Creating a Social Media Strategy Handbook

95% of the customers had a choice when they purchased the product or service in the first place, they had a reason for their selection. The single most successful way to use social media is empowering customers to share that reason and turn it into recommendations. The single biggest challenge: make it actually happen.

The Social Media Strategy Handbook

It became best practices to create a Social Media Strategy Handbook for each social media project documenting everything including the ultimate goal and purpose, initial market research, SWOT analysis, strategy, programs, actions, social presence, resources, budgets, reporting and the ROI.

We are sharing two examples of those strategy books that were created by attendees of the Social Media Strategist class. One was for Lindt Chocolate and one for a Hotel & Spa in the Caribbean. None of the information provided here is confidential – everything can be found in the public social web. Continue reading “Creating a Social Media Strategy Handbook”


Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk

I recently wrote a post “Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL“. I received more personal responses on that one post than on all posts I wrote in the past 5 years together. It inspired my to write this response to the overarching question: “What shall we do“.

No project success – No Reference

The consequence of failing projects – beyond the fact that it failed: here goes a potential reference customer.
Agencies have to come to a bitter realization:

Taking a print brochure to the web was an important transition
Taking a webpage and share it with friends is meaningless

Tens of thousands of agencies and social media consultants struggle to run their business. The social web is just NOT what so many people think: “just yet another marketing channel”.

10 things successful agencies do differently

Successful teams think entirely different and help their business clients to think through the entire chain of implications of a social engagement rather than just selling followers, fans and a page. And this is no different whether it is a 25 people small business company or a 25,000 employee global enterprise. Continue reading “Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk”


Top 15 Social Media Rules for Business Leader

Rule #1 Connections

If you hate to read about people walking their dog, eating pizza or making you rich in 3 weeks:

You are connected with, or are following the wrong people.

What you read is who you connected with

Rule #2 Time Management

If you are not sure how much time you should spend in social networks? Don’t spend any time at all.

Invest time in your most relevant contacts. If they happen to be in the social web – be where they are.

Invest time in relevant people not platforms

Continue reading “Top 15 Social Media Rules for Business Leader”


How to get executives fully comprehend Social Media?

I guess you all rationalized that Social Media projects are typically difficult to close and painful to execute if executives are not well aware of the impact of Social Media to their business. The single biggest problem is that most executives do not speak your language.

Getting your or your client’s executives to understand Social Media has become for many the single biggest obstacle. Even if you have a good story, they may not trust you – but they may trust the Social Media Academy. SMACAD is trusted by executives from ADP, Dell,, SAP and many others. Based on our own experience dealing with world class executives, we created this brand new executive program: “Social Media Business Essentials” for executives and top executive consultants $395 incl. certificate Continue reading “How to get executives fully comprehend Social Media?”


Internet World Exhibition with Social Media Boost

Tooting the horn for an event is a resource intensive and expensive way of getting the word out. With the help of friends, fans, speaker or exhibitor it is becoming much easier.

The Internet World Exhibition collaborates with Social Media Academy

The Social Media Academy team in collaboration with XeeMe built a platform and contest for Internet World Expo in Munich to help spread the word by integrating exhibitors into a wide spread social media initiative. Obviously exhibitors have a vested interest to grow the number of visitors and a huge incentive to contribute to the engagement. This is a first and everybody is excited so far: Here is how it works:

Continue reading “Internet World Exhibition with Social Media Boost”


Pinterest – a Flickr killer? A definite YES

Pinterest is popping up all over the place. Is it just noise of some early adopter freaks? No it is not.


Pinterest is a super fast growing content sharing platform that competes with Flickr, Picasa and the likes. Now recently Pinterest is coming very close to the traffic rank level of Flickr and as Pinterest was growing Flickr's traffic is declining. 

Continue reading “Pinterest – a Flickr killer? A definite YES”


Marketing Re-engineering and the new CMO

Social media spans the whole gamut from marketing, PR, support, product management and sales through the entire organization. Social Media became the new way for higher integration with the market. It offers marketing departments a whole new opportunity to interact with the entire organization.


