7 Years Social Media Experience

Today is an interesting anniversary for Axel Schultze, founder of the Social Media Academy. I asked Axel to share his past seven years of social media:

“Seven years ago Konstantin Guerke, one of the LinkedIn co-founders invited me to join LinkedIn. I had no idea what he was talking about – but my instinct told me: “go – this is interesting”. My LinkedIn ID: 8573.  I wasn’t too embarrassed not understanding the full scope because he didn’t either! But after a few exploratory meetings with Konstantin I got it. This was the birth of a new era. It was so much more than a new technology – we were on the verge of a new society. A year later I was quoted in Forbes Magazin as we started to hire people via the new media instead of expensive recruiter; I saved approximately $50,000, $30,000 on one search alone.

In 2005 I began to blog and was named one of the first executives freely blogging about my company, our strategy and our directions. The board didn’t like it – in particular because of my grammar and typos. I had to choose between authenticity and an PR department reviewed text. Here is why I voted for authenticity and why. Over the course of the next few years I learned a lot about blogging and commenting. My main takeaway: You don’t have to be nice to everybody – but focus on a value to some. Leaving a good post with no comment is like leaving a good restaurant with no tip. I learned that provocative posts are more valuable because they spark a discussion than lecturing people about your knowledge.

Early 2007 I discovered Twitter. See my first 16 tweets – silly tweets – like almost everybody. One of my friend’s reaction: “Axel, are you completely out of your mind? Are you in a midlife crisis?  Twitter? Oh man…” – After all, yes it was a bit strange, but I had this feeling again – “it’s going to be big”. What I learned about twitter was very important for my social media life: If you are not interested in people walking their dog and eating pizza: You are listening to the wrong conversation – because YOU decide who you follow. Getting massive amounts of followers is like collecting photos or stamps or old cars… (the farmer / hunter model). But the most important learning was this: You learn more about a person within 50 tweets (takes about 100 seconds to read) than you would ever learn in two or even three hour long Face 2 Face meetings. You can argue that – but only if you tried it for yourself and failed.

It’s 2008. In the past 5 years I learned so much about sociology – the one area I was least interested of all when I was in school and one of the most fascinating today. Robert Putnam’s “Bollowing alone” was interesting too, because he missed the most important part of our sociological change: Mass socialization. For a while I kept the title for my own book: “Bowling with Millions”. It became apparent to me that business people around the world are using social media every day without even noticing. Social media changes the way we do business. Unlike the inception of computers or the Internet – social media is the first significant change in the way we do business introduced by the consumer not by the manufacturer. In the past 100 years technology companies introduced massive improvements to producers and traders and helped them to be more economic more effective or more efficient in the way they the organize their business.  The social revolutions is turning this behavior upside down – now it’s the consumer who introduces a better way of dealing with customers to the manufacturer and traders. After a few very successful social media strategy engagements, business friends in VP and CEO level asked me to help understand social media and the impact to their business. After many hours of endless discussions I understood that there is a need to build a new education model to teach social media. Not to lecture how to be more social or how to tweet or how to brush up your Linkedin profile – but how to develop a sound strategy for a better customer experience model. How to analyze and assess the company’s own position in the space, how to plan and execute a cross functional social media engagement. How to organize social media responsibilities across an entire campus instead of pushing it down to a marketing person and the rest of the company does business as usual. That was the birth of the Social Media Academy. Now every month a new tool comes to the market. So the learning continues.

In 2009 we discovered an interesting aspect of maturation. The social media strategy model we developed three years ago is still valid today. The four quadrant assessment model remained to be the same. The dual presence model where we came up with a way to balance branded communities with public spaces is still best practices and so is the organization model where we moved two years ago from a “social media team” to a cross functional engagement model. The other interesting development I noticed is that leaders remain to be leaders. Cisco lead the charge into the social media age with massive engagement while their competitors were arguing about the economy and actually fired their social media people. Pepsi and Coke continue to rival each other – now in the social web and also their competitors are silent spectators of the space. BMW was very active engaging executives in the social web to get feedback on their cars while Ford tried to sue a fan club over logo usage. Comcast engaged to compensate their troubled support force through Twitter and had a great success while their competitors don’t even exist in the social web. WholeFoods while rather expensive and potentially endangered during the recession was thriving through customer engagement on all platforms in contrast to their cheaper competitors like Albertsons who ceased operations in many areas. Ad Social Media was also a game changer in 2008 / 2009 for a few companies. Companies like Zappos went from 0 to 60 in no time and bypassed every competitor. Facebook even so a player in it’s own world bypassed the dominant leader Myspace – not so much through leadership but sheer luck that MySpace was purchased and ever conceivable mistake was made after the purchase. It was also a game changer in the airline industry where JetBlue and a few others clearly made it to become the acknowledged leaders in the space.

