This morning, Pinterest introduced ‘Secret Boards’, 5 businesses benefits

What can you do with the new ‘Secret Board’ feature?

When expanding the Pinterest boards a few application came to mind. An individual user may have a lot of things they want to keep entirely private, just for themselves, or sharing it only with family or good friends. But what about business users?

5 Ways a business can benefit from ‘Secret Boards’

Secret boards is actually a great feature for business teams. Every company has lots of company confidential images they share internally but don’t want it to be necessarily floating around in the public.

Company Confidential

You wouldn’t want to upload any real confidential information and you shouldn’t – but think about a library of web images that are publicly seen all over your website and you want to make it easy for the various departments to access them. Think about drawing that are used in your brochures and you want to share them with all your local offices. Or think about images that are used in your training material and you want your training centers in all countries have an easy to access repository with out having them access your servers via high secure lines.

Business Partner Partner Integration

In the early 90′s Partner Portals were a big deal. However most portals are dormant or closed down today. it is just way to complicated for a reseller for instance to maintain portal URLs and access information to their 50 or more vendors. This new feature allows channel managers to share a secret board with their partners and partners have no longer maintain a list of user ids and passwords.

Competition Information

You may want to have a repository about information from your competition but not necessarily share it publicly, yet easy enough for your team to access it.

Agency Collaboration

Another very cool way to use it is together with an advertising or web agency. We all know how painful it is to send images via email. Just have a board shared between agency and the marketing team and discuss the required changes over the phone. Upload a new version and discuss again.

Outsourced Development team

If you have an outsourced development team you will very much appreciate the ability to share a board with the dev team without sending libraries of images across the web and make sure everybody has all updates.


Obviously all of that was possible before by maintaining a data server with all the images on it, allow people to dial in via VPN, remain security rules and the necessary security protection – but hey way going through all that pain?

What other applications do you envision using the new feature?




The post This morning, Pinterest introduced ‘Secret Boards’, 5 businesses benefits appeared first on Society3.

Social Media Acceleration with Partner Channels

Expanding market reach has always been one of the biggest advantages of indirect partner channels. And in the Social Media age this is no different. It is actually an advantage like no other if that force can be unleashed.

We all learned, Social Media is not just another channel to blast a message out. Social Media is primarily about Relationships. And one of the biggest challenges is to leverage the new media with existing Resources to be as approachable as possible and build customer Relationships that are valued and lead to Recommendations and at the same time extend the company’s Reach.

Continue reading “Social Media Acceleration with Partner Channels”


Social Media Academy, ON24 Announce Award Winners in Growing New Medium – Virtual Events

Social Media Academy, ON24 Announce Award Winners in Growing New Medium — Virtual Events

CA Technologies, Sodexo, NetApp, BNP Media and Hitachi Honored

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – February 24, 2011) – As the entertainment industry is recognizing excellence in the film industry, the Social Media Academy and ON24 are recognizing excellence in a growing new medium — virtual events — with the 2010 ON24 Virtual Event Excellence Awards. ON24 is the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, and the Social Media Academy is the leading education and research institute for applied social media in business. 

"While the Academy Awards honors excellence in film, a medium that has been around for over 100 years, the Virtual Event Excellence Awards call attention to a new global medium that offers more engagement between the participant and the producer while also being good for businesses and the environment," said ON24 CMO Denise Persson. "Attendees can participate in tradeshows, conventions and training centers with live and recorded video in venues that look like anywhere on the planet — right from their computers and without any cost to the environment. Our clients have recognized that virtual communication is a key to success in today's changing global economy. These awards honor those organizations that push the boundaries of virtual communication and define best practices for the industry."

The judging, conducted virtually, was led by Social Media Academy founder Axel Schultze. "Many exemplary virtual events and briefing centers were nominated by event producers and participants," he explained. "As we reviewed the submissions we looked for nominees that set new standards for quality, ROI and social media integration."

Five Virtual Event Excellence Awards were given for 2010, honoring the best in virtual event innovation and training and the best user experience, virtual briefing center and social media integration. 

The 2010 winners are:

  • Virtual Event Innovation
    CA Technologies — May Mainframe Madness
    With over 35,000 attendee touches and each visitor averaging an unprecedented 3.5 hours per visit, CA's May Mainframe Madness (MMM) was a month-long hybrid virtual conference that set new industry standards for attendee interest and interaction, with new, live content being added each weekday in May. A complement to the annual face-to-face CA World user conference in Las Vegas, MMM featured a simulcast of the CA World keynote and three live panel sessions. In addition, the MMM virtual networking lounge was linked to the physical networking lounge in Las Vegas.

