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Cisco Support Community Wins Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service

March 5, 2013 at 8:18 am PST

a2The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are part of an international competition designed to recognize excellence in disciplines that are crucial for business success. Organizations of all sizes from all over the world altogether entered over 1,100 entries for this year’s competition. Recently, winners of the 7th Annual Stevie Awards were unveiled at a gala ceremony held in Las Vegas, NV.

Among the lucky champions was the Cisco Support Community (CSC), which was awarded within the “Innovation in Customer Service – Computer Services & Software” category for its innovative web platforms and customer service offerings. Known for its creativity and high business impact, the community strives to leverage its software-enabled community capabilities, social media, mobile technology and open APIs to redefine the future of services. Their efforts have not only resulted in over $200 million a year in cost savings for Cisco through case deflection but also accelerated design and architecture with key partners.

Congratulations to the team and all 2013 Stevie Award winners for their commendable achievements!

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How to build the future you

February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm PST

Most of us did not grow up sharing our private feelings with the world.  Today we are faced with the challenge of needing to build our brand.  This test can help you understand how socially connected you already are.

Be as web savvy as a librarian

When was the last time you visited a library?
Hint: Wikipedia counts.

Learn how future librarian, Elizabeth Lieutenant, is using Twitter to connect with like-minded students, professors and prospective employers.

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Three Social Media Writing Tips. You Know You Want ‘Em!

1. Define Your Voice
Writing for social media is its own discipline and different from traditional writing: it is more like writing a story, a story that you want people to share with their friends and so on and so on. Defining your voice is the combination of knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it. Your knowledge, interests, and personality will only add value to the story. Plus, telling a story in your own way is what will create a unique and authentic connection with readers. One way to define your voice is to stop writing the way you think you should--you know, the way your English teacher told you to write--and start writing the way you think and speak. The words should fit you and be easy to read aloud.

2. Hook Your Audience from the Start
In addition to easy to read aloud, social media writing should be tighter and simpler than traditional writing: the beginning of your story should hook readers fast and hard, the way a song’s hook does. Whether you love or hate Queen, you know what comes after “we are the champions” (at least if you’re older than 25). That’s right, “no time for losers.” In essence, a hook is a memorable phrase that summarizes what a song is about. Think of a title and an opening line as your story’s hook. And don’t worry that you’re giving away the best part. Knowing what to expect won’t ruin your story for readers. It will prime them for what’s next and introduce your main point.

3. Construct Clear, Compelling Copy
Speaking of your main point, get to it quickly and clearly. While using a string of straightforward, declarative sentences is too abrupt for traditional writing, it is perfect for social media. Because unlike traditional writing, readers won’t go back to re-read or stop to think about difficult sections. Your writing has to be clear and direct the first time around: don’t be coy and promise to get to the interesting stuff later. Think of your story as a first date: put on your fancy pants and put forward your most compelling, date-worthy self. It’ll make your readers want to read your story and get to know you better. At the very least, it won’t make them regret saying yes.

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The Social Media Play on Search Engines

February 26, 2013 at 9:33 am PST

This post is included  as part of a series related to social media training efforts underway at Cisco.  I sat down with Mark Traphagen  and Phil Buckley of Virante to ask a few specific questions around social media and how social media interacts with search engine  marketing and optimization.  This is the first of two parts for this interview.  

HAK51746What impact does Social Media have on Search Engines?

The first search engines were little more than human-fed directories.  As the web took off, trying to human index it became unworkable, for obvious reasons.  By far the most obvious and dramatic effect is seen in the growing personalization of search results. Since at least 2007, Google results have been influenced more and more by the searcher’s location, past search history, and how she interacts with web sites, among other factors. With Google’s introduction of Search Plus Your World in early 2011, social network influence came front and center.

Now by default if a searcher is logged in to Google while searching, her results are heavily influenced by Google contacts, including Gmail contacts and people circled on Google+.  Bing has begun a similar effort incorporating a user’s Facebook friends. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, revolutionized web search with their invention of the PageRank algorithm, which counts links between sites as “votes” and weighs those votes by relative authority.  When the social web emerged, Google and other search engines realized that social interactions online could provide a new source of signals, a way to diversify the signal set and augment or confirm the signals being sent by links.  Since then, they have been slowly increasing the amount of effect that social signals have on search results.

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Bring a Teacher to Twitter

February 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm PST

Have you been doing your Twitter homework?

Educators are using social media to share their lesson plans and get new ideas.  If your favorite teacher is not already doing this, help them set up their Twitter account: description, photos; first tweet.

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