March 22, 2021

Social Media Marketing
Masterclass Episode 9

In part 9 of our Masterclass Series on "Building a Strategic Marketing Plan for Your Business," host Eric Dickmann interviews Jonathan Baldock about using social media marketing to amplify your reach. Jonathan Baldock is a Social Media Marketing Expert and Adviser of SocialHP. SocialHP is the fastest and easiest way to create a successful advocacy program. Connect, distribute, and grow, it's as easy as that!

Jonathan Baldock is a Social Media Marketing Expert and Adviser of SocialHP. 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. Jonathan currently resides in Ontario, Canada. 

SocialHP is a one-click solution to your social media marketing problem. The platform has been helping employees and marketers by breaking down the wall between sales and marketing and using the best-in-class analytical tool to help businesses measure their marketing strategies' impact on their entire business. Social HP has been continually enhancing the employee advocacy programs of multinational companies such as- Samsung, Lonza Rheem, NCR, and FleetCor.


The Evolution of Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms have come a long way. It wasn't that long ago that platforms like Facebook were focused on connecting college students together. Today, that same company is one of the most valuable in the world. New platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter have sprung up to meet the ever increasing appetite for people around the world to engage in a digital world. Whether your company is business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), these platforms can't be ignored. Despite the outlandish, controversial, or downright silly content that tends to make the headlines, these platforms are valuable tools for businesses and used correctly, can be a great way to amplify your brand and reach your target audience.

Social Media is Important to My Business

The Growth of LinkedIn

Jonathan Baldock shares that he has witnessed so much growth over the past decade, especially on LinkedIn. When he started at LinkedIn, there were around 80 million members, but when he left the company, user accounts had grown to 750 million. As the platform evolved, it had  become more than a place where people uploaded virtual resumes and looked for new employment opportunities. LinkedIn has become a place where people with different expertise congregate, share ideas and thought leadership with peers. The social media platform is continually evolving and looking for new ways to keep users engaged. Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, it has been seeking ways to enhance the platform and integrate it into it's core offerings. They have moved into supporting video content and many speculate that Office 365 and the Teams messaging platform might be logical ways for Microsoft to further enhance LinkedIn's capabilities.

LinkedIn Marketing Statistics

Other Social Media Platforms

Like LinkedIn, other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have evolved and become a channel for many  businesses promote their products and services. Since Facebook dethroned MySpace in terms of the number of unique worldwide visitors in 2008, it has never stopped growing and enhancing its features. From buying Instagram in 2012, adding Marketplace in 2015, acquiring Whatsapp, to recently integrating Facebook Dating in the social media platform, Facebook has proven to the world that it can continually grow, expand, and add value to its users over the years. 

Recently, TikTok has taken center stage with it's meteoric rise and SnapChat, Instagram, and Twitter are all thriving as well. While each platform has advantages and disadvantages, businesses have found ways to profit from each. Whether that's through the create of organic content that builds an audience or using the powerful segmentation tools these platforms provide to run highly targeted ads, the platform give marketers powerful way to engage with digital audiences.

Fcaebook is the most dominant social media news source

As the social media platforms started to evolve to cater to their respective users needs, so did their approach adding new functionality. Despite being slow to rollout video and live streaming, LinkedIn seems to be a very deliberate platform understand Microsoft's ownership. They've introduced the Stories functionality but that feature is still pretty limited compared to the other platforms. As a publishing platform, LinkedIn still seems to have much room to grow, but for many businesses, especially in the B2B space, it's an excellent place to find and engage with prospective customers.

Benefits of Social Media for Businesses 

There are different approaches and social media marketing strategies that you can apply to engage with people on different platforms and demographic groups. If you've taken the time to identify your ideal customer profile and target market, these platforms provide powerful tool to target your messages directly to your niche. HubSpot Blog shares the benefits of social media marketing to your business:

  • Social media marketing drives customer engagement
  • It gives you a fresher marketing perspective
  • Allows your target market to discover your products or services
  • It builds your brand's reach and visibility
  • Social media marketing can increase purchase and lead conversation rates

Jonathan Baldock

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. You are raising your profile so you're no longer considered as somebody who just happens to post random things online."

How Do You Reach Your Target Audience Effectively?

For your website to be found or post to get traction, you have to create good content and understand how the algorithms work . Despite carefully following the guidelines, content might still get very little or no engagement. Jonathan shares that if you want to reach your target market effectively, you have to look at two essential pieces:

  1. Create and share company page content- Whether you are a one-person shop or a large company, you have to need to have a company page because it elevates your business's authority. The good thing about building your company page is that its all free! Baldock points out that businesses can expand their reach when employees help share content from the company page. This can dramatically increase the potential audience of content that great posted online.
  2. Adding value to your network- You can do this by sharing content, posting updates, and engaging with your network. When you add your perspective on hot topics , you are slowly adding value to your network and establishing yourself as a subject matter expert or authority in the field.
Customers are Using Social Media

Paid versus Organic Reach

Jonathan also advises that when investing in paid advertising, companies need to do it smartly. Dumping money into advertisements without also investing in other content can make your brand seem overly aggressive. If someone sees an ad and then researches your company only to find little of interest there, that diminishes the power of your outreach efforts. Your company needs to have the right ratio of content sharing with paid ads to be most effective. Jonathan Baldock suggests three stages on how to maximize your paid advertising: 

