When it comes to communicating values and performance among valued stakeholders, companies have endless amounts of data across departments but often have difficulty connecting the dots. Enter data storytelling. When done right, understanding data can lead to better, faster decision-making, equip every stakeholder with key insights, and contribute to a higher bottom line.
Trust is the Currency
One of the key currencies of today for any business is trust – from consumers, employees, partners, and all other relevant stakeholders. All these people are eager to engage with others and look to the company’s leaders to not only set the right direction but represent and communicate their values, principles, and vision in an authentic, engaging way.
In 2019 the Edelman Trust Barometer special report “In Brands We Trust?” found that 81% of customers across markets, ages, and incomes agreed that brand trust is essential, a deal-breaker or deciding factor in their brand buying decisions. As we navigate Covid-19, many leaders have stepped up to communicate openly about the solutions they are building, the adaptations they are doing to their way of working and supply chains, and much more.
CEOs in particular are expected to play a central role in not only talking about these – and many other – societal issues, but also in driving change. As of last year, more than four in five people said they believe CEOs should drive change instead of waiting for the government to impose it. 62% of employees are looking to their CEO for leadership during challenging times. Now and well into the future, trusted brands will be those who not only talk about change but actively participate in driving it forward. Markedly different from business as usual in years past, companies now face a decision that could make or break their standing with stakeholders: take a stance on issues, or become irrelevant. Digital communication through professional platforms such as LinkedIn offers one of the most effective and efficient ways for leaders to address all their stakeholders and build trust.
In the busy, content-rich, and noisy world of digital, it’s very often hard to make sure you are reaching the right audience, publishing the right content, and creating the impact you want. Fortunately, social media is full of high-quality data that Connected Circles has spent years understanding, and with the power of Toucan Toco, we can inform leaders and their companies better than ever on what impact they are having with online content on LinkedIn.
Connected Circles is a data-driven social media scale-up in Amsterdam focusing on three main services:
- Online content & growth positioning for more than 50 top international executives
- Employee advocacy training and analytics (500+ people trained)
- Advanced LinkedIn social selling targeting and engagement strategies
Data is a crucial part of delivering these 3 services. The large organizations and top-level leaders we deal with expect transparency and accountability for every piece of advice or strategy we give them. At Connected Circles, we’ve developed proprietary tools to collect, analyze, and visualize public LinkedIn data that transcend any built-in analytics of the platform. To be blunt, LinkedIn is amazing but their analytics are not. The magic happens when we combine our unique data analysis with Toucan Toco’s powerful storytelling and interactive features.
Data Storytelling: Through the Connected Circles Lens
At Connected Circles, we’ve built our Toucan Toco experiences around each of these very specific and practical use cases with the objective of providing actionable insights and saving time for our clients. By exploring our 3 use cases, we hope everyone reading this can get a new perspective on social media data and how it can empower focus and decision-making even at C-level management.
Why do we focus on LinkedIn? Roughly 675 million users monthly are active on the platform, posting on the site, and engaging with others’ content. 61 m users are senior-level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions. The vast audience, ability to connect in a human way, and the customizable tools, from professional learning, development, and hiring, make this professional networking site a goldmine for those looking to build trust in their brands, but more importantly, their leadership. But how can we cut through the noise, and get to meaningful conversations?
At Connected Circles, powered by Toucan Toco, we’ve developed the Interactive LinkedIn Dashboard. A data and insight-driven tool for key organizational players, it is a one-stop-shop customized to each user’s workflow and environment. The three main users are:
- Executives who aim to build trust through the content on their own profile
- HR / Comms Directors managing employee advocacy programs
- Sales experts looking to build more effective relationships with targeted leads
We believe data storytelling provides everyone with a clear and simple way to move forward in agile, informed decision-making. This Interactive Dashboard allows for testing what works and what doesn’t and provides actionable insights. It is designed to allow for shortcuts directly to LinkedIn, leading you where you need to go in seconds instead of minutes.
Let’s explore how this philosophy applies to the 3 use cases.
Case 1: Executive Positioning & Impact Tracking
90M of professionals on LinkedIn today is senior-level influencers, with another 63M in decision-making positions. This translates to hundreds of thousands of posts shared by C-level executives weekly, to all levels of stakeholders in an organization. But how to cut through all the noise and build the content that is truly useful and engaging?
Engagement is a two-way street
Leaders who are active on LinkedIn know the time investment it takes to build an online presence. Publishing content, reaching out to targeted audiences, and engaging with different stakeholders is no easy feat. How can you efficiently monitor just who you are reaching with your content, and quickly follow up to maintain relationships with connections and followers?
