On the quest of becoming a truly social-minded culture, about a year and a half ago, we rolled up our sleeves and created a multi-level, multi-track social media training program that used game principles and integrated with our Education Management System to encourage and reward participation. We augmented our on-demand courses with a vibrant community filled with self-service resources, online discussions (we call them “social chats”), team challenges, and recognitions and testimonials.
What I’m most proud of is that we did this in house and on a shoestring budget (imagine toddler-sized shoes and shoestrings). The original team was very small, namely the wonderful Elizabeth Houston (please give it up for @elhoust) and yours truly (@petra1400). Having seen great success with our internal program and inspired by the possibilities of growing and even bringing it to our customers, partners and general public, we have added some resources and upgraded to kid-sized shoestrings. Soon, the external-facing training program pilot, a scaled down version of our internal program was born. (For the record, the current team is still really small and also includes @kmgibbs and some of @nrrivas07 and our fun intern, @efannie’s time).
We knew it was just a matter of time before we wanted to expand the customer-facing program and mirror it after our internal program as much as possible.
Driving in the Fast (and Furious) Lane
Over the past few months, we have been working furiously on making this dream become a reality. While we have a little longer to go before you can test drive our new social media training center, we want to share some screen shots of this new environment. Read More »
Cisco Champions ask Challenging Questions. This is the second in a blog series presented by Carlos Dominguez and Jimmy Ray Purser. Check out the first blog by Carlos here.
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with our Cisco Champions to discuss a range of topics about technology. Here’s a question that was top of mind for Edward Henry:
“The CCIE is easily recognized as one of the most elite certifications in the industry. It’s currently turned 20 years old, where do you see the program in 5 or 10 more years?”
What a great question! Let’s take a quick look at why the CCIE program was created. Cisco announced the CCIE program on Sept. 27, 1993, in a press release where John Chambers, said:
“The CCIE Program begins where other vendors’ certification programs leave off. It can be compared to completing a university course versus taking college entrance exams. Prospective CCIE candidates must be highly qualified just to enter the program, and then, after taking an intensive troubleshooting course, must pass a rigorous hands-on lab test conducted by senior support engineers. This very stringent set of requirements ensures that only the best professionals are selected.” Read More »
Later this year, many URLs on Cisco.com are going to change. But don’t worry: We’re putting a mechanism in place that will take you to the right location even if you have bookmarks or are coming from external references.
These redirects will be automatic, but if you’re curious, here’s how the URLs will change:
After: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/routers/3900-series-routers/index.html (by the way, this link won’t work yet)
We want to reassure you that even though some links are changing, we’re vigilant about avoiding broken links. We’ve made a lot of progress on this area in the last year, as you’ve read via Bill Skeet’s recent blog post about link quality.
Please let us know questions or concerns you have, and we’ll keep you updated as we get closer to the go-live dates.
I have been getting a lot of questions about advocacy so I want to take a few minutes to share my thoughts. I often hear people use the terms “influencers” and “advocates” interchangeably. While there are similarities between these two groups, in my opinion they’re not necessarily one and the same. You may have a different viewpoint on this, and that’s fine. What I’ve discovered is people define these terms differently which results in mixing these 2 groups. Taking some liberties with Ant’s Eye View’s (AEV) definitions of advocates and influencers, this is how I would like to describe them:
An influencer is someone who actively shares their opinions and expertise through their (large) personal and professional networks. An influencer is someone that can cause an effect without apparent exertion or force. Most common examples include analysts and media.
An advocate is someone who proactively defends, promotes and participates in the public conversation for a particular brand, product, service or cause. An advocate is someone that has positive affinity toward and stands behind a brand, product or cause. Most common examples include your most passionate customers and general brand aficionados.
Aristotle was spot on when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This holds true when we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the socialsphere. Why not leverage your organization’s built-in social media army to evangelize the brand? Encouraging employee engagement across social channels on behalf of the brand seems to be a hot topic in social media these days.
Now the question is what are the steps for successfully encouraging employees to participate on behalf of a brand? In a recent Let’s Chat #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat we heard from Cisco’s Petra Neiger (@Petra1400) and Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham (@JennyDBurnham), on ways to engage employees. In addition to their insightful tips, here’s my take on 5 steps to successfully encouraging employees to participate in the socialsphere:
Step 1: Training
It all starts here. Educate your employees with social media best practices, checklists, playbooks, toolkits, etc. Help your employees feel comfortable using social media on behalf of your brand. Interested in social media training? Check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email email@example.com
Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:
Step 2: Stretch Assignments
Once your employees have participated in training and are comfortable using social media best practices, create opportunities for their participation across multiple social channels. Leverage the masses to assist with social media campaigns, launches, events, etc. Even if social media is not their main role within your organization, develop these assignments as a great way to increase your program’s reach in addition to allowing employees to test out their new skill sets.
Step 3: Recognitions
What motivates your employees? Is it a milestone badge, management recognition, or perhaps a prize of some sort? Knowing this will help you to motivate additional employee participation. Along the way, create incentive programs to entice your employees to participate. Adding an element of gamification and rewarding beneficial behaviors can go a long way.