Social Media as a DA platform – #da12social

Like any other initiative in the private or public sector, the Digital Agenda Europe and its eight different topics have the same challenge to overcome: getting to the right audience and spark an engagement – in this case even across Europe. (#da12social)

The commonalities between all topics are striking similar: How to create awareness? How to provide information and updates to an interested audience? How to get enough feedback and crowd source ideas? How to collaborate with a diverse group of people across geographies and time zones? And finally how to share progress and success with the relevant and interested population?

Social media as a platform

Social Media is basically the platform to provide those services and support those concepts. While Social Media is one of the silos within the Digital Agenda, it is predicated to also act as a platform for the other #DA12 topics including Convergent Media Platforms, High Speed Connections, E-Commerce, Data, Cloud Computing, Security or Innovation & Entrepreneurs.

There is no reason why the Social Media group should have the highest level of awareness, other than they use the media for their own activities. Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a very strategic topic for the EU, yet the participation is very low.

It is advisable to provide a Social Media overlay service for all Digital Agenda disciplines to raise awareness and address more people ensuring that relevant and highly skilled experts join the respective initiative.

Action list:

1) Ensure that every DA group has at least one experienced social media practitioner as one of the first functions right when a new DA meeting is planned.

2) Provide coordination services and platforms from the EU to be able to execute a social media initiative. I.e. suggestions for collaboration such as Facebook, sharing images such as Pinterest, easily accessible blogs such as WordPress, presence tools to get everything on one place such as XeeMe.

3) Providing some education for the respective teams to be able to leverage the social web for crowd sourcing, research, collaboration etc.

4) Assist with and request unified social media monitoring to be able to measure progress and success and share that with the public.


Top 15 Social Media Rules for Business Leader


Rule #1 Connections

If you hate to read about people walking their dog, eating pizza or making you rich in 3 weeks:

You are connected with, or are following the wrong people.

What you read is who you connected with

Rule #2 Time Management

If you are not sure how much time you should spend in social networks? Don’t spend any time at all.

Invest time in your most relevant contacts. If they happen to be in the social web – be where they are.

Invest time in relevant people not platforms

Rule #3 Social

Social media is a interwoven combination of

a) the relationship aspects between individuals to build, maintain and expand connections, learn and teach faster, inspire and get inspired, and get more done – personally or business wise – in connection with others (social).

b) networks, platforms, tools and technologies (media)

That means social media is definitely NOT a channel or a new marketing tool to get your message out. Spamming and hard core selling would be counterproductive for everybody. Social media is a new state of mind not a new way to express old thinking.

Focus on ‘social’ – not ‘media’

Rule #4 Cross Functional

We are all customers of somebody else, whether we make a personal or a business purchase. As such we are all interested in getting better products or services whether we talk about B2B or B2C.

Businesses can create one of the biggest values for themselves AND their customers when customers suggest improvements, help other customers to get more out of a product and directly or indirectly make recommendations. But that value can only be created if the teams inside those companies provide the necessary ways to inspire those conversations and receive those suggestions and act on them.

Create a mutual business value across all departments

Rule #5 Purpose

Social media contains unparalleled wealth of opportunities for businesses to build better products or services based on customer interaction, improve the customer experience, reduce cost of operations and customer acquisition cost and solve company specific business challenges in collaboration with their customers.

Lack of a strategy to take those opportunities and degrading social media to marketing campaigns are the biggest mistakes businesses make in their engagement.

Think of purpose driven strategic Social Media engagements

Rule #6 Making Friends

The lines between personal and business use get more and more blurry.

The day we do business primarily with business friends and help friends to advance in their business – those lines are gone. Top executives know that business between business friends are the most successful. Social media helps making trustful business friends on all levels within an organization.

Don’t build walls between personal friends and business friends

Rule #7 Networking

Understand the NCP Model. The larger your Network the farther your reach. Contribution is the fuel for the relationship with your network. Sharing content or provide comments are some of the key contributions to spark an engagement. Participation from your Network in your Contribution is the currency of the social web.

If you have great content but nobody is interested, your social engagement will be limited. If you have great content but only a few to share it with, your engagement will be limited. If you have a huge network and massive contribution but no participation, your effort in the social web was apparently of no value.

If you contribute relevant content  to a huge network and recognize a great participation, you know that you are on the right track, you know you gain influence and you see the return of your investment.

Think NCP: Network – Contribution – Participation

Rule #8 Tolerance

The social web is a virtual world, across all cultures, religions, political structures, and national laws.

People have the right to say anything and share anything. If you are offended, disconnect from the person who offends you – but don’t judge him or her just because that person is different and has a different way of doing things. What may be unlawful  in your country, maybe an accepted behavior somewhere else. What was an accepted behavior in your culture just 100 years ago maybe even unlawful today. (See rule #1).

Be most tolerant and respectful

Rule #9 Social Ownership

A company can’t be successful with social media if just a few people, or agency engages in the social web and the rest of the company does business as usual (See rule #4). If a team has no interest in the relationship to customers – a relationship cannot be delegated.

