, the head of marketing and would be
Jonathan Baldock 34:27
usually usually be the Marketing Leaders. That’d be our number one like engagement number, you know, for our audience perspective, or sales leaders, sometimes it’s talent leaders and the communications folks, but marketing folks typically are the are the number one
Alexander Ferguson 34:41
if you had to to give a quick you know, get started three here. Here’s three things to think about if they’ve never actually implemented a an employee advocacy program yet, or they thought about or they try something just didn’t work. What would be the first kind of great way to get get one of these started?
Jonathan Baldock 35:02
I mean, you depends, like, I mean, if you have to get buy in internally, then I think you need, you need to be able to tell the story of, you know, why would you want to do this? Right? So, you know, what’s the what’s in it for the company? What’s in it for the employees? What’s the Why? And and then what are we you know, what are they going to be the results. And I think if you can tell that story reasonably compelling, then you can make a really strong case to be able to do it. Because the the investment side is really, really small in comparison, the smallest campaign I ever ran out at LinkedIn was $10,000, it lasted a few weeks. The you know, a small employee advocacy platform rollout is 40 $500 for a year.
Alexander Ferguson 35:41
Jonathan Baldock 35:42
medically different, it’s comically comically cheap, but you have to invest a bit of time into it, right? Like, you know, you buy your campaign, it’s 10 grand, but you’re not like, you know, managing it or, or investing time, which is why you need to have a platform where you can invest small amounts of time, but drive high amounts of value. Right. But you know, it’s, it’s, it’s really being able to tell the story. And so for any client, or, you know, companies that are listening to this at any point in the future, and they want to have that conversation about how do I have that conversation internally? And well, well, you know, I’m more than willing to have that, that talk with them, and, and explain the differences and, you know, getting into either detailed stats, or all different ways that they can approach these kinds of things. But it really comes down to, you know, what are they trying to do? And how do they tell that story internally, I think is the compelling way to move forward.
Alexander Ferguson 36:31
On that note for that, those that do want to learn more, I can head over to socialhp.com that is a great site looks like you’re able to just book a demo or you just give Jonathan a call. I mean, just just reach out to him on LinkedIn, I’m sure you’ll you’ll you’ll take connection request thank you so much for sharing your your insight of kind of this this journey that the employee advocacy has been on and and it’s not going away, it’s a good tactic. It’s a good medium for being able to get more touch points with your market and to actually help your employees sounds like build up their own career, even their their own profile, so they help them not annoy them. If done, right.
Jonathan Baldock 37:12
Yeah. overused a lot, but building your professional brand, although it is that it’s an overused term. It is really appropriate in this particular case.
Alexander Ferguson 37:22
Awesome. Well, thanks again, Jonathan. And we’ll see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live, work and do business? Go to UpTech report.com. And let us know