Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Stimulating growth and business revenue through social media

Article

At DG INFSO, we are impressed with the drive and enthusiasm of a project being managed from a variety of independent social media experts throughout Europe in the run-up to the Digital Agenda Assembly 2012.

We asked Axel Schultze, leader of the project to tell us what he is aiming to achieve:

The overarching objective of the project is to stimulate small and medium size businesses and innovative start-ups across the EU leveraging social media to create a sustainable growth, additional jobs and being able to compete in a global market. Specifically we want to double the number of businesses, who grew their revenue and added new jobs by leveraging social media, year over year till 2016.

We seek new ways for a more stable European Union and like to make business leaders and entrepreneurs aware of the opportunities Social Media holds and help them to apply it in a professional and pleasant way.The first few steps of the current DA12 Social project were orchestrated with smart, highly skilled and very motivated people. With nearly no administrative overhead and a leadership style of the social media age, executives, manager, business development people and social media consultants worked all hands on deck together. Autonomous work groups achieved in only two weeks what traditional consulting teams hardly complete in several months.

This is an ambitious project – how long will it take?

The project life span is expected to be from fall 2012 until end of 2016. Teams in every EU country will work with country officials, collaborate with chambers of commerce and related government groups to help SMEs leverage social media to thrive. The teams will be between 10 and 100 people working in the respective industries or geographies by country – making it a total of approximately 500 engaged mostly part time people in the project. Funds will be sought from many sources, possibly in part from sponsoring industry leaders. We will build a scalable finance model to ensure relative success by 2016 – meaning even if underfunded we will demonstrate partial success.

So what does success look like?

Success is if any of the team members can motivate 25 companies each quarter to leverage social media to grow their export and hire additional employees to do so. Over the course of the next 4 years success is if the team of 500 was able to help 200,000 companies across Europe to grow plus 200,000 who basically learned on their own. If those companies hire just 5 additional people, we created 2 million additional jobs.”

The entire social presence of the project can be found at http://XeeMe.com/da12social

Comments

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The key to success is if all small businesses can get a connection in the first place. Many in rural areas can't. Many small businesses are in the rural areas. Just sayin. Its a great initiative though, and well done to those on the team raising awareness of the benefits of social media. The future is coming. The digital revolution.
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I couldn't agree more on the objectives and the approach of this initiative. A spontaneous, bottom-up initiative with over-reaching consequences in Europe. Good luck!
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@Chris - agree, physical network infrastructure is the key foundation for solid social business networking. Maybe social media becomes just an additional incentive to expand on  the hardware. @Isidro - thanks for the feedback
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WOW that's good to hear, good work Axel! :)
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yes, it is really important to use social media if you want to promote the business or website

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