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If one surveys the landscape of social media training programs out there and then compares the subject material against one another, you will find that the Social Media Academy stands apart from the rest by providing you – a consultant or internal advocate, with the methodologies, thought leadership, and processes needed to grow your organizaation or practice. Other programs may skim over process and methodology and then focus on Tools like Twitter and linkedIn, but at SoMA you will learn and practise your skills. You will eventually even learn how to measure the effectiveness of your social programs.

The Academy has done a great job in recruiting quality guest lecturers. Be prepared for an intensive 8 weeks.

R. Mark Moore MyXeeSM

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As an Alumni …

one hopes you learned all that you enrolled for — but in this case the Social Media Academy far exceeded my expectations. Yes I have plenty of business experience and felt this would be a key update to my portfolio. I have a history of staying on the cutting edge and helping others make effective strides with their business practices by providing practical and sound, yet innovative advice. Little did I know how pronounced the information would be or how the SOMA experience would shape my own corporate objectives for the future. .

The Social Media Academy Leadership Class took my well greased tenure and opened it up to a whole new world and taught me the new corporate dynamics currently in play. I honed in a completely new skill set and was challenged each week as my “old school” thought processes had to be overcome through the excercises and home work assignments. It brought me completely up to date on how to win in the early 21st century and a new school of thought to get there. I had no idea I was so antiquated with my approach — yet quickly grasped the methodologies and strategies defined so well by the staff and cirriculum.

Most important of all are the results I’m now manifesting in the real world after graduating and my ability to truely help others understand the new framework and how to apply this to their business. If you want true creditability this Academy is your answer.

Laureen Earnest – My XeeSM

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SOMA Leadership Class – Definitely Worth The Investment!

I recently attended the Social Media Academy Leadership Class and wanted to share my experience. This is a rigorous, fast-paced course on the Social Media phenomenon and application of practical business methods and models that, when applied, will help individual consultants, managers, teams and companies to have a targeted, positive impact in the social web. I highly recommend reading the 2009 Mindshare Report, an enterprise social media status report published by the Social Media Academy. The full 220 page report is available at: This Link This report shares new ways to create a better customer experience and to compete for mind and market share, as well as making the case for why companies who are not present in the social web are unable to compete in today’s market – Well worth the read! If you don’t think you have the time to read the full report, start with the Executive Summary to see the value of this groundbreaking research on Social Media.

In the Social Media Leadership Class we learned that corporate presence in the social web needs to be managed in a direct way, integrating corporate objectives, teams, brands and products, using the NCP model (Networks – Contribution – Participation). Companies need to be where their customers are, including the various networks, groups, tools and initiatives – places like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, SlideShare, YouTube, Flickr… Before attending the Social Media Academy, I was a huge opponent of MySpace and couldn’t even consider a practical use for it; however, what I learned is that there are a lot of customers on My Space. MySpace reported $1 Billion in additional revenue for 2008, as part of the $23 Billion overall advertising shift to online media last year. The eight-week intensive training began with an overview of the socio economic changes our society is experiencing and the social media impact on corporations.

We learned about social media assessments and vulnerability analysis. We reviewed various tools, places and spaces and discussed what makes sense for business. Then came the really exciting part: creating and crafting a Social Media strategy. I really enjoyed the team interaction in the class and the group presentations were excellent. We operated very efficiently in team-based implementation scenarios, where we put everything we were learning to practical use. The class was very hands-on and we learned so much about topics like the changing face of marketing and public relations in the Social Media age, the shifting of ‘human resources’ to ‘human talent management’, and how Social Media affects departments like logistics and procurement. We worked with major analytics tools, such as Techrigy, Sysomos, ScoutLabs… We broke down budgets, resources, planning, and ROI considerations, and learned how to create a profitable social media consulting practice, as well as apply our learning from a social media departmental management perspective.

There were several great speakers during the course of the class, including Axel Schultze, our main instructor, who brought an amazing wealth of industry knowledge and value to every class. Axel kept the class exciting with his dry sense of humor, practical examples and positive insight – a world-class leader; John I. Todor, Ph.D. did a superb job of explaining how Social Media fits into an overall business strategy, and methods for turning challenges into opportunities through applied use of Social Media; and finally, Adrienne Corn did an excellent job of explaining the process of leveraging human talent in the ‘new’ human resource department.

My overall experience with the Social Media Academy was outstanding. In my opinion, the Social Media Academy offers the broadest educational experience available on industry-accepted models and methods focused on reaping the greatest benefit from the social web. The Social Media Leadership Class was excellent and definitely worth the investment! Marita Roebkes did an outstanding job of keeping our class organized and was always available to answer any questions we had during the course of the class. I highly recommend the SOMA Leadership Class, as well as its instructors, speakers, founders, and graduating students, who are all extraordinary leaders in their own right.

Your Picture Barbara Daniels MyXeeSM

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Leadership Course – My Experience.

I decided to sign up for the first Leadership class of 2009 as I wanted to get the best possible grounding in social media and how it applies to business, and in particular a new venture in which I am a stakeholder. Looking back, I am delighted to report that the course exceeded my expectations. What made the course really stand out were the sessions covering methodology, structure and planning. These elements transform education into executable plans for the real world.

Your Picture Kevin Mannion My XeeSM

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My thoughts on Social Media Academy

The course for me has been extremely interesting – The knowledge obtained will be highly valuable. Its a lot to digest and to start using.
I will definitely be recommending it highly to others. The course covered topics in a comprehensive manner. Axel is very well informed and knows his subject well and found his teaching style very effective. I have several people both internal and clients asking about social media and how this will benefit organisations. Thanks!

