Guest Post by Axel Schultze
Axel Schultze was the first social media guru I brought into my Public Relations class at San Francisco State at the beginning of 2009.
He is the founder and CEO of Xeequa Corp. a social media software company, helping businesses to create a better customer experience. In addition, he began Social Media Academy in January 2009 — as well as a number of other successful enterprises.
Axel belongs to many Linkedin groups including “Social Media Academy” where I saw this excellent response to the question:
“My questions are, then, is Social Media Marketing a viable entity, or just a “flash-in-the-pan?” Is there a need for teaching the fundamentals at the post secondary level? How does one achieve expertise in this budding possibility?” — Gregory Stringer
1) Social Media MARKETING is only one aspect of social media.
That said – it is probably the biggest opportunity for marketing leaders to have more saying in a corporate strategy if they understand and appreciate the complexity of a social business. In every successful business somebody leads the charge of whatever needs to be done. Why not the marketing group. There are several reasons why marketing may lead a cross-functional social business initiative, but I’ve also seen other departments to do that including finance.
2) A social business is an organization that leverages the ongoing changes in our hyper-connected society
— in all aspects of their organization, including product management, service & support, sales, marketing, logistics, procurement and more. Often times when I mention logistics or procurement in the context of social media I see lots of question marks and hear people saying “isn’t that too far-fetched?” Well there are examples and I was involved myself in some where the supply chain was the starting point for a social media engagement – in financially very rewarding.
3) Business people will want to learn how to practically apply social media and create a social business.
While some will be OK to explore, experiment and trying to figure it out themselves, others may want to not spend the time but learn best practices, methods, models and frameworks and just execute. As we all know, there are two types of learners: The autodidact who tryes everything themselves. That is a great way of learning and allows to make mistakes in a rather conscious manner.
Typically these are early adopters. So the ones who started in social media in 2003, like me, had to learn things on their own. Then there are the ones who rather acquire knowledge in a very compact way, circumvent obvious mistakes and go apply the knowledge. Mostly in times where the market is advanced and making mistakes is no longer acceptable.
That’s why the Social Media Academy exists.
4) Therefore the educational needs are to learn and understand the following aspects of social media:
Learning how to tweet and how to brush up a LinkedIn profile or selecting the right tools are only tactical aspects after the core strategy is defined answering the question:
“What can I do to create a better, more successful business experience for my prospects, customers, partners, vendors, employees and other relevant market constituencies.”
As such it is an obvious coincidence that the Social Media Academy leadership class has exactly that at the core of its class.