2010 – Social Media now 7 years old goes mainstream. Everybody and his dog is at least exploring ways to leverage the new media. Hundreds of thousands already benefit from the space by offering webinars, addon tools, tips to gain a quadro gazillion follower, a bit consulting here and there and books how to use social media for marketing. Unfortunately tens of thousands of companies will fail as they follow cheap advice with no foundation “how to increase sales” with Twitter and Facebook. Democratization of Knowledge will become the biggest obstacle because “1 Million Twitter Experts can’t all be wrong” – Right? So lets grow followership to 50,000 and blast our messages into the new channels till they clog. And this will accelerate as 55 Million registered businesses worldwide will want to leverage Social Media by the end of this decade to develop a better customer experience, grow customer base and compete for more “brand appreciation” (not brand recognition). I expect that the next two years will bring a shakeout on the consulting and expert front. The self proclaimed social media marketing gurus who simply tweaked their old SEO programs into the new social world will make way to more business savvy consultants who can deliver a 360 degree social business model for the new agile enterprises.

The days of evangelizing social media are over. The social media business future is about tangible results. When my clients see improving sales by 20% or increase in customer retention or growing number of recommended customers they can righfully link their improved customer experience model to tangible business results. The question is no longer whether or not somebody is engaging in the social web but how!


Upon Delight in & Awareness in just StepUpon Delight in & Awareness in just StepThis is my conclusion of the philosophy at the rear of recognition instruction:”Recognition, the observer, is our Accurate Self. Staying totally show in direction of our optimum aspirations and biggest wishes as human beings, we can acquire phase and consist of have an affect on upon the real truth near us, separate of our wondering and belief, very easily simply because we are dedicated in direction of it. It may perhaps not sense specifically, our wanting to know might revolt in opposition to it and our moi might resist, yet we can do it given that we are focused toward it. It is simply just via staying within just the phase of enjoyable our commitments that we can be within our “Isness” (really than our “thrown-ness”), within truth (very than within just our “tale” concerning our fact), in just recognition of “what is” (instead than in just resistance from it), inside of production (in its place than inside response), and be victors (as a substitute than sufferers) inside of everyday living. Becoming Supply thus is important, as we can basically have an impact on our fact within just each “right here and already”.Toward the stage that we maintain our term and fulfil our commitments, in direction of that stage we are within just integrity with ourselves, will improve self-esteem and -self-assurance, will be financially rewarding, are serving the superior optimistic, and actually are planning a clean entire world for us and principles of design those people we treatment above, which, of training course, may perhaps be all dwelling beings. Authenticity thus is actually Self-get pleasure from, actualised by means of our surrender in the direction of our substantial getting in touch with as a human becoming, via executing all we can in direction of provide it and generate our eyesight appear genuine. Completion, at last, is vital, as all unfinished office environment consumes our electricity, and can take absent in opposition to our energy in the direction of be thoroughly Give, conscious and open up in direction of engage in within just each individual in this article and by now. Completion can arrive in just the path of easily completing all that we consist of dedicated towards, and throughout the artwork of entire forgiveness – of other folks and ourselves tessellation maker – and the hence restoration of our existence and integrity, as a result that we are, within each individual instant, entirely readily available and totally free for existence as it arrives and as we co-generate it.This then actually is Enjoy inside of Move, which can simply appear towards our dedicated dwelling of our contacting, which achievement inside of our contributions and our legacy in direction of the global, abide with me chords and is marked through a deep and unmistakable really feel of undertaking the instantly detail, providing us deep which means, fulfilment and pleasure.Inside of shorter Enlightenment, and the pleasure and fulfilment it delivers, quickly is the country of getting take pleasure in inside of move of our devoted output, soon after our getting in contact with and during our existence, authenticity, integrity and completion”I hereby motivation toward pay out tribute in direction of Marc Steinberg, of Innovative Recognition Worldwide () inside of Cape City, RSA, as the originator of this philosophy as taught towards me, which I incorporate hereby expressed inside mUpon Delight in & Awareness in just StepThis is my conclusion of the philosophy at the rear of recognition instruction:”Recognition, the observer, is our Accurate Self. Staying totally show in direction of our optimum aspirations and biggest wishes as human beings, we can acquire phase and consist of have an affect on upon the real truth near us, separate of our wondering and belief, very easily simply because we are dedicated in direction of it. It may perhaps not sense specifically, our wanting to know might revolt in opposition to it and our moi might resist, yet we can do it given that we are focused toward it. It is simply just via staying within just the phase of enjoyable our commitments that we can be within our “Isness” (really than our “thrown-ness”), within truth (very than within just our “tale” concerning our fact), in just recognition of “what is” (instead than in just resistance from it), inside of production (in its place than inside response), and be victors (as a substitute than sufferers) inside of everyday living. Becoming Supply thus is important, as we can basically have an impact on our fact within just each “right here and already”.Toward the stage that we maintain our term and fulfil our commitments, in direction of that stage we are within just integrity with ourselves, will improve self-esteem and -self-assurance, will be financially rewarding, are serving the superior optimistic, and actually are planning a clean entire world for us and principles of design those people we treatment above, which, of training course, may perhaps be all dwelling beings. Authenticity thus is actually Self-get pleasure from, actualised by means of our surrender in the direction of our substantial getting in touch with as a human becoming, via executing all we can in direction of provide it and generate our eyesight appear genuine. Completion, at last, is vital, as all unfinished office environment consumes our electricity, and can take absent in opposition to our energy in the direction of be thoroughly Give, conscious and open up in direction of engage in within just each individual in this article and by now. Completion can arrive in just the path of easily completing all that we consist of dedicated towards, and throughout the artwork of entire forgiveness – of other folks and ourselves tessellation maker – and the hence restoration of our existence and integrity, as a result that we are, within each individual instant, entirely readily available and totally free for existence as it arrives and as we co-generate it.Th

