Growing the mid market – improving the US economy

A healthy mid market is part of the secret sauce for a well oiled economy. In Germany, one of the most stable economies in the world, 99% of all businesses are mid market companies, mostly privately owned and employing 70% of all people. Also in the US the mid market is about 99% of all businesses but employs only 16% of all people. Growing that US mid market is probably the most significant improvement to the US economy.

A pan European social media initiative is created to strengthen the mid market even further with a clear objective: Continue reading “Growing the mid market – improving the US economy”

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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


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Why creating a USP may put you in disadvantage

By accident I came across an older blog post defending the creation and even focus on developing a USP . Ironically that sparked a series of thoughts leading me to the believe that the USP is indeed dead.

The picture of the unique Apple which is clearly different and immediately stands out of the crowd of all the other apples made the point. I would just NOT buy that red apple. Now you may say well this is just a symbol for being different maybe exaggerating the situation. Is it really? I think it is a perfect example. And here is why:

If you are different you need to explain the difference. The more different you are the more explanation is necessary. In times where nobody is listening to a vendor or producer but only to recommendations from early users, trusted friends etc. the producer just doesn’t have that voice or marketing power anymore. Now consider a very large organization – take Procter&Gamble for the sake of the discussion. You would think they have infinite marketing power. Well – a) today even they don’t, given a 3 Billion consumer market around the world and b) about 1 billion of the three billion share their stories in the social web – there is no company big enough anymore to overshadow the voice of that 1 billion people.

Whether you like Darwin or not, but one discovery is very interesting: It is not the outstanding leader that survives long term but the average and very adaptable species. If we look for green apples, we may still look for the nicest of them but would not want that outstanding, different red apple. If we look for a piece of software, we want that easy to use and just practical tool that many already recommend and not that USP loaded super duper tool that is all different.

The game changer in the USP discussion however is Social Media. If you have a product where you need to survive based on a one or more USPs, it is probably not going to cut it since all the people who use that product need to be able to communicate all the differences and it is not likely to happen.

Now – obviously there are those types of products that stand out but they will either be pretty quickly mainstream or live in a difficult niche market. Apple lived quite a while in a difficult niche market. Now the iPhone stood out for a while but quickly became the mainstream product that everybody has to have :)

Obviously this thought may spark very different and very controversial discussions – but I guess it is worth thinking about.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

 

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Social Media Strategy For European Union

This is a great case for a social media strategy on some of the highest levels

The EU is committed to invest Billions of Euro specifically into the digital advancement of EU Member countries and their respective businesses. The EU Commission fully comprehended that the digital infrastructure is the next most important investment of a developed nation. Clean water supplies, transportation infrastructure (Water, roads, air traffic), radio communication, and now Internet and Social Media infrastructure is the pathway to a successful and globally competitive nation.

The purpose of the Social Media Strategy Europe

Helping small and medium size businesses and innovative start-ups across Europe to leverage social media to create a sustainable growth, additional jobs and being able to compete in a global market. We want to empower 25,000 business owner in the EU to leverage social media with a measurable positive impact on their business growth which created new jobs by 2016. Continue reading “Social Media Strategy For European Union”

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Social Media 2004 – 2040 – At just the tip of the iceberg

We talked to several people, business owner, marketing manager, social media practitioner what they would really love to see down the social media road. We then tried to draw a trajectory from where we are, what people dream of, and where it may go. This post is the beginning of a story that we plan to continue. Where are we going? This is the beginning of a new Social Media Academy Research Project and you are invited to add to it.

All in all, here is the single biggest change Social Media is bringing to our society: We no longer can say “I have no influence”. It’s no longer true that you as an individual can’t make a change. It evolves to the opposite situation:

Change will only be possible if most of us wants it.

Is this really positive? I don’t know yet to be honest. But that is the most probable development.

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New Social Technology Tools & Latest Innovations

Silicon Valley remains to be a phenomenon when it comes to technology innovation and startups. And Social Media is no difference. XWeek is an initiative from XeeMe Inc. helping users around the world getting a view into those technology boosters before they become as well known as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or lately Pinterest. Every other week users will be introduced to a new technology or new product, being able to hear from entrepreneurs what the vision of their company is and where the industry is heading.

XWeek also helps startups to get additional exposure to the market and to people they may not know.

This week XWeek is introducing Twylah

a very interesting summary and publishing tool to re-purpose your Twitter content

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Why SEO will be gone in 5-10 years

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps businesses and obviously also individuals or any other group to be found in the Internet. And as long as people search for a product not knowing their name or a technology, not knowing its source or a solution not knowing who is a potential supplier SEO is an important part of the marketing mix. 

However, this is slowly and steadily changing. Today 60 – 80% of the so called educated purchase decision is based on recommendations.

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Social Media Power & Politics

The presidential campaign in 2008 was a milestone in Social Media history. Where does it go in 2012? As of now President Obama is the clear leader in the race for president in 2012 when we read the emotions of the American people.

In accordance to Overdrive Interactive who managed to accumulate all the data points in the social web, Barack Obama has a higher rank in the US population than all other candidates together. So far so good but what does this really mean?

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More social networks are coming any soon

Microsoft is working on an internal research project exploring a new social network: SOCL.

It appears that the software giant is game to reinvent itself and create a social media solution. While Microsoft still has the money – the question is whether or not they can change their culture from a self centric technology super shop to a community thinking global network. If Socl will ever be launched is still a question. But the billion dollar investment in technology such as Azure needs to find a consumer – and if it is just Microsoft. The 8 Billion acquisition of Skype still needs some justification. But consider a merger of 600 Million Skype users with a Socl type social network and a billion dollar hosting farm – it actually has at least a theoretic chance.

(Image by Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

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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?

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS
(my social presence)

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