Career Development with social media – Webinar

Thank you for joining the Knowledge and Career webinar

To listen to the complete audio session please click on the link below.

career-dev-audio.mp3 – Social Media Academy

If you have any further questions or want to contact us, please leave a comment below, send us an e-mail or call us 650 384 0057.

Thanks again for joining.


Social Media Academy


Socialization Limits & Capabilities

Already in ancient history it was known, the ones with the connections lead over others. As you dig deeper into today’s social web, it’s advantages, challenges and opportunities, at one point you may ask yourself “where are the limits – how can I over come them?”. At that stage you may come across the so called Dunbar number. The British scientist Dunbar found that humans’ ability to network is limited to about 150 connections. Our neocortex (part of our brain) is responsible for that limitation.

Now, with Social Media on the rise this number may get an interesting companion. Like we know we can lift on average not much more than our own body weight (with exceptions of course) we may live with the Dunbar based limitations – but we may do what we always did in the past if we came across obstacles: we build tools.

Social media is such a tool. And here is my first rough principal and calculation:
I just call it the “connection principal” for a lack of a better word:

1) Through tools we will be able to manage more than 150 strong tie connections. I’m not taking about the loose connections or the “collection of connections” but strong tie connections.

2) Understanding that not all connection require the same amount of attention and maintenance to keep it a strong connection, we need tools that reflect those differences in order to increase the number. We also need to have those tools help connect fast and at any time as well as allow reciprocity and be very approachable.

3) Tools need to help us manage the connections, intensity, time lines and provide background information to remain relevant and keep the connection meaningful for both parties.

4) With those tools in place I decided a 10x increase over Dunbar must be possible, down the road even more.

5) All that said I’m not arguing that Dunbar is wrong, but that we can increase that number substantially with the right tools as we are able to overcome our physical limitations with the right tools.

I will expand more on this principal in the weeks and months to come. But my number right now is 10x over Dunbar or 1,500 strong ties plus thousands of loose connections as described by Robert Scoble.


Looking for a new job – or helping others to find one?

Is social media a good tool for you? Do you use it to expose your skills? Are you aware of the implications your profile and so called social graph has? Or do feel it is a negative threat that limits you – maybe because you are just not so much a “socializer”?

Phil Rosenberg, a well respected career coach, Adrienne Corn a Vanderbilt Ph.D. student and I are conducting a free career development webinar this Friday Aug 28th.

And we’d like to get as many opinion as possible by Thursday night (8/27).

Thanks so much



If you are hiring or do career reviews, do you use social media in the evaluation / review process?


Is social media a good tool for you? Do you use it to explore social and communication skills of your candidates or employees? Do you check the so called social graph of your team or applicants? Do you review subject matter expertise by reviewing blogs and other media to find the perfect match to the respective position?

Phil Rosenberg, a well respected career coach, Adrienne Corn a Vanderbilt Ph.D. student and I are conducting a free career development webinar this Friday Aug 28th.

And we’d like to get as many opinion as possible by Thursday night (8/27).

Thanks so much



Nice buzz

On TechCrunch: Read the comments at the end. I just thought I share this nice testimony of advocacy for Social Media Academy – Thanks to everybody for the great comments


Social Media’s impact on brands, branding and marketing

We’re probably in the 2nd year of trench warfare between brands and social media, and while we see regular reports of battles the winner has yet to emerge from the fog of war. In fact the prophets of this war go back much further, including The Cluetrain Manisfesto 10 years ago, Communities Dominate Brands in 2005, and several others.

It’s only with the advent of new and mass social media platforms that the war has finally erupted on several fronts. Social media advocates have indeed raided the territory of brands and their agencies and owners. Major battles are now being waged over the future of brands, if any; the worth of advertising is of course also in the wars; the role of marketing is being questioned and not only questioned but redefined; and new means to achieve customer loyalty are being run up flagpoles to see who salutes.