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46 Gratitude Quotes to be Thankful for!46 Gratitude Quotes to be Thankful for!Daily, I make sure that I openly acknowledge the things in my life that I am grateful for, and over the years I have collected a number of fantastic famous Gratitude Quotes. I hope you like them…Including famous quotes of gratitude that might inspire you and move you world of tanks blitz hack cheats tool towards manifesting your destiny too, this collection has been put together after searching to find the finest. There are hundreds of gratitude quotes, but I have selected the best so that you don’t have to plough through pages to find a gem.Find a Famous Quotation of GratitudeQuotes on gratitude can be inspirational and helpful when you are feeling grateful – and when you are not, and maybe need a nudge. Perhaps this one from William A. Ward is one of the best from my list:-“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.Have you used one to say “thank you?””Inspirational Quotes of GratitudeIf you have seen The Secret movie many times, then you may even be able to quote from some of the teachers. Here are a couple that stand out:“Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about”Dr John F Demartini“Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life”Marci ShimoffTo Express Gratefulness Famous Quotes helpIt is true that the more you are thankful and express your gratefulness for your life and everything in it, the more you add energy to the vibrations you are sending out – and the more the Universe sends back to you. Here is a famous quote of gratitude from one of my favourite old books: The Science of Getting Rich.“The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme whengood things come to us, the more good things we will receive,and the more rapidly they will come; and the reason simplyis that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind intocloser touch with the source from which the blessings come”Wallace D WattlesGratitude Quotes“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all”William Faulkner“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your appnana cheats ios life mightily”Gerald Good“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul”Henry Ward Beecher“Gratitude is the heart’s memory “Jean Baptiste Massieu“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving”H.U. Westermayer“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live”Jackie Windspear“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone”G.B. Stern“It’s been such a powerful exercise, every morning to get up and say thank you, every morning …… what am I grateful for …… and I’m not just thinking about them …… real racing 3 hack tool online I’m feeling the feelings of gratitude”James Arthur Ray“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice”Meister Eckhart“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”G.K. Chesterton“If you count all your assets, you always show a profit”Robert Quillen“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world”Adabella Radici“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink”G.K. Chesterton“For each new morning with its light,For rest and shelter of the night,For health and food, for love and friends,For everything Thy goodness sends.”Ralph Waldo Emerson“Praise the bridge that carried you over”George Colman“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”G.K. Chesterton“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get”Frank A. Clark“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has”Epictetus“Gratitude is the best attitude”Author Unknown“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures”Thornton Wilder“Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices.”Thomas Fuller“There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance”Joseph Addison“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude”Benjamin Disraeli“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart”Henry Clay“Who does not thank for little will not thank for much”Estonian Proverb“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings”Eric Hoffer“Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims”Rabindranath Tagore“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”Melodie Beattie“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new”Ralph Waldo Emerson“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”Cynthia Ozick“Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors”François Duc de La Rochefoucauld “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”John Fitzgerald Kennedy“Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer”Verbena Woods“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted”Aldous Huxley“When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them”Chinese Proverb“Thanks are justly due for boons unbought”Ovid“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican”H.L. Mencken“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”William Arthur Ward“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”Marcel Proust“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”Cicero“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”Denis Waitley“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”Margaret CousinsI hope you can use some of these wonderful Gratitude Quotes as inspiration and a reminder of the how blessed we really are.46 Gratitude Quotes to be Thankful for!Daily, I make sure that I openly acknowledge the things in my life that I am grateful for, and over the years I have collected a number of fantastic famous Gratitude Quotes. I hope you like them…Including famous quotes of gratitude that might inspire you and move you world of tanks blitz hack cheats tool towards manifesting your destiny too, this collection has been put together after searching to find the finest. There are hundreds of gratitude quotes, but I have selected the best so that you don’t have to plough through pages to find a gem.Find a Famous Quotation of GratitudeQuotes on gratitude can be inspirational and helpful when you are feeling grateful – and when you are not, and maybe need a nudge. Perhaps this one from William A. Ward is one of the best from my list:-“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.Have you used one to say “thank you?””Inspirational Quotes of GratitudeIf you have seen The Secret movie many times, then you may even be able to quote from some of the teachers. Here are a couple that stand out:“Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about”Dr John F Demartini“Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life”Marci ShimoffTo Express Gratefulness Famous Quotes helpIt is true that the more you are thankful and express your gratefulness for your life and everything in it, the more you add energy to the vibrations you are sending out – and the more the Universe sends back to you. Here is a famous quote of gratitude from one of my favourite old books: The Science of Getting Rich.“The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme whengood things come to us, the more good things we will receive,and the more rapidly they will come; and the reason simplyis that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind intocloser touch with the source from which the blessings come”Wallace D WattlesGratitude Quotes“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all”William Faulkner“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your appnana cheats ios life mightily”Gerald Good“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul”Henry Ward Beecher“Gratitude is the heart’s memory “Jean Baptiste Massieu“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving”H.U. Westermayer“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live”Jackie Windspear“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone”G.B. Stern“It’s been such a powerful exercise, every m

