This week is a special episode, recorded at the CeBIT Global Conference (CGC) in Hannover, Germany. Neal Schaffer spoke and participated in this great event, and had such a good time sitting down to speak with Ingo Stoll about the role information technology can play in social media. This episode takes a step back from the usual more applicable advice and looks at the bigger picture, including the current state of social media, and the future of the industry.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize your Social social media Author, Speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer. Yeah, we're back at CGC radio on. We have a very special guest, Neil Scheffer from Maximize Your Social is with us. Hello, Neela. You I am doing awesome ing. How're you doing? I'm fine as well. It's my personal pleasure to have you here because actually, I feel a little bit engaged and involved in bringing you over to to Hanover. So you gave your talk on the open stage already? So what do you think of the sea with Global Conference is Well, first of all, in go with without you, I would not be here. So I want to thank you for all that you did to help bring me out here. I am about educating the public on best practices. So to be able to come to Germany to see bits, you know, the largest conference and information technology in the world is just a complete honor so thank you again. Pleasure's all mine and you know, it's funny. I wrote a block post about the spell, how marketing and technology and information technology or sort of coming together as marketing taps in the big data. And I wanted to look at the role that information technology can play in social media. So whenever a present, a challenge myself to come up with new ideas and new concepts into insight. And this was the first time I presented this content on Where is Social Media evolving in 2015? How are companies evolving into social businesses? And then what can the role of information technology play in helping businesses? And in most cases, marketers make better decisions derived? Maura. Why? From what they dio. So that was, you know, the content that I presented. I got some great feedback afterwards, and CeBIT is, and the seabed global conferences. It's very similar, like it's different, but it's like a ted type of talk where you have these global leaders that come and they're providing information insight that is very thought provoking. So it's less about speaking and getting 1000 questions or about people tweeting you out but it's more about the audience is extremely influential, and I know from looking at them that they're in putting this data and it's gonna lead them to do greater things for their companies. So it's very for me that's a very exciting place to be. And, yeah, I already met the number of great people so far that you came up here after my speech. What have you And it's just great to be here. And I know we have. We have rocked the block tomorrow and a lot more stuff coming. So yeah, I I just can't wait for it all. Definitely. And you share the stage with guys like Glenn Greenwald yesterday talking to Edward Snowden. We've seen Jerry Rifkin. We're going to see Kevin Mitnick, the most famous hacker doing a session later on this day. So yeah, this is this is actually what? What this concept is all about, really getting a lot off brain input and trying to be as helpful in considering what to do in the future. Yeah, and compared to a Ted which are also don't get me wrong, were excellent. I find with see, Big Global Conference is the common theme is the technology. And how does that change business? How does that change people? And that's why I mean everyone that you talked about. There's a technology angle, and that's what as someone that's always worked in high technology and, you know, I have tried to create my own social media tool and you run the Social Tool Summit. That's what's exciting to me. And that's why I really find myself engaged with the conversation I'm hearing and find that's really appropriate, Yeah, so when everybody's interested in is in your case the future off social media on DDE, I want to stay two sentences. One of your presentation that says we don't have to talk about the future. The future is now the first social is now. This is sentence number one, and I would pass it along a 2nd 1 Ah, that is Ah, it's not about social media anymore. It's about social business When we talk about now, yes, and from the company's point of view, what does it take to manage the social by the media or business successfully? Great. Well, let's let's tackle these one at a time. So I have been closing my presentations recently with that slide as I close today's presentation with the future is now with a boy that sort of looking off into the horizon and one of the questions that they're two types of questions that I always get asked after I present on social media number one. What tools do you recommend? And that's why I'm I'm launching this event. But the other one is, you know, what about the future? What's next? What's gonna happen to Facebook? Who's gonna replace him? And to me, it's completely irrelevant because there's so much that business is conducive to leverage what's already out there and very few that have done it. So unless you know you have done everything that you can on linked in Facebook, Twitter, instagram, tumblr were present you, too. I mean, nobody has right, because there's so much that you could potentially d'oh. So instead of thinking about the future, it's there. It's now people are using these platforms, and if you're not engaging with people there, then maybe your competitors all right, and the big social data it's there to be topped into. I've written an application topping into the twitter AP I trying to, you know, derive intelligence from from, you know, data sets that we see out there. Anybody can do it now. So it's less about thinking about the future and really getting busy and hunkering down and creating a strategy and looking at all the potential in figuring out what makes sense for your company to do so. That leads into this social media evolution of social business, which I think we've already seen happening United States over the last one or two years. I think, you know, Europe is slowly catching on. But you know, Social Media begins as this this one way outward communication consumers are on social media. Our customers are all there are partners. All there. We need to create a Facebook page linked in company page a Twitter account and just start promoting. But obviously, Social Media is a two way conversation. So what happens in a lot of companies is they start