  • Virtual Training
    Sodexo — Education Market Summer Training 2010
    A two-time winner in this category, Sodexo achieved even greater virtual training success in 2010. More than 4,500 Sodexo managers — scattered across the globe and all 50 states — were invited to attend a continuation of the company's virtual management training program, and 90% registered. Sodexo was able to provide hours of training for each manager at a fraction of the cost of traditional face-to-face training. Compared to traditional training events, the company estimates savings of about $1.4 million.

  • User Experience
    NetApp — Virtual Partner Academy
    A custom virtual environment, NetApp's Virtual Partner Academy (VPA) reached thousands of NetApp channel sales partners worldwide with an engaging, interactive learning experience that enhanced and supported the company's largest-ever product launch. Visitors "toured" a 3-D rendering of the NetApp campus and participated in social media forums and "ask the experts" sessions. They also downloaded over 4,000 documents.

  • Social Media Integration
    BNP Media — Prepared Foods Heart Health Virtual Expo
    The organizers of this virtual show, the first produced for Prepared Foods Magazine, utilized social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, to help familiarize their target audience, most of whom had never attended a virtual conference, with their event. During the expo itself, live posting on Twitter and Facebook was encouraged with a Twitter feed and "Share This" button on the navigation bar. Following a comprehensive marketing and social media plan based on market research, the show organizers offered an engaging interactive experience to virtual event novices.

  • Virtual Briefing Center
    Hitachi — Hitachi Virtual JP1 VBC
    This virtual briefing center (VBC) focused on "JP1," Hitachi's system administration software and solutions, and was opened in conjunction with Hitachi's annual physical event, Hitachi Open Middleware World JP1Day in Tokyo. Attendees who visited the physical event were able to enter the VBC and view unique multimedia content. Accessible for one month after the live day, the VBC was updated frequently to encourage repeat visits. Over 30% of the visitors, in fact, returned to the site more than twice.


Eligible events were last year's virtual events and virtual briefing centers based on the ON24 Virtual Show platform. Nominations were submitted by clients and their partners and customers. Judging was conducted by senior Social Media Academy representatives. Schultze said, "We at the Social Media Academy were very impressed with the creativity and execution of the award nominees. Every single nominated event and briefing center, in fact, were worthy of recognition."

"We really appreciate the interest that has been shown in the awards program, and we are especially grateful to all who sent in a nomination," Persson said. "We expect 2011 to be another ground-breaking year for virtual environments, with companies continuing to set high standards for quality and develop innovative new applications."

About Social Media Academy

The Social Media Academy is considered the leading education and research institute for applied social media in business. Education programs are specifically designed for business professionals from all industries. The main emphasis is to help business managers and consultants get a comprehensive education and hands-on experience through collaborative workshops in all aspects of social business engagement, including strategy development, planning, tools selection, resources allocation and organizational development, as well as reporting and analytics. Attendees learn to use leading methodologies, models and frameworks such as the social media strategy framework, the four quadrant assessment methodology or the NCP model and other strategic tools to create successful social media engagements. The Social Media Academy is based in Palo Alto, California, with representation in Europe and Australia. For more information, visit

About ON24, Inc.

A recognized global market share leader, ON24 provides webcasting and virtual environments for corporate communications and demand generation. The ON24 platform is a complete Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud offering; no deployment resources are required. ON24 offers fully integrated, enterprise-wide solutions for applications ranging from training, user conferences and company meetings to partner expos and trade shows. More than 750 organizations, including IBM, Cisco, CA Technologies, Merck, AstraZeneca, Fiserv, Credit Suisse, GE and Oracle, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices throughout the world. For more information, visit


Social Media Strategist – Role and Responsibility

There are quite some controversial discussions about the role of the social media strategist. Similar to social media itself, when people don't understand, their first reaction is to call it hype and reject the thought.

There is no difference to the role of a Social Media Strategist.

But once you stand in a campus with 26,000 employees, 1.2 Million customers and a few billion in revenue you know that social media is no longer just some chit chat with friends. Once you see companies like BP or Nestle struggle with their ability to respond to a globally discussed issue, you know that Joe Social Media Consultant is hopelessly overwhelmed with any kind of help. And once you are tasked to launch a new product that is forecasted to produce $250 Million in the first year and launch a new corporate brand initiative having a $20 Million budget while at the same time need to restructure a service organization to create a better customer experience and knowing that the customer experience is dominated by the experience through 20,000 business partners – you know that most social media consultants have not a faint of an idea where to start.