  1. walterwalter05-12-2010

    Wow, Marita, Axel, that’s a terrific 7 year account. I particularly liked this bit:

    “After many hours of endless discussions I understood that there is a need to build a new education model to teach social media. Not to lecture how to be more social or how to tweet or how to brush up your Linkedin profile – but how to develop a sound strategy for a better customer experience model. How to analyze and assess the company’s own position in the space, how to plan and execute a cross functional social media engagement. How to organize social media responsibilities across an entire campus instead of pushing it down to a marketing person and the rest of the company does business as usual. That was the birth of the Social Media Academy.”

    And this bit: “The days of evangelizing social media are over” Hallelujah !!

    2010 is surely shaping up as a seminal year, and as you say there will be shakeouts as well over the next few years. I was Linkedin member 17730 and started blogging in April 2004, and with Skype name “walter” you can see I was early into that as well. And I really remember being hounded when I started blogging because other “bloggers” were offended by my direct intention to use blogging for business. For that intention I was considered to be a traitor to the cause of blogging at that time, and they were not friendly at all.

    I haven’t learnt as much as you, although I did get a nice reply from Konstantin Guerke when I wrote a post in 2006 on how to use Linkedin effectively. He said it stood out because it was one of the closest he had seen to their idea as it had evolved over the initial years.

    Your vision in starting the Academy really put a stake in the ground, and the fruit is still to be fully borne but the roots are rock solid. 2010 could well be the year. And to that I would add, from my perspective, “the days of evangelizing the Social Media Academy are over”…

    And, the next 7 years WILL be more exciting! Keep us going and we’ll enjoy the journey with you.

    Cheers, Walter

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