I had the pleasure of interviewing social media marketing professor Niklas Myhr, who teaches at Chapman University here in Orange County, California, about his social media classes and advice for both professional MBA students as well as undergrads.
[00:48] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Niklas Myhr
[01:08] Who is Dr. Niklas Myhr?
[03:22] Teaching Undergrads
[06:12] Undergrads's Level of Aptitude
[06:27] 3 Components for Every Social Media Professional
[10:09] Connect with Niklas
- I tell my students that if you find yourself in a situation where you basically can kill a brand overnight, and the company doesn't even know how much control of the cockpit they have given. Please try to get an executive sit them down for coffee, and ask them stupid questions about who are you? What are you doing? What's your voice, because they have built a brand perhaps for 50 years. And you can kill it overnight.
- It is a balance. I tell students don't consider it dangerous for you career wise to join a company that doesn't allow you to have a personal social media presence in parallel to your full time employment.
- I think that then they need to get out of this mindset that you should do one thing really well, instead of doing a mediocre job everywhere, I say that it's some truth to that statement.
- Even if you have a minimal presence, you need to be technically proficient, to develop a skill and a voice of your own on behalf of the brand.
- Storytelling is sort of the key element. And I think that successful MBAs that did this without technology before I tell them, if you're if you're good at building relationships, and trust, and networks, that's great. Those skills are still applicable in social media age, you just can do more of it faster.
- And I think that successful MBAs that did this without technology before I tell them, if you're if you're good at building relationships, and trust, and networks, that's great. Those skills are still applicable in social media age, you just can do more of it faster.
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Welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, and founder of maximize social business, Neal Schaffer. Hey everybody this is Neal Schaffer maximize your social as promised I'm here at Social Media Marketing World 2014. In San Diego. This is the who's who the what's what the Where's where of everything social media that you cover over an entire year. And I am here with someone that I've known from Orange County in some of you know that I've interviewed other university professors that are teaching social media that are teaching business professionals, how they should be using social media, I think is a really, really interesting topic that a lot of you resonate with. So I'm here with Nicholas, Dr. Nicholas mir. Oh, thank God, I said your name, right. And we're just talking because Nicholas is from Sweden. I was just in Finland. And I have actually taught well, I've lectured at your class on b2b, social media marketing, I think was about a year ago. Yes. You're welcome back. Thank you. And Nicholas is at Chapman University right there in one of our great schools in Orange County. And Nicholas, first of all, great to see you again. And can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what classes you teach at Chapman and the social media curriculum in those classes?Niklas Myhr:
Well, I came to America to do a PhD in b2b marketing and supply chain partnerships, that pretty early in the Internet era, I started getting interested in the electronic commerce first in a b2b context. But then I started teaching Internet marketing more generally, from 1999. And onwards, I've been teaching Internet slash social media marketing for 15 years, some years, it wasn't very popular, like 2000 to 2003, it was back to teaching principles of marketing again, that's right. In the last five years, I've been going more and more in this direction on the titling classes, as well as social media marketing, as his 2010. And I tried to live as I learn a little bit, even though I'm not a full time out there, content creator, I tried to rank number one still as social media professor on Google, and then showing the kids that you have to find what's your what's your area? What's your niche? And what do you need to do in order to stay relevant. And so that's the number one class the other one I teach global marketing and some marketing managementNeal Schaffer:
classes. Now are these are undergrad or grad classes, or both? I teach both.Niklas Myhr:
And I think it's good to have the mixture, because the undergraduates have their energy and the naivete that I actually appreciate, because they don't close the doors, they think they can change everything, the MBAs they are, some of them have gotten burned from life. But some of them want to do a career transition and the richness of the case discussions are, are deeper, you can go into some real examples more as I like to do both.Neal Schaffer:
So let's first talk about the undergrads. So I recently spoke to a group of students at Elon University. And I got all sorts of questions. And one of the questions was the social media really work. And this is from a demographic that use live and breathe social media, right? So I thought that was very interesting. And I find that there's sort of this gap between the person who uses social media and the professional use, and that very few of them really understood how it could be used for a business. How do you find teaching the undergrads why are they interested in social media? And after you teach them? What level? Do you think they're at the level where they can be hired by agencies by companies, and be very proficient at handling their social media marketing?Niklas Myhr:
It's a great question. And I think people generalize too much. Because you have two sides of the coin. You have the undergraduates that use social media a lot in a very fast and text messaging and apps and things for pure personal use. And then you have some that are entrepreneurial, and are out there doing internships or have a family business, they're engaged with the bring to the 21st century. So you have both diversity within the group. But then you have a lot of undergraduates that come in, because they're recommended by me to real business that gets too much authority. I tell my students that if you find yourself in a situation where you basically can kill a brand overnight, and the company doesn't even know how much control of the cockpit they have given. Please try to get an executive sit them down for coffee, and ask them stupid questions about who are you? What are you doing? What's your voice, because they have built a brand perhaps for 50 years. And you can kill it overnight. Maybe not do something completely stupid, but it's completely misfit. And I think that some of them appreciate that. They have the technical knowledge, perhaps, but they need to put it into the business context. And then they can get it and sort of get that relationship as well with mentors.Neal Schaffer:
So I guess the advice there is if you're a college student, or you're looking to get more experienced in social media, do it whether you intern, volunteer, do it for your own brand, that's really the best way to learn. On the other hand, if you're a company looking to hire a social media professional, you want to hire someone that actually has that experience. And that's going to ask you those questions so that they can do a better job right?Niklas Myhr:
It is a balance. I tell students don't Consider it dangerous for you career wise to join a company that doesn't allow you to have a personal social media presence in parallel to your full time employment. Because the average 20 year olds are graduating, now they're the average employment is going to last less than 18 months. And then you would have to start all over again. And at the same time as a company could benefit from you bringing your network, at least partially a Venn diagram type of some of that might be relevant to some of your network or their families and friends, and you can bring that to bear.Neal Schaffer:
So these are really great things that if you're looking to work at a company and social media, those are the questions you should be asking, what's the executive buy in? Can I can I continue doing my own personal social media, my own personal branding. So let's move on to the professionals that are in the MBA program. And I know that your MBA program isn't a specific social media focus, but that you teach social media as part of it. So what has been the and I'm assuming it's an MBA in marketing direct towards the general MBA, we have generalNiklas Myhr:
MBA with emphasis in marketing, but then I've also been teaching specific internet slash social media marketing classes for that cohort, both in our check program in the ER in Prague and in California. So we have a separate class for that. But it's not a major in social media.Neal Schaffer:
Gotcha. So tell me just the general aptitude of those. So they're in a marketing focus, I'm assuming that these are MBA people that have some business experience and marketing experience? What is their level of aptitude in terms of social media? And what do you think they need to learn the most that I'm assuming you teach as part of your program,Niklas Myhr:
I think that then they need to get out of this mindset that you should do one thing really well, instead of doing a mediocre job everywhere, I say that it's some truth to that statement. But it's too early to commit to one platform, it's too dangerous, too limiting, you need to control your SERP a little bit more served meaning search engine results page on Google, if you're just on one platform, you're gonna let nine other contributors dominate that page for the search terms you're interested in, you need to get out there. And even if you have a minimal presence, you need to be technically proficient, to develop a skill and a voice of your own on behalf of the brand. Some of them come in with not specific marketing role, but they want to know more about marketing, and how it relates. And what really works is like you're talking about the social business, that talking about, you don't have to be in the marketing department to be relevant for this as a content contributor, to build their own reputation within the company. And externally, I think some of my students sort of see the potential to raise their profile a little bit and basically say, How does whatever I do contribute not just to my boss, but to the end user, even though it might be indirectly who have a story here. And finally, storytelling is sort of the key element. And I think that successful MBAs that did this without technology before I tell them, if you're if you're good at building relationships, and trust, and networks, that's great. Those skills are still applicable in social media age, you just can do more of it faster.Neal Schaffer:
Right? And you can scale Yeah, and you bring up a great point. And I talked about this when, after I wrote my first book on LinkedIn, when I wrote the rough draft, I decided I didn't want to be a one trick pony. And when I consult with companies, you don't pick platforms, you need to cut those emotional bonds with a particular platform. I love Google Plus, but I know it may not be appropriate for everybody. Right? So yeah, it's important to really take that neutral, professional perspective, and understand holistically how all these platforms work. And obviously, what's more relevant for your job at your company. And this is almost like a skill that's hard to teach. But something tells me you're trying to instill that in your program.Niklas Myhr:
And I think that it's a good point you make because as a teacher, I have a topic that is changing all the time, I tell students, the first class that I'm the one who's going to learn by far the most this semester, don't see this as a one way monologue. Because some of you are already proficient in ads, or website building, or some of you know nothing. But I'm gonna create a learning lab where we share experiences, some of it some will dive deep and in team project or an assignment or personal branding, and we can bring this to bear in the classroom contents. But I think you're right that teaching I see it more as a mindset that I'm teaching them about lifelong learning and experimentation, and positive attitude, I want them to say, start saying to themselves, when they hear the news that there is a new social network coming out that is popular in Wall Street Journal or wherever, that they can at least pretend to smile and say, yay. Instead of saying, Oh, no, because if you think you're set the new way, you're gonna be a dinosaur in just a couple of years.Neal Schaffer:
You know, very true. I love the three components you just talked about for every social media professional, experimentation, positive attitude, what was the third one you said right for experimentationNiklas Myhr:
and learning mindsets,Neal Schaffer:
I think got to get the mindset, the mindset and that's critical. Well, Nicholas, you know, any else that you want to add to all the businesses that are listening social media professionals, and I also want to know how people can find I know that you have a blog. I know When I spoke you featured me on your blog as well so talk a little bit about how people can find you as well as your current program at Chapman as well as Prague and if you do any online programs I don't I'm not chaplains there yet or notNiklas Myhr:
and now we're working on some online firstname.lastname@example.org Is the University website and the larger School of Business and Economics is where I teach that my blog is Nicholas mira.com and thanks to inspiration from people like yourself and launching miracle eating the social media Professor podcastNeal Schaffer:
nice that's Nicholas Mir, that's N as in Nancy ik las M as in Mary Why hr.com And you definitely need to trademark that term marketingNiklas Myhr:
I got the domain name and it's quirky I know difficult to spell but I'm gonna go for itNeal Schaffer:
that's awesome. I've had a few other people reach out to me that have said Hey new I started podcasting me caster you and as I was literally just talking to Nicholas hadn't seen each other for a while, but my backpack that said yep, 10 minutes, we're just going to do this podcast. That's how you know don't worry about buying some fancy shmancy equipment just it's about the content and about the engagement and the relationships you build both with the people you interview as well as the people listening so I'm going to end on that note today. I mean, final last words for for this podcast. Nicholas,Niklas Myhr:
thank you for the inspiration and I love your book, maximise their social and I would enjoy having you featured on my podcast talking about your book and what you do traveling in Scandinavia and elsewhere. Rose and go to Scandinavia together one day that would be great.Neal Schaffer:
That'd be awesome very much enjoyed my travels in Scandinavia and hope that happens. Well that is it for another episode of maximize your social I hope you found this advice relevant to whatever you do visa vie social media for business and coming from San Diego, California Social Media Marketing World as I always do, wishing you wherever you are in the world the best of days. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Thanks for listening and have a great day.