Own your relationships

Rule #10 Efficiency

Unlike in the old marketing world where your target audience was an anonymous and faceless mass of  target groups, titles, demographics and territories that you addressed with equally anonymous ‘penetration’ techniques – in the new world you are actually engaging with human beings who have a name, a face, a need and are ready to socially engage. Unlike in the old sales world where it took hours and days to arrange for a meeting plus hours of traveling and typically an hour of a meeting, an engagement in the social web may take only a few minutes. It won’t replace the face to face relationship but it not only accelerates processes, it also allows a person to handle 10 times as many relationships as before and ten times as many interactions than before.

Engage with significantly more people in less time

Rule #11 Assessment

Before you start any engagement make an assessment.

Have a clear picture about where your customers are in the social web and what is on top of their mind. Know what your business partners doing and how they engage. Know where and how your own team is currently engaged. Know everything about your competition because the social web is an open book that tells you everything.

Know where your entire market is

Rule #12 Social Assets

Relationships in general and social media in particular are like investments turning into assets.

You have to put something in before you get something out.

Treat Social Media like an asset

Rule #13 Privacy

You post and engage publicly to gain exposure and get more feedback than through any private interaction. Everything you share is public. The level of privacy is determined by what you share – not by what network you use. Keeping things private is neither the purpose nor the functionality of social media.

You are the only one who determines the level of privacy

Rule #14 Reputation

Building your social network, contributing to that network and gaining your network’s participation is a process resulting in reputation and trust. It takes months if not years to develop a decent reputation in that world. Building reputation in the social web is like the land grab in the physical world. While the land is limited by physical availability the reputation is limited by the attention span of the global audience. If you don’t have a computer yet, you can still buy one. If you never used the Internet you can simply buy access. But if you have no presence and reputation in the social web, you can’t buy it (See rule #12).

You can’t buy a social reputation – you will need to build and earn it.

Rule #15 Competitive Advantage

Ultimately Social Media can create one of the most significant competitive advantages for any business. And since relationships are fragile most businesses won’t brag about what they do and how they do it. It’s not necessarily to keep it as a business secret but it’s actually the customers turn to brag about their influence into a company. Take any ‘Social Media success story’ with a grain of salt if presented by a consultant or agency or the company itself.

Create a competitive advantage but don’t brag about it.

Judge social media based on your own experience

At any given time in history new innovations have been rejected for the same four specific reasons: 1) It is not secure, 2) It has no value, 3) It will cost businesses too much money and 4) It is just a hype and will go away. Whether it was the introduction of automobiles, supermarkets, airplanes, computers, cell phones or any other technology.

Social media is no different, even though over 1 billion people are using it already. The only way to find out is to make your own experience and decide wisely and with an open mind.



Three Tier Engagement Model

While we keep you updated with progress of the project, we also share the techniques and methods we are using to actually be able to manage such a project.

In order to manage this kind of  ‘mega projects’  we created a three tier engagement model that should help all of us engage, be able to work with extreme team sizes and still professionally and timely execute.

1) Strategy Group

A highly engaged and focused team for assessment and strategy development. The team are mostly certified social media strategists or highly experienced social media consultants. The current group is 34 people and we will selectively add more in the future. This group won’t be much more than 100. To join this group, please help us understand your skill set and share it with us in 10 answers :)

Continue reading “Three Tier Engagement Model”

Online Engagement Digital Agenda Assembly 2012

(11/05/2012) #DA12 More than 450 members are now discussing on the online discussion platform which Neelie Kroes launched on 19 April. Outcomes of this debate, and the feedback which we pick up from other platforms, will contribute to the next meeting of the Digital Agenda Assembly (Brussels, 21-22 June, plenary programme recently update online) and to the review of the Digital Agenda for Europe (to be adopted later in the year). Continue reading “Online Engagement Digital Agenda Assembly 2012”

The Digital Agenda EU Project

This project is to help the EU Commission and the EU in general to help business leaders within the EU to understand, adopt and leverage Social Media with the intention to more successfully grow their respective businesses.

Enabling 25,000 medium size businesses and innovative start-ups across Europe to leverage social media to create a sustainable growth, additional jobs and an becoming a poster child for other businesses in Social Media adoption by the end of 2016 – We will further fine tune this objective on our workshop at the EU meeting in Brussels. Continue reading “The Digital Agenda EU Project”

The Overall Project Information

The EU is committed to invest Billions of Euro specifically into the digital advancement of EU Member countries and their respective businesses. The EU Commission fully comprehended that the digital infrastructure is the next most important investment of a developed nation. The typical infrastructure evolution starts with clean water supplies, then transportation infrastructure (Water ways, roads, air traffic), radio communication, and now Internet and Social Media. Continuous infrastructure development is the pathway to a successful and globally competitive nation.

Continue reading “The Overall Project Information”

Digital Agenda 2012 Review

Objectives (Per EU Commission)
The main objectives of the Assembly are to:

Assess progress to date on implementation towards the Digital Agenda’s goals and actions and seek ways to improve delivery;
Identify challenges ahead for the implementation of the Digital Agenda and for the information society in general;
Mobilise stakeholders’ actions to make further progress and address challenges.
Review :

Continue reading “Digital Agenda 2012 Review”

First Update

The EU is committed to invest Billions of Euro specifically into the digital advancement of EU Member countries and their respective businesses. The EU Commission fully comprehended that the digital infrastructure is the next most important investment of a developed nation. Clean water supplies, transportation infrastructure (Water, roads, air traffic), radio communication, and now Internet and Social Media infrastructure is the pathway to a successful and globally competitive nation. Continue reading “First Update”