Today’s Globe & Mail included a special supplement about MBA programs, with a feature story on why and how schools are incorporating social media into the curriculum. “Within minutes or even seconds, online chatter can span continents, conveying positive spin or the kiss of death for a product or company,” reporter Diana McLaren writes. “Business schools are adapting to the rapidly shifting relationship between companies and consumers.”
Diana spoke to me about Social Signal’s experience integrating social media into today’s businesses. (And the Globe ran my favourite, uncredited headshot — by the remarkable Kris Krug.)
Here’s what Diana included in today’s story:
Social media consultant Alexandra Samuel, co-founder of Social Signal in Vancouver, says that social media is “not just a marketing technique. It also allows a business or organization a way of monitoring for customer care.
“Social media can’t just be out there isolated in some little marketing department. You need someone to monitor and respond to what people are saying.”
The challenge for MBA schools, she says, is to “get people to think about a dramatic shift in organizations needed for social media marketing. They need less hierarchy and more communication across teams. Generally speaking, one of the first concerns for business is risk management. The reality of social media is far greater than risk. It’s about throwing a party and no one comes, there’s no response.”
As someone who consults with organizations on social network marketing, but also a business owner herself who hires staff, Ms. Samuel agrees about the need for more MBA graduates to offer a combination of traditional skills, such as financial management and business strategy, with an understanding of social media that makes them “billable” to clients.
“My dream hire is for an MBA with social media expertise,” she says. “Someone who comes with the whole package.”
I knew this charade couldn't last forever. Like lonelygirl15 and fake Steve Jobs before me, I went to great efforts to create a compelling illusion: not only an Alexandra Samuel blog, but a consistent profile on every online community site from del.icio.us to Facebook. Even a complete fake company with me as the fake CEO.
But today, the illusion is at an end. Darrell Houle has unmasked me as…..Suzanna Cavatrio, copywriter for Enormicom.
That's right, Darrell came across my alter ego on the tour page for Highrise, a CRM product from 37Signals, the makers of Basecamp. Check it out:
I'm happy to take this re-purposing as a sign that someone at 37Signals saw my obsessive blog post about Basecamp workflow. Or maybe it's a tribute to the talented man behind the camera — Kris Krug, who took the original photo. Maybe this is kk+'s chance to become official photographer for 37Signals?
We're often approached by business and nonprofit organizations who are interested in tapping the power of the social web but don't know where to start, or how to get a feel for the possibilities. I'm delighted to be co-teaching a Hollyhock-in-Vancouver workshop next month that will be a great opportunity for Vancouver-based organizations to get smart about Web 2.0:
Web 2.0 and your organizationÂ
Are you interested in how online communities like Flickr, MySpace, and YouTube can empower your members and customers to carry your message out into the world? Could your organization benefit from deeper collaboration among your team members, clients, partners or the public? Could better knowledge-sharing, stronger relationships and closer communications inside your organization and with your core supporters foster more efficiency, insight and effectiveness?
The latest generation of "Web 2.0" or social web strategies and tools offer powerful opportunities for organizations to improve the way they work, communicate their messages, empower others, and serve the public. In this workshop you will learn how the latest tools for online collaboration and community building can make your organization smarter and more effective.
This workshop is designed for communications strategists, marketing managers, and webmasters who are interested in how this evolution of the web can help evolve your organization's online strategy. We will give you the tools, knowledge, and most crucially, the vision for how your organization can use the web as a stronger agent of change. Weâ€™ll also cover the nuts-and-bolts, introducing the latest tools so that you know which options are most promising for your needs.
About the presenters: Jason Mogus is the CEO of Communicopia, which has helped progressive companies and non-profits communicate and collaborate via the web for 13 years. Jason is also the founder of Web of Change at Hollyhock. Alexandra Samuel, PhD (Harvard), is CEO of Social Signal, and is helping some of the web's most ambitious community ecosystems use the social web to support dialogue and collaboration.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Hollyhock Leadership Institute, Web of Change, Social Signal, Communicopia, Social Tech Brewing, and Impacs.
Visit the Hollyhock site, call 800-933-6339 x232, or e-mail registration[at]hollyhock.ca