In many of the larger organizations the CIO (Chief Information Officer) is busy taking care of network infrastructure, computing power, security, ERP systems and much more. And so it is actually the CMO who is weaving the network for the market interaction model that has just expanded like the big bang over the universe of a business. In other words the new CMO will gain significantly more influence and watch the business as a whole – no longer just from a promotional perspective.

Continue reading “Marketing Re-engineering and the new CMO”


Twitter, Klout, Counter Intuitive Brand Reputation Strategies

Only people who care stand up and argue, defend, fight or otherwise make their position very clear. Interesting enough – the more disappointing a situation gets, the louder the conversation and the bigger the impact for a brand. An age old saying goes: "The worst thing to be talked about – is not to be talked about". A few companies are actually learning from the show business how this all works.

Scandals and disappointments – strategic tools

Continue reading “Twitter, Klout, Counter Intuitive Brand Reputation Strategies”


We Do Need Social Media Experts

Yes you heard it right, and yes, it's me who said it: Social Media Experts. The bad word in social media. Why do I say so?

Joe doe Social Media Consultant hates the word. Why? Because he is not an expert but rather a situation driven self made social media consultant.

Social Media Has Grown Up

The argument "Social media is growing so fast no person can keep up with the speed" is approximately 5 years old. My first interaction on LinkedIn was in 2003 that is 8 years ago. And if we didn't learn anything in 8 years – heck we should just not discuss the topic in the first place.

It's true there are new and better tools coming in every week. But seriously if all there is are how to use tools, you talk to the wrong people. And if we, at least many of us, didn't become an expert in what we are doing, there are no experts at all. Social media, social interactions, social dynamics, behavior whatever cool term you pick from the word cloud isn't just trivial. But neuroscience, physics, brain research… isn't either.

No more social media rock stars

Here is one of the biggest obstacles for executive teams: While there are thousands and thousands of social media rock stars, social media hippies or whatever you want to call it, it is very hard to find social media expertise – hence no experts. And those who are – are terribly busy.

Putting up a fan page, sending out scheduled tweets from a robot pretending to be a brand pretending to be social is not social media but old style push marketing brute forced onto a new media hoping it works because so many say so. And indeed you don't need an expert to do that. Any average Joe social media consultant whether here in the US or one of the people in the Philippines who do that for $5 an hour can take over those jobs. Impact? None, ROI 'hehhh"? Benefits for the company and even the customer: zero.

Executives need experts not hippies

Consider this: You are a CEO of a company with 5,000 employees and your "social media strategist" is rambling about a fan page, more tweets, listen to your customers and all that old blah blah blah. What will you do? Nothing – and that is actually a wise decision. The next step: You ask your team to come up with some ideas. They will want to get some external expertise. Again rambling about fan pages, tweeting and adding value to the conversation is the same blah blah blah – just on the next lower level.

Social Media Experts need to be able to re-assess a market from a holistic point of view considering the conversations of the customers – but think of some Millions of customers spread all over the planet. They needs to consider business partner integration, those people who actually "own" the customer relationships. And of course the company's own teams from executive to clerk and back. Those experts will need to develop a true strategy – not a list of cool tactical measures but a strategic model with a strategic objective, a well balanced benefits model for both company and market, resource planning, financial planning, ROI and so forth that will be the base for any consecutive action programs. The social media tools are at best a secondary side effect. Strategic models methods and frameworks are the heart and the core of a social engagement that can be introduced to 5,000 employees who in turn collaborate with maybe 50,000 partners and say 1 Million or more customers. You need to be an expert in that field to be able to construct, plan and execute such a social media strategy that will be carefully interwoven into a multi Billion $ business plan.

More executives than you may think are ready to take the challenge from a rapidly evolving society and its inherent changes in the way to do business – most consultants are not.

I wonder – if you are a social media consultant – are you able to help a CEO like mentioned above to get their strategy developed and embraced in their organization?

(my social presence)


Preparing for virtual events

Virtual events offer huge advantages over physical events

Here are a series of tips to consider when attending an event as exhibitor.


Vue2011 Social Media Academy Virtual events


In a way virtual events are no different than your day to day conversations in Twitter, Facebook or any of the other social networks and communities. The only difference – it happens during a few hours with people you may have usually no access to. Continue reading “Preparing for virtual events”