A thought leader knows that publishing content is part of building a strong profile, but it does not paint the whole picture – it actually is just the beginning. In the era of H2H communication where social media has activated a two-way street of communication rather than traditional broadcasting, interacting with others meaningfully is what separates the broadcaster from the interactive, personal and thoughtful communication that wins.
The Connected Circles Interactive LinkedIn Dashboard intends to help executives in managing their LinkedIn profiles accessibly and efficiently. Regardless of whether you’re packed with experience in the platform since the early 2000s, or a newly-minted user, it is a tool for any user style. Providing instant access to direct content insights, the Dashboard quickly transports you to LinkedIn’s relevant pages, so you can engage with the audiences you care about. Every tile in our Home views either links directly to LinkedIn or to a story with more details on what is presented.
We’ve seen that the best relationships online are those fostered with timely, personalized engagement – we never recommend generic comments or simple replies. On the other hand, our attention spans can be limited – some say as limited as 8 seconds – so time is of the essence. You should not reply to comments on your content weeks after they’ve been posted.
Navigating the World of Content
LinkedIn really makes it difficult for users to quickly find back content or other people’s posts. As soon as you have more than 200 connections, your feed also becomes a messy flow of random content. The objective of our dashboard is to make sure you are looking at the content and people you really care about.
What you say only matters so much as in the context you are saying it. Another key aspect to thought leadership is a big-picture overview of what your peers are saying, and what the competition might be sharing: here, you have an overview of their content and how it is performing, at any given point in time. We customize the lists of peers for each executive.
What would content be without an audience to engage with it? That is why one of the defining tools in this dashboard, is the tracking of network growth. An active profile can be made or broken by an audience that is engaged and feels the relevance of the content shared – but that is firstly done by targeting, strategically, who to connect with.
Structuring your audience by making the right connections forms an inevitable domino effect. This influences the people who will interact and view their content. With a strategic eye on targets and categories of people, you’re interested to connect with, a network growth overview provides a month by month look into your acceptance rate, segments in your audience according to the role, and top latest connections. This way, you can interact with and follow up on your messages with those newest to your network. With a few clicks, you’re on their LinkedIn profile, poised to start a conversation or comment on their latest posts.
Executives value this dashboard because it’s very specific and customized – it shows their content, their selected peers, and their network growth all in one place which takes 10 minutes to review. They can then set actions for themselves or their teams. Each week, also within Toucan Toco, we publish a short video from our team members with the latest insights and actions for each executive.
Case 2: Employee Advocacy Analytics
Employee advocacy is one of the most useful tools to get a brand’s exposure rolling, pushing both the employee and the brand to new levels of awareness and differentiation in a busy market. Often, these programs can require a lot of time and effort to build, and it can be difficult to gauge the success of a content strategy or style. Ambassadorship is not something that comes naturally to employees, either; it can be time-consuming and costly to train and encourage those who might not be as naturally inclined to do so, over those that are. But a successful branding & advocacy strategy is genuinely priceless – its most obvious benefits being talent attraction, brand awareness, and customer loyalty. A brand that communicates, is a brand that wins.
How to track the success of your employee advocacy training, employee branding, or on your reputation as an employer? The Interactive LinkedIn dashboard applies the same kind of logic and design to outline a clear picture of your strategy’s performance, its strengths, and its points of improvement.
For Communication Heads and HR Managers who want to have an accessible way of monitoring what a company’s 10 to 20 top ambassadors are posting online, the Interactive LinkedIn Dashboard provides all the information, in one place. Managers can easily track the public content of the organization’s employees, as well as see those who are more active, perhaps because it comes more naturally to them.
Tracking Top Voices
An overview of this content lets you see where to continue encouraging employees – and where to provide feedback if needed. This brings an added layer – when employees in a company are active, few of them will achieve consistent engagement. However, the Dashboard allows for identifying those most promising, capturing your top 20 ambassadors to display their network growth, engagement, as well as aggregate engagement; all in one place (and glance).
- You can mine the content ambassadors are organically creating, for patterns, and data-driven insights. Very often, the content that performs well brings learnings and takeaways – here, you can access actionable insights towards more organic awareness and reach without paid advertising.
- Most importantly, it can be a powerful tool to coach and encourage employees in the right direction, working smarter to target those who will not only share content but succeed in engaging the right audiences.
Thought leadership does not have to stop with those at the top. Building employees towards ambassadorship with an authentic, strong message can be just as powerful – with the right people and coaching, employer branding strategies can maximize trust, credibility, and safety among consumers and all other stakeholders alike. Monitoring the effectiveness of content is customizable, too; a spike in views or engagements? The Dashboard allows you to see which kinds of posts succeeded, and which did not – down to the nitty-gritty of formatting and frequency at a given time.