getting some inbound communication. It's like, you know, I hired a community manager. Maybe companies don't even start with the community manager. They start with someone in marketing and PR, and all of a sudden they get all these incoming messages you know complaints from customers or questions or partners, and and the person managing the social media becomes almost like a, um in American football. I'd say, Ah, quarterback, always trying to figure out where to pass the ball in soccer, maybe a midfielder who was always trying to distribute the ball at the right place. The right. So this is the thing is the challenge for whoever is running the social media is that you have all these internal conversations that need to be managed, that you need to respond back to the users. And this is why every department now at large enterprises almost creating their own sort of social media accounts or try to work together. And you have unique social media department's being created. And you have social media centers of excellence being created to distribute social media knowhow on best practices internally, all the different departments you have social media and being used for recruiting. You have social media for R and D. You have no legal people that get involved with social media because they need to protect the company and you have people using social media monitoring technology to monitor mentions of your brand and social. But they're also monitoring what employees they're saying because of, you know, if you're in the financial service is or pharmaceutical or highly regulated industries, you need to make sure that there's certain information doesn't get out right. So, you know, social business is a place where you know, social media like the Internet. It just sort of overlaps everything your company does in every department, and companies need to be thinking about that. So in maximize your social. And in what I was talking about today, when you create a social media strategy, it's critical that you include every department in that strategy and that every department has to say. And in the future, you know more more department's gonna be using social media and more, more different ways. And that's really the evolution of social business is not only do do departments enterprise wide, use social media, but it actually begins to influence how you do business, what types of products you make, how you engage with your customers, the customer experience, journey and what have you become to be influenced because social is the public media. It is the ultra media that represents who we are and people are not only your customers, but they're your employees, right? So it it becomes sort of ah, a natural central focus. And I think those companies that are more engaged and in tune with social media arm or engaged with becoming more human as a brand. And we know that companies need to do this in order to be successful. Social media. I went over a whole range of concepts that not not to confuse you, but but those are the things that cos you know, the customer experience journey and how social media maps into its social business social business are why humanizing the brand. These are things that you know cos the United States today, or are all talking about looking for solutions. Would you agree if I say that the social element is somehow bringing disruption to each and every organization and each and every company, so that what we see on the big scales with the ubers and Airbnb he's on, it's on. It's happening in each and every organization. Yeah, great question. Great point. There's been a lot of talk about disruptive technology here at sea Big global conference, and I don't really talk a lot about it. But it's very, very easy for start ups, too. Generate a very robust social media presence and go from being a No. One to someone. And it's the same disruption that the Amazons in the world did with the Internet. And now that we're seeing with the Airbnb ease and you know, cutting out the middleman. But the Internet is the technology that makes possible and social media is a technology, and where the users are, that helps spread that information propagated and that people share their experiences. So it is a very, very powerful, disruptive force that can disrupt industries. You know, manufacturing hardware now is cheap. It's easy to d'oh, it's the software. It's the artistry that cannot be emulated. So companies with great ideas and great artistry and if they're good at social media can really tap into this and really go from like I said, being in someone to no one and capturing a certain I don't know how much market share you can get in a small amount of time. But capturing mindshare and shifting the conversation away from more established players. Two new players and I think we've seen this in a lot of different industries. There's also disruption internally because once you start on things road to becoming a social business and more and more departments use social media, it starts to break down these silos. So today I talked about the relationship in information technology and marketing. You have social selling that's redefining how marketing and sales work together for linking company page management. You have marketers talking to HR about how do we, you know, employment, branding and things that marketers just don't have never thought about. But HR is invested in, so Social Media is bringing departments together. It's breaking down silos and with employees advocacy. And we'll talk about this tonight at your event, obviously, but it's tapping into who we are as a company. What is our brand? Who are the people that work for us? What is the true culture of our company? And that is something that's very exciting. It's very hard for old, stodgy conservative companies to to handle for newer companies. It's a lot easier, and I think that they're gonna be, ah, lot more successful in their advocacy efforts. I mean challenges companies both outwardly in their industry as well as internally. It's very exciting if you are a start up, or if you're a company like a Zappos that has a very, very engaging and, you know, a great culture. At the end of the day, we'll talk about this tonight. But with employees efficacy. Are your employees satisfied at your company? Because if they're not, they're not gonna talk about your company's social. Or they may say bad things about your company, right? So if you want people to represent your company as a brand ambassador, who doesn't they have to be happy employees. And this is what people forget, right? If you have a bad product, Social Media doesn't help improve it. It