What I find confusing, although this may be my own ignorance, is the terminology. Perhaps not just the terminology but any common consensus on what we are talking about when we say "brand" and "branding". If we could get that agreed, then I think there are trends with which most of us would agree.


There is one strong element of the social media "push" which says that "brands are dead", and often this is sensationalised across the commercial and social media. Surely brands will always exist, and have positive or negative or neutral business value. One reason we know this is that the strongest advocates of the power of social media and its impact on brands would generally be considered to have established a "brand" for themselves.

So if brands are a promise, and translate to fulfilled experiences and satisfied expectations, then they will represent value to customers and return value to their owners. The delivery of the promise is the brand depth.

Social media, as part of the total customer engagment and experience, will accelerate the rise and fall of brand value because of the power of communities. Where the brand promise is not matched by brand depth the social media will enable the relentless exposure of that weakness.

Your brand is what your customers make it, and the customers and their networks are becoming more powerful and playing a bigger role in defining brands and brand value. And what’s interesting is that social media, through facilitating easier customer engagement, is empowering employees across an organisation to have a much more powerful impact on brand value. Not just in being able to "communicate" with customers and partners but in how they are empowered to communicate and how they feel about the company and product or service about which they are communicating.

In this context social media plays a very important cross-business role which embraces the whole breadth of customer engagement. It’s this whole engagement and the holistic business planning and implementation which is missing from most social media discussions today.


Currently, most discussions of social media are focused purely on its relationship to branding. Yet it appears to me that in contrast to brands, which will survive, branding is the most likely victim of the rise of social media.

By branding I mean the efforts of marketers to convince you of the value of a brand, usually by trying to short-cut the rather arduous process of delivering consistently on the brand promise over time. Of course marketers may often find themselves in inenviable positions, with dud products and enthusiastic owners who wish to make cheap grabs for market share or profit. Unfortunately most marketers and agencies embrace and even encourage these opportunities as a chance to show their "creative skills". And unfortunately it is with this brush that much "social media" is tarred today. It’s essentially creative crap!

In the world of communities, social media, and comprehensive customer engagement and experience models, this kind of "branding" is dead as the dodo.

This kind of branding also embraces the associated advertising which is equally worthless and it is this category of advertising which some social media experts proclaim to be dead. As an advertising category I would agree – it is as dead as manipulative branding.

The Marketing Challenge

For all of its current weaknesses and current falling credibility marketing and advertising is not going to go away, except that associated with the "branding" as discussed above which will certainly self-destruct.

It’s going to reinvent itself in the context of not pushing messages to a market segment, an audience, but by seeing itself as part of a total customer engagement and experience model. This model will embrace the whole company, and the important spaces and places in the social media where relevant conversations take place. These "relevant" conversations could include any or all of conversations about the company, its products and brands, its people, partners and competitors.

When Marketing does this it will again create the link between brand promise and brand experience, and be part of the overall creation of real brand value.

Organisationally, Marketing will become a member of a real-time cross-functional team which as a whole embraces the customer engagment. This is in stark contrast to today, where most Marketing has degenerated to branding. And make no mistake, this degeneration is the big problem that has led to the undeniable trend of declining influence of advertising and marketing today. It is disconnected from the experience and total customer engagement.

There’s nothing new in all this to purist and forward-thinking marketers as marketing was always intended to be only one part of a customer experience, and everything was meant to interact and to be consistent. It’s just that it has mostly failed to deliver and been taken hostage by "campaigns" and short-term thinking. The rise of social media is important because it exposes this "state of the art" for what it is – treating customers with contempt and ramming "messages" down "channels".

Future Brands, Marketing and Advertising

Branding, in the above context, is dead. Brands will always have a place in our B2C and B2B ecosystems, and some will rise far above others, as now.

The ones that rise the furthest will reinvent their Marketing function and their marketing to become a true part of the long-term engagement to build brand value through the execution of the tangible traits, through coordinated cross-organisational and social media contributions and participation.


Organization models for social media

Thank you to all who joined us during our webinar today. We hope you walked away from it with ideas and information to bring the very best to your business.

