Tuesday, July 7, 2009
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. For a copy of the full 220 page report, click here. The report shares new ways to create a better customer experience and the importance of Social Media in the competition 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.
For more information on the Social Media Academy Leadership Class, click here.