amplifies the message. So if you have a really bad product, Social Media just gonna help public perception of your product getting worse. So if you have a company with disengaged employees, Social Media is also gonna have this effect. As people talk about where they work. Naturally, it's gonna have a potentially negative effect. So these air the cultural changing elements that companies just rush into becoming a social business without even thinking that now they face and I don't think there's, you know, unless your company has a chief cultural officer, which very few companies D'oh, it's something that you know, Like I said, I present on all of this is if you know these are the solutions. But these are all the challenges that there's no easy solution, for. It's gonna be different for every company, all of a different culture. And there's no easy solution, either, because it involves people. People don't change very easily, and it's it's going to require a lot of, you know, I bring out the artistry and that comes from seen Seth Godin Speak or Seth Goat, and I never know how to pronounce his name that at the end of the day, because of hardware and service and all these things are so easy to create on the Internet or manufacture, it comes down to the final, outward facing elements and often these air people, the person on the phone, a customer service, the person behind the you know, the desk at the hotel at a store, and it comes down to the artistry of this person and how they relate to other people. And I think that for social media it's much the same. It comes down to the artistry in the organization of building a culture of outwardly engaging as well as inwardly engaging. That is gonna be the challenge, and I don't know how many companies are are prepared for that challenge. And that's why I think you know, I I know that you work at an agency and you've always worked on creative creative juices, creative energy and those of the those juices that companies need more and more. Right now, I believe, well, communication is definitely a key, to put it in the words of the great get Leon are a friend of mine, a futurist. Um, he said, change is not enough anymore. We need transformation and that that brings it to the part that changes we see are so substantial that just adopting things is not enough anymore. It's it's really disruptive what happens, and it puts great pressure chances on the one hand. But great treasure on the leaders and the manager's off. The organization's off today because it's not only that you have to to realize the technological potentials and the shift for your production. We're talking about industry 4.0, for example, here. See what it means changing off the way the relationships are handled between your customers, your suppliers, the way you have to communicate with your employees. The way you see yourself as a leader, it's not having a section on being the one, you know, deciding what happens there. Some beautiful documentary's coming up and probably know this thing. This book, Free Inc So, like liberating organizations, means cutting off the middle man as well. Yes, so giving responsibility to the team's letting the organize themselves. So they're so so many things that I don't know what you think of it. I sometimes get the impression that when companies established, companies start with social media and maybe they think at the beginning it's just about setting up a Facebook page, setting our tutor channel, whatever. Then they think, first of all about content, what do we do? We publish? What can we say then they challenge. They are challenged with feet, makes dealing with customers, dealing with questions coming up, feet becoming suddenly they need community management. They haven't thought of it at the beginning, and they're tearing down the old drawers. The silos, as you say they don't work anymore than they start to need a collaborative tools to organize the work flows organized the content Florissants on. So indeed, to me it's like a Trojan horse. Somehow, if you bring in social media from the market part of you, which mainly happens, it starts to change or transform the whole organization, and there's no way to tear a bear. I agree for those organizations that not only adopted, but once they see the are why they want to do more and more. Yes, it absolutely is. I guess you can call the change agent right. If there's something that was gonna and not just change my transform, it truly has. And I mean, what it's done is what I believe is it actually is. Strengthening the culture of companies that use it is giving everyone a voice in an ideal world, you know, with advocacy there's some cos they're so far along that they're now sourcing, you know, and I talked about sourcing photo images from your employees, but a sourcing block post from, you know, people that just work in the company that have never been asked to represent their company. You know, when you think of traditional cos you think of like a triangle. You have the people at the top and they're very far removed from the people, the bottom. This expire amid. Yeah, this gives the people the bottom a chance to be part of something big, and they're very proud of that. And it's very, very powerful force. It really does provide that spark of change for companies that realize it, and it really is sort of the future that we are. People and socials are medium and social was made for people, not for companies. So when you put it all together, it becomes a great representation. And it changes the organism of a company to a collection of people that work together for a common purpose, which is how it should have been in the first place, You know, Like I said, it's hard for a lot of companies. You know, a lot of traditional corporate infrastructure's about remaining in control and controlling the brands which was never in our control to begin with. And it's even more out of control now with the technology. But yeah, that you know, the technology and the platforms have given everyone to say and you know it's time for cos I won't say to completely reorganized. But to begin that transformation to be to begin thinking about how can we get our employees involved? How do we get a feedback mechanism internally and really put that to use to help bridge this gap? You know, brands have always had the gap between the brand and the public. I work with a lot of celebrities. They still have this get, You know, I am a celebrity, I need to have a certain distance with the audience, and I understand that from a celebrity perspective, because people don't scale. But But from a consumer perspective, you want to try to lessons