Organization models for social media
What is a good organization model for a mid size company, implementing a social media engagement strategy?- How one person can make a difference in an SMB organization!


How can a “social media campaign” actually be successful if the rest of the company does business as usual? Many social media “strategies” are really just some tactical ideas with little impact to the business success. Consultants get fired and careers stale due to some basic lack of understanding. A company with more than 20 people need to think through the organizational implications.

This webinar shall give you the foundation and the most important insight to to setup a good organization model to successfully engage with customers, prospects, new customers and partners through social media.


Why most small / medium businesses struggle with social media.

Where is the expected added business?
Social media appears to be a new marketing tool. It looks like a new way to get closer to customers, win some more deals, creating a new communication channel. But where is the new business?

How can I turn it into an $800 Million Business?
It was just a little bit too simple. And like anywhere else, there is no free lunch. But social media has a huge potential. It wasn’t just for fun that Zappos, an online shoe retailer was acquired for $800 Million dollar by Amazon. So what is it that makes social media work for some and not for others?

It is actually only one tiny difference:
For some social media is a new marketing channel, get done with it and go on with business as usual. Honestly, how could that work? For others social media is a whole new way of doing business with existing customers, partners and the rest of the market across all departments. Yes, it needs some thinking – but again, there is no free lunch. The latter ones are the winner.

Customers across all industries complain that the vendors, channels and suppliers they deal with provide a mediocre to lousy service, the companies are not approachable and nobody seem to listen. Businesses are so busy with themselves fighting the “business climate” that they seem to oversee that the most important aspect of getting business up are happy customers. Obviously even the coolest social media campaign won’t help at all – if the rest of the company does business as usual. If Customers complain about approachability social media can help to get the team more approachable. If service is a weakness, social relationships between service team and customer would be a great deal of improvement. If products lack functionality requested by users, social media is a great way to connect product management with the market. Interestingly enough, in none of the above scenarios a “cool social media marketing campaign” is the weakness or even required to engage.

How to solve the problem:
1) Understand that social media is a cross functional engagement
2) Don’t hire an external social media team but create a social culture internally
3) Keep sales in charge of customer relationships – but in a more social way
4) Make product development more approachable and listen to the market by being part of the social web
5) Ask marketing to help gather data and reports from the social web and escalate alerts inside the organization
6) Develop a strategy based on a thorough social media assessment
7) Engage in the social web with the goal to increase customer advocacy
8) Have a small team well educated and professionally execute the strategy

The Social Media Academy conducts a complimentary webinar this Friday Aug 14, with further details on the topic.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM


Experiental project “A social product launch”

This is an experiment and we invite product managers, marketers and entrepreneurs to join if you are interested.

Product launch exclusively through social media?

Xeequa (no it’s not on their website yet) plans to launch a new software product exclusively through social media. No advertising, no mail shots, no PR none of the traditional promos.
The focus will be entirely on conversations, introductions, word of mouth, group interaction, the whole nine yard.

This is not a just a launch campaign but integrates
– the pre beta co-creation phase
– support and service components
– awareness creation
– social media reporting including sentiment analysis
– even price and business model discussion

We all trust it is the better way – but only time will tell.

Do you want to be part of it?
You can either join the group as “spactator” and simply watch what is going on or as an “actor” and actively engage, discuss, contribute help and lear as we all learn from each other.
We believe this is the first co-created product luanch.

If you like to join the experiment: Just say so in the comment and share your social credentials via your XeeSM. If you don’t have a XeeSM, please set one up

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze


Customer Experience Development Intro Webinar Australia/ APAC

Thank you for attending our recent intro webinar, “Customer Experience Development”.

It was great to have so many of you join us at the event.

Axel addressed also questions we got during the intro webinar in his post.

If we missed an answer to your questions – please let us know.

We love to hear your feedback about the today’s webinar, the good and the bad. Please share your point of view and comments on this blog.

My Social Sites