  1. Build awareness through your content and consistency of posting.
  2. Let your customers get to know more about your products or services and engage with your brand.
  3. Provide compelling offers to get them into your sales funnel and then keep engaging to further build trust.
The Power of Social Media Marketing

Building Momentum Around Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn can be considered best in class when promoting content since there a lot of active subject market experts (SMEs) on the platform. Your network is likely to be filled with people who work in a similar industry or profession. These are the kinds of people likely to engage with your content. To get that engagement, you want to tell a story over a period of time. Like that marketing funnel, you should build awareness first before pitching your product or attempting a sale. After you've built some engagement, share with your prospects the unique products or services that you can offer.

Bebefits of Social Media Marketing

As part of a social media marketing strategy, some businesses invite their prospects to webinars. While popular before, they have exploded in popularity during Covid-19 as have virtual events. Webinars are great ways to share information on a topic and introduce your products and services in a way that's not overly assertive. Following up with attendees or providing a call to action can begin to move prospects further down the sales funnel. Social media is a great way to drive sign-up and give your team a reason to reach out to their network.

Social Media Channels that are part of companies's digital marketing mix

Collaborating With Employees to Expand Your Outreach

One of the issues in reaching an audience with your content is that most users tend to follow other users, not other companies. This significantly reduces the organic ability for companies to promote their content without paid promotions. Jonathan shares that it is rare to find a company page with many followers. For example, a 50-person company page might have 500 followers. However those 50 employees might each have 1,000 followers of their own. While there's certainly going to be overlap, when added together, there's theoretically 50,500 in that combined network! Companies that can learn to leverage this larger network to share their content and messages can great expand their reach at little or no cost! Getting your employees to share your content and resources is the least expensive channel of social media marketing, compared to investing in a paid campaign to target and engage with those customers and prospects. For the most part, you're reaching the same audience; the only difference is that it does not cost you anything other than your employee's salary, but you're already paying them, and they're doing their jobs.

Percentage of employees that believe that there is not enough collaboration in the company

According to Baldock, this is not a new idea since it has been around for eight or ten years, but there are now tools and advocacy platforms that help companies execute the strategy. You want to encourage your employees to take initiative and be part of your company's advocacy platform. Jonathan elaborates that most of the time, the employees are not interested enough in your business unless you've got the most engaged employees who just love everything you say. However, platforms that streamline the process and help employees share content of value to their networks can be a win-win for both employees and the company.

Automating Employee Sharing

Baldock adds that buying an advocacy tool can help boost your employee's engagement. The challenge can be that when tools are opt-in, they often get forgotten. If the overall average monthly usage is about 20% and you have a 1,000 employees, only 200 of them will log in and use the platform. The other 800 are going to forget about it or aren't invested enough to use it. Newer advocacy platforms allow employees to opt-in and have the system post on their behalf. This removes the burden of them having to manually shares the posts and can significantly increase adoption levels. Of course, they are always given the option to approve posts first but many just let the system work on their behalf.

Engaged Employees' Actions

Advocacy Platforms

There are many tools to help you with your social media marketing. According to Jonathan Baldock, tool like Social HP are the fastest and easiest way to create a successful advocacy program because it incorporates a scheduling tool that will automatically re-share posts on the employee's behalf through a simple opt-in process. But how do you convince employees to turn control over to you?  Despite the ease and flexibility that these tools provide, not everyone will give you permission to post on their behalf. Baldock shares that often, the message you deliver to your employees makes all the difference. Instead of forcing them to share something, educate them about the benefits of participating in your advocacy program. For instance, sharing posts can not only benefit them as an individual, but can also raise their professional profile. And reassuring them that you will only share thoughtful and relevant posts to their network helps employees feel more confidence in turning over control. If they really don't like to share company posts on their accounts, don't force them. Convincing people to share posts might take some effort but when they see it can be a win-win for both the company they work for and their own person network connections, any objections often disappear.

The Economics of Advocacy Platforms

Jonathan tells us that the sweet spot for utilizing these tools and advocacy platforms is about 50 employees and up. If you're a small business and just have two or three employees, these platforms are probably not the best solution. Employees from smaller companies are usually more than willing to share content than larger companies. If you have enough employees, the economics of these tools becomes clear. Baldock share that if you have 50 employees, a platform's cost for a year is maybe $4,500. Whereas one small campaign in LinkedIn is approximately $10,000. That small campaign in LinkedIn might last you two or three weeks, while that $4,500 investment on that platform will be present for the entire year. You also have to note that 50 people could reach 40,000 for the whole year, so when you don't have a big budget, these platforms look like a cost-effective way to share your content. Maybe it's time your company considered an advocacy platform!

Live Stream Replay


  •  Jonathan Baldock - LinkedIn
  • SocialHP - The fastest and easiest way to create a successful advocacy program
  • LinkedIn - Welcome to your professional community!
Jonathan Baldock

Jonathan Baldock

Jonathan Baldock is a Social Media Marketing Expert and Adviser of SocialHP. 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. Jonathan currently resides in Ontario, Canada. 

Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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