Continue reading “Social Media Strategist – Role and Responsibility”


Social Media Academy Empowering 75% Of Global Business


Indirect Distribution Channels Go Social Media With Help From the Social Media Academy

Jan 25, 2011 – While many large corporations struggle with using social media to get closer to their customers, companies with indirect distribution partners like resellers, agents, brokers, dealers, distributors might seem to have it easier.  Rather than dealing with their own communication, compliance and privacy issues, indirect companies can simply delegate social media engagement problems down the distribution chain for their resellers to address  Unfortunately, it’s not as easy or effective as it sounds.

Continue reading “Social Media Academy Empowering 75% Of Global Business”


A Social Media Strategy Story – 3 years in the making

It all started with a surprise project in 2008 – I wrote about it on my personal blog and on some public blogs like Customer Think and Social Media Today. And as promised I continue writing about it.

Here is the whole story from the very beginning:

2008 – One morning…

… a small group of sales and service people from Company-Red realized that they could go to Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo Groups and YouTube and get a list of all the people who were discussing the good, the bad and the ugly about their products. After spending some time and doing some digging, Company-Red realized that this list was basically their customer list with lots of insights about usage, problems, advantages and more. It was a shocking event as the customer list was one of their best guarded secrets – now publicly available to everybody. Of course nobody published the list but customer discus and explore solutions and as such out them as a customer of whatever they use.

Continue reading “A Social Media Strategy Story – 3 years in the making”


Channel Empowerment

This is a recording of Axel Schultze's keynote at Tech Innovators in Las Vegas last week.

In essence: As 75% of world trade is conducted by indirect sales organizations, producers are better suited to empower their channels than developing a social media strategy for themselves.

As a follow on, you may join us on December 17 for our Channel Empowerment webinar



The new role of the “middle man” in the social web

I have the pleasure to talk about social media empowerment at this year's Xchange for Tech Innovators in Las Vegas today. The past years was filled with social media marketing conversations. The biggest challenge for many businesses is still to actually reach the end user and have a meaningful conversation. Why? Because it is pretty difficult for a company with 500 employees to have meaningful conversations with 10 Million customers.

The social media magic for businesses is called "leverage". Reseller, Distributors, Dealer, Broker, Agents have created business success as mediator for the past 5,000 years. And that is not going to change.

The Social Media Academy is providing complete social media solution programs and is working with leading social media tools vendors including Alterian, Sysomos and Xeesm to help businesses leverage their partner ecosystems and provide a better customer experience to their respective customers.



Webcasts Are the Past, Social Media is the Future

Recently, we did a marketing webcast called “Communication Secrets of Channel Managers” with EMC, SAP, and Brainshark. All the speakers attended the practice session and logged in early to make sure everything was working. By the time the webcast started, there were more than 170 people waiting, mostly well-qualified professionals. The material was relevant and the speakers were all excellent. It should have been a marketing home run. But it wasn’t. Continue reading “Webcasts Are the Past, Social Media is the Future”


What Tips Would You Give A Reseller That Was Just Starting Out With Social Media?

Lots of channel partners are already figuring out how to use social media tools to better connect with their customers. Consequently these active resellers are becoming visible in the various spaces like LinkedIn and Facebook: posting comments, starting Discussions, and (most important) finding prospects. So we asked them to help their laggard colleagues by answering the question, “What tips or suggestions would you give a reseller that was just starting out with Social Media?” Here is a collection of their answers from the various forums. Most have been edited for space and clarity.

Giving Social Media Advice

1. I would tell a reseller that they should not allow themselves to get overwhelmed. Perhaps take one site at a time…Start with Facebook, or LinkedIn, and get comfortable with that. Then move on to Twitter, YouTube, etc. This way you are able to feel progressive as you go from dipping in a toe to jumping in with both feet, and you have positive experience.

2. Spend time on your personal profile. Always use your real name. Have a consistent photo across all profiles – it’s your new “personal branding.” Provide links to your other social networks and blogs. Make it easy for customers to find you.

3. The most important thing to consider, in my opinion, is that you must remember that whatever you put out there WILL BE SEEN. So be certain that you put your best effort forward, especially with your photo! I have seen some pretty awful photos. Remember that this is a really good way to make a great (or less than great) first impression. So be professional and make whatever social media avenue you choose to pursue your best effort.

4. Move faster. This is a critical time to get into the social media scene for partners. Not only does it show you are on the cutting edge of technology, which customers will appreciate, but you are getting ahead of the curve, and partners who get in on this now will have an advantage when it becomes common practice down the road.

5. Find and bookmark any blogs written by your customers and then leave comments. They will love you for it. Continue reading “What Tips Would You Give A Reseller That Was Just Starting Out With Social Media?”