Your Picture Lamia Lee My XeeSM

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Social Media based Customer Experience Strategy

The real underlying power in Social Media is a new customer experience model. Too many hip “social media campaigns” failed because it was just old ideas blasted into a new world. Too much money was invested in fan pages or online community that became dormant after just 3 or 6 month – or worst – was never adopted.

Anybody experience with…
Social media is about the most often asked question: “Anybody experience with…”. Customers asking for help from real users, real customers – names they would never get from the respective business. Over 160,000 Toyota driver, 65,000 John Deere customers, 50,000 IBM customer, 25,000 SAP customers, 10,000 Dow Chemical customers… customers in all industries for all types of products asked those questions and most found answers. You are right – this is not 100% of their respective customer base – but these are the most vocal and therefor most influential people. Neither business processes automation, nor the next generation CRM, or a marketing campaign or yet another survey can help. If you and your team are not part of the conversation – your influence is ZERO.

The new customer experience model
Social Media in a business world is NOT having a LinkedIn profile, is NOT listening to tweets of somebody walking their dog and is NOT browsing through facebook pages. Social media in business is first and foremost “The New Customer Experience Model”.
1) Create a thorough social media assessment
2) Craft a good old SWOT analysis
3) Create a sound social media strategy
4) Build your resource and budget plan
5) Develop a social media execution plan
All need to be interwoven with your business objectives.
You will notice that the tools are secondary – the new mindset for a better customer experience primary.

Leverages your team, your partners, your customers, vendors and others to become part of the conversation – not the old “message blasting one way street” – no – a meaningful and mutually beneficial conversation with your customers, your prospects and the rest of the market.

The Tools Selection
Only once you have all your ducks in a row you will select the platforms, places, and tools for your social presence. Then you select the reporting systems to measure, model and tune your progress and success.

The Social Media Academy is running a complementary webinar this week July 10th. which is all about the new customer experience model, case studies, methods, frameworks, reporting tools and ways to make it happen.

@Axels

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Social Media Competence is the New Business Imperative

Run out and get the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review. More than half the articles will tell you that the business climate has taken on a NEW NORMAL that businesses cannot ignore. We are not going back to business as usual after the recession. In fact, getting out of the recession and surviving in the future require the same thing.

What you will learn from the Hagel, Seeley-Brown and Davison article is that successful businesses will be social media savvy and incorporate this into the ways they interact with customers, employees, stakeholders, partners and the world. These are not social media gurus you might suspect are puffing up their own feathers. They are heavy weight business thought leaders. Same with the other papers that make it clear that people and businesses need to adapt. As Hagel, Seeley-Brown and Davison make clear, it takes Social Media woven into the fabric of business.

Still not convinced! Read the June issue of Wired magazine (this you can get online).

Now here is the rub, learning to use social media to foster the type of changes in business models and relationships won’t happen on its own. It will take consultants and managers who have broad knowledge of emerging business strategy and social media.

I became involved in the development and launch of the Social Media Academy because I shared with Axel Schultze the founder, that there would be a growing need an institution that could provide just this blend of education. Now, six months later, when I look at the content for our Leadership Class, I know we are on the right track. Take your own look at the course outline. This Link

The Harvard Business Review and Wired magazine message are just more of an increasingly strong message to the business community – Social Media competence is not a new gimmick, it is the new imperative.

If you want to learn more about how the Social Media Academy can help you gain this competence, I suggest you attend the next free introductory webinar on July 10th.

Register on the Academy website: Social Media Academy.com.

Posted by John Todor, Ph.D.

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Social Media Academy – educating modern business

The Social Media Academy, based on my experience with their webinar course, teaches social networking not just from the standpoint of Twitter and Facebook, but from how a business should be run. I have enjoyed Axel sharing his work experience as context for new ways of doing business vs. old.

Much of marketing has evolved with analytics and techniques such as direct marketing have proved their worth to generate ROI in the past. However, many large corporations such as the big FMCGs have relied so much on layers of agencies, analytics and supply chains that they have lost the true connection with the user.

Now is an opportunity for these large businesses to essentially get back to the basics of relationship building with customers who are listening to ads less and less. The Social Meia Academy does a good job not only of presenting theory, but also practical application and commercial rationale.

Social Networking is presented properly not as an easy way out, but a new way of doing business that can save on operating costs IN ADDITION to generating sustained present and future sales.

The need for businesses to change is a significant underlying theme (businesses tend not to like change) and we are in early staging adoption. The course covers how to sell these new ideas into business as part of the change process.

Rick Speciale
Networking: XeeSM

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New Customer Experience Model

With maturing strategy models, assessment methods and new reporting and analytic tools, businesses look differently at social media compared to just one year ago.

The Social Media Academy is running a complementary webinar next week Friday, July 10 helping gain insight:
“Social Media – New Customer Experience Model”

I guess it is important to note that it is not yet another “social media marketing” webinar or one that tells you how to use LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook for business.
This event is all about the Academy’s core framework:
– Objectives
– Assessment
– Strategy development
– Execution Plan
– Budgets, resources and ROI
– Measure model and tune results

The overall approach: A cross functional way of customer engagement and customer experience ranging from support, product design, logistics, HR, sales and of course marketing too.
This Link

Axel
This Link

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