Case 3: Sales Lead Engagement
79% of B2B Marketers see LinkedIn as a reputable source for generating leads. Of all B2B leads coming from social media, LinkedIn is responsible for 80% – roughly 4 out of every 5 leads. All other platforms combined make up less than 20% – including Facebook and Twitter. How to leverage the platform to guide you towards the leads and convert those targets successfully?
Revamping your Sales Approach
Keeping track of multiple leads through LinkedIn’s interface is time-consuming, and often riddled with multiple steps and conversations to follow up on. As the Dashboard is highly customizable, the same analyses as before apply – but instead of an employee or a C-level executive, input the best people in your target for your sales force. This gives you a unique advantage. You have access, all in one place, to the latest activity of all key decision-makers. In a glimpse, you can check out when and what a lead has posted, as well as respond with timeliness and engage in a personalized, human way. Facilitating these relationships online comes with the added benefit of avoiding generic, pushy sales messages, and zooming in on the specifics that matter: what they care about, the conversations they are participating in. This makes it much easier to pitch a product or service, with a highly personal approach vs. the impersonal message from a “stranger on the Internet”.
As an extension of employee advocacy program monitoring, this Dashboard has a different focus:
- To monitor and keep tabs on the leads that are active, looking into how and when they behave online. (This is possible not only for individuals but companies too.)
- You can take a look into their latest thinking, an “in” to their online and offline conversations for that meeting you’ve booked. (Essentially, it is a way to familiarize yourself with what your leads care about, and what they’ve been sharing in the past 3-6 months.
- With all the leads in one place in easily digestible and accessible insight, you can go as big or as small as you’d like.
- Instead of manually checking tens of profiles, they are all in one place, saving your costs and a lot of time. Following up on leads, but this time smarter and faster.
Leveraging Data & Content to Build Lasting Relationships
At its core, social networks are spaces for relationships to be built. The Interactive LinkedIn Dashboard is customizable in that you can choose which relationships to create. Whether it be as a thought leader, communications director, HR manager or head of sales, all is possible. By choosing the right people and focusing on your message with timeliness and authenticity, great things can happen.
We believe a powerful conversation can be the catalyst for change on an organizational level and on a societal one. Through data-driven LinkedIn content & network analysis, it is possible to cut through the noise with a razor-sharp intention of engaging those who we want to reach.
This solution is not only cost-effective but time-effective, too. Now, it is possible to have a bird’s-eye view of what succeeds and what doesn’t. It has never been more accessible to maintain an online presence, in a meaningful and impactful way.
To see the Interactive LinkedIn Dashboard in action register at our free webinar, hosted with Connected Circles’ Mylena Pierremont (founder), Galimir Dilkin (COO, Co-Founder) and Yann Toutant, Country Manager at Toucan Toco. Registered attendees can expect to leave with a special, personalized gift.
About Connected Circles
At Connected Circles, our mission is to disrupt how leaders communicate with key stakeholders in the digital age. As trust moves from brands to people, leaders are expected to be visible, accessible, and human. We help purpose-driven companies, leaders and their teams to create meaningful conversations and make a positive impact in the world.
We believe in the impact of human-to-human interaction powered by data. In the ever-expanding world of content, we use data insights to cut through the noise and identify the right people. Having analyzed thousands of CEO posts, we understand how to create truly useful and engaging content. Enabled by AI technology, creative and strategic thinking, we build online profiles that become centers for discussion, inspiration, and learning.
With the right balance of tech and human capabilities, we help our clients to generate new business, retain and attract talent, boost their brand reach by as much as 400%, and gain trust through transparency, consistency, and relevant content.
About Toucan Toco
Our mission: tell Business Performance Stories through interactive Data and Data Storytelling.
Our users: Marketing, Production, Finance, Human Resources, SalesForces, and Top management of Big Companies.
From 4 partners to 90 employees in 5 years, we were self-financed until 2019, thanks to the support of more than 100 clients, for more than 300 projects, including Renault, Crédit Agricole, Elior, Icade, Nexity, EDF, GRDF, BNP Paribas, Heineken, Marques Avenue, Euler Hermes, BIC, SNCF.
We have completed our first funding from Balderton Capital and the former founder of Business Object to accelerate our development in the United States. Small apps are mobile, easy to use, made for action, and easy to set up in any information system.
You will find:
A strong culture, based on caring and goodwill. We build values together, one of them is “each one teach one”. We are teachers and learners, for each other.
A strong software exciting to create, setup, market or sell.
A fast-growing company, where you can grow up too.