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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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5 Nuggets to Make Sense of the Crazy World of Social Media

November 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm PST

I presented at the BtoB Networking Breakfast (#BtoBNet) today and wanted to share my slides in this blog along with some food for thought based on my presentation:

  1. Not all social media participants will converse, comment or create. The Forrester social technographics ladder outlines 6 active social participation categories that also include people that are spectators (e.g., read your blogs), joiners (e.g., maintain a LinkedIn profile) or collectors (e.g., bookmark your content). Don’t lose sight of these groups when planning your social engagement.
  2. Lead with listening. I have spoken and written about this many times before and the new nugget here is that Read More »

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Meet Steve Cramer: An Engineer Who Won A Trip To The London Olympics With His Video Skills [VIDEO]

November 9, 2012 at 11:57 am PST

 As the “Gold Medal” winner in Cisco’s internal London 2012 Olympic Video Contest, Systems Engineer Steve Cramer won a trip of a lifetime—six nights in London during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Before learning about his notable participation using video, let’s start off by watching his award-winning video that answers the question, “What do YOU make possible in your daily life for your family, friends, and community—or at work?” Read More »

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Meet Shannon Fuller: Queen of Cisco IT WebEx Social

November 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm PST

In today’s SME Champion blog post, we meet the so-called “Queen of Cisco WebEx Social for IT.” WebEx Social (WxS), previously known as IWE (Integrated Workforce Experience), is the company’s internal collaboration platform that exhibits social networking, content creation and real-time communication features. A Program Manager within the IT Customer Strategy & Success (CS&S) group, Shannon is quite involved with the Client Experience, Governance and Adoption of  WxS within IT. 

Shannon Practices and Preaches Internal Social Media Usage

Shannon started using WxS when she first joined the company three years ago. Since then, she has been an active member of the WxS for  IT program team while leading projects as well as providing consulting & support to IT employees and other functional teams. Her efforts have the ultimate goal of demonstrating business value and telling the Cisco on Cisco story in order to accelerate internal adoption and increase sales of WxS with external customers. 

Shannon is a change agent responsible for evangelizing WxS and fostering collaboration within IT by helping her “customers” (IT employees) find relevant ways to utilize WxS in their everyday work lives.  She does this internally by hosting brown bags, creating viral campaigns like “I love IWE” and blogging internally to share her best practices. What’s more, if someone approaches her with a question regarding WxS or needs help finding information, she is  always willing to help and is just a click away.

Not only is Shannon an active on this internal platform herself, but she also acts as a fantastic advocate to enable and encourage others at Cisco to excel on WxS as much as she does. She preaches that this internal platform is a great tool for project management and practices what she preaches by using WxS communities and Posts to manage all of her projects.  Such dedication and hard work has been awarded more than once by others at the company. Lance Perry, VP of IT CS&S at Cisco, recognized her with the “IT CS&S Above & Beyond Award”: “You are one of Cisco’s most valued partners, and we love working with you. Your tireless efforts championing IWE, decommissioning CEC sites, training, consulting and advocating the use of WxS—not just within IT but across the enterprise—has proved to be valuable.”

What drives you to be so active on WebEx Social?

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Meet Brett Belding: IT Twitter Superstar

November 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm PST

Did you know that at least a quarter of the entire Cisco IT group’s engagement metrics on Twitter come from our SME Champion Brett? An IT Mobility Services Senior Manager at Cisco, he is constantly creating worthwhile, interesting buzz about Cisco IT for company fans and followers.

Brett’s Twitter Engagement

Brett is an excellent external social media proponent for the entire IT team. Particularly notable is his engagement on Twitter as he fills up his personal Twitter feed with fresh new content and always keeps the conversations with his fans going. Just by browsing through his Twitter feed, you will realize that this SME really knows how to use the platform properly and what to write in order to get people engaged. Moreover, Brett exercises many Twitter best practices besides publishing compelling contents and interesting tidbits such as including hash tags and RT-ing his fan’s tweets. Brett’s involvement on Twitter has effectively increased his personal as well as his team’s brand on the web by way of his social media communications.

Leveraging Social to Develop Meaningful Relationships with Customers

Because Brett is in charge of the Cisco IT group’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative, he often conducts Executive and customer briefings focused on this expertise topic. What happens after the customers leave the briefing? Brett ensures that the relationships he has initiated with those individuals live on by utilizing various social sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Recently, Brett hosted a Twitter Chat session on BYOD on the social platform Storify. In these ways and more, he has established himself as a trust advisor role representing Cisco with whom customers and partners desire to socially connect with.

What business value do you see that results from participating on Twitter and other social media sites?

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