gap between the brand and the user. You want to bring them together. This is what the successful companies were doing. And I think you know you also want to bring your just talked about Abby and B. I say they started off bringing 1000 hosts together on Airbnb is organizing the meeting, so letting the hosts become Maur part of the product part of the idea. Establish a community they trying to do this this year in the will in Paris with more than 6000 hosts. So I mean this ah, systematic process off making not only the own organization more part of the product and organized them community wise, but trying to make everybody in the supply chain become part of the community. Yeah, it's a great idea. I talked to cos a lot and, you know, some companies haven't been not every company. It's it's a And I say that's in response to CEOs who say, I'm worried about what they're gonna say about me and social media. Well, they're going to say it anyway, whether you're there or not, you know you need to tap into that. And what's gonna happen is, as you begin your social media journey, you're gonna have fans out there you want to create. I called the V I. P. Pan, or whatever you wanna call it, what you want to create a committee of your big fans and social media who are also your brand advocates who also big using your product, and you want to bring them together regularly. And not only are these gonna be the people that you tap into, should that be a social media fire but the people tappin do to help you create a better product to help you better run your company and its once again, it's bridging this gap right and really getting insight and feedback from your users. They should become one with you, something that Airbnb is doing. I mean, that's a great idea. And I think that with social media, it allows you to. You know, if your Airbnb ing you have host, you can, you know, send them an e mail and stuff. But you may not know who your biggest fans are out there, but the data is there. If you top into the data you confined, you may have celebrities that are talking about your company without you knowing about it that maybe some of your biggest fans tap into these people, reach out to them. People are always surprised in a pleasant way when companies reach out and say, You know what, we value what you think so these air concepts where social media provides us the technology in the platform in the user base to be able to tap into easily. But the concept goes beyond social media and to just plain old good business right? But Social Media will help accelerate those things and those of the exciting things. That's how Social can really provide so much positive transformation to businesses so easily to the end. Or this or this podcast. I would like to ask you about what you think over the great vision, what we heard about all this transformation happening. Now we hear a lot about technology involving and moving further one. So let's have a look to the future and say many of the jobs that people are doing today will be done by algorithms or Roberts and future some accounting jobs. They already feel like working like a robot. You know, crunching numbers all the day way have the IBM Watson's what have you doing? The stupids? Repetitive work, Getting more time, Toby social, getting more time to care about the customers getting what time to be human. So is this a future that you can imagine? Yeah, I mean, I think it's already happening in advanced nations, where AH lot of the manufacturing is already outsourced. I already have a lot of blue collar jobs turning in a white collar jobs, and you already have with the cloud and with algorithms. And with the Watsons and technology, you already have a lot of that that Yeah, you're right. And like I said, companies are also using the outsourcing. So, you know, First World developed countries are have that advantage, but yeah, I think it comes down to with that extra time of becoming a better communicator. Becoming a better becoming more human as a company and really developing more product and product these days isn't like a hardware pride. It's a software, it's maybe, or software as a service, right? So, yeah, it's really tapping into that. And really, you know, the vision is, how can we help you know if you're a be to see your business to consumer, you're helping people. Your B to B. You're helping them. How can we help consumers or businesses? Maur. How can we help them better? That's really the vision and a lot of that inside in there. How you can do it comes into the communication to asking on having conversations that we're having today, and in using the intellectual capacity of the human brain of analyzing situations and finding unique insight and then being able to leverage that internally, and that's why it's, you know, you need to be creative. You need to be an artist, you need to be intelligent and these air skills that often were for artists or scholars or, you know, what have you. But I think these are skills that are gonna be more necessary for businesses to tap into. And I think we're gonna see a lot of interesting collaborations in the future. That's that's for me. The exciting thing is, you know, the future is now. There's so much you can do in social media, but also the human brain. When we take the menial tasks out of our work, there is so much power that we can leverage that we haven't yet. And those places that have been leveraging, you know, the universities, the research tanks, maybe some of that can be leveraged inside the enterprise and inside the company as well. So I think that's a very exciting future that will lead to greater advance of the human race. And but we've really gotten into some advanced satirical talks here. I like to stay in the practical social media, but there's also just a huge transformation going on I love that quote. If it's not about changed about transformation, I think those companies are on that path. The transformation. The more they get involved, the more value they see them or they naturally will become transformed over time. We're looking forward to that future on new chef. Thanks for being our guest at the city level conferences. Thanks. Thank you as well. And I wish everybody listen to this. If you didn't make it this year, definitely make it out the next year. Civic Global Conference It's a very special place, fueled by conversations like we're having now and looking forward to rock the block and everything else and go, thank you so much. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media, c o e dot com, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. Thanks again and make it a social day