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Cisco Week in Review with Top Partner Headlines and News

This week in Partner Update, Andrew and I cover a variety of topics, from ways to help partners differentiate to huge WebEx deals to B2B social media tips. And a lot more.

This time around, we also test out QR codes, a new way for you to get more information about the topics we cover. QR, short for quick response, is a barcode that you’ll see along with the URLs in our videos. To take advantage of the codes, simply download a QR code reader for your mobile phone (I used i-nigma for the iPhone).

When you see the QR code box appear on the bottom-right side of the video, simply open the app and snap the image using your reader. The reader will then automatically take you to a specified site or resource. We hope you like this new feature. Let us know what you think.

Now, let’s get to some news…

And, if you’re not a fan of QR codes, no problem. Keep reading for a text summary with links and timestamps so you can follow along with what we covered in this newscast.
Read More »

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Social Media Spotlight: Eight Tips for Writing an Engaging Blog Entry

In our previous installment of Social Media Spotlight, we took a look at how blogs can help tell your company’s story and draw in new customers. Well, now it’s time to take a deeper dive into how to craft a blog post.

Alex Krasne and I have been writing and blogging for quite a while now (about 30 years, combined, to be exact), so we know a thing or two about how to shape ideas in a way that engages readers and generates a conversation. Here are our eight tips on how to write a solid blog entry.

Read on to find out the details on our eight tips, as well as links to several partner blogs: Read More »

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Social Media Spotlight: How to Blog Successfully

It may seem that Facebook and Twitter get all the attention in social media circles these days, while the simple blog has been pushed to the sidelines. But in truth, a blog can and should lie at the center of your social media strategy. After all, a blog enables you to set the narrative for your company in a way that no other Web 2.0 tool can.

In fact, more than half of Internet users read a blog at least monthly and find them very influential, according to research from Technorati and eMarketer.  Want to tell a customer success story? Need to spread information about an upcoming company-sponsored event? A blog can serve those needs, and more. Ultimately, you should think of your blog as the hub for your social media activities.

Setting up a blog on your website requires a little programming expertise (here’s some tips on how to do that), but once you’re up and running, it’s good to follow a few guidelines for shaping the content that you’re presenting.

Choose Your Topics

Not certain of what to write about? One of the best places to start is by introducing your company blog as a place to share ideas. Readers will be encouraged to hear that your blog is a place they can respond to—literally, with comments on your content. Inviting feedback is a great way to establish customer conversations.

From there, you can host a company-wide brainstorm session to see what topics customers ask about and where their pain points are. If you can address a customer need on your blog, or show customers how to do something, or lend your expertise, customers will look to you as a trusted source. (And this can also have the added benefit of boosting sales.)

You can also blog about a news story by putting your own twist on it and why it’s important to your readers. Another thing you can do is link out to another blogger and credit them with sharing something interesting, and offer your thoughts on the topic. The possibilities for content are endless.

Keep reading for more blogging tips. Read More »

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Talking Social Media at Syracuse University

Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited back to my Alma Mater, Syracuse University, for several discussions on social media in the enterprise and my career path. While the weather wasn’t quite sunny and alive, the students’ overwhelming interest on the topic of social media surely made up for it! I was so pleased to see a room full of excited students and faculty for both of my discussions!

Thanks to everyone for the taking the time to attend and a very special thank you to Syracuse University (@SyracuseU), the iSchool (@iSchoolSU), Anthony Rotolo (@rotolo), Jeff Rubin (@jhrubin), Kelly Lux (@KellyLux) and Kim Brown (@kimincuse)! I also had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in several lectures during my visit, which included a large class of 150 students all the way down to a smaller more intimate class of about 20 students. It was so great to be back on campus and knowing that I didn’t have a paper or mid-term exam due! 😉 (Btw, did you know that they now randomly select “attendance days” and ask students to swipe their university ID cards to get attendance credit? If you snooze, you lose ;-))

My visit to my alma mater Syracuse University (April 2011)

My visit to my alma mater Syracuse University (April 2011)

My discussions at Syracuse focused around how social media has changed and will continue to change the ways in which we communicate both within the enterprise and externally with our customers. We are no longer living in a world of 1:1 communications. Read More »

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Cisco Channels Social Media Spotlight: Your Questions Answered

Since starting my role in Cisco Channels social media some three years ago, I’ve been asked a lot of questions: “What video camera should I buy?” “Who do you like to follow on Twitter?” “Who does your hair?” (OK, no one’s actually asked me the last question, but drop me a note in the comments if you really want to know.)

But the most commonly asked questions that I hear over and over are: How do I get started with social media, what are the best tools to use, and how do I engage more customers? Well, in the interest of helping Cisco partners around the globe achieve resounding social media success, I’m happy to announce our new Channels blog series: Social Media Spotlight!

In this series, my fellow Channels blogger Kalpana Ettenson and I will be addressing any and all social media questions that you have. For starters, we want you to post your most burning social media questions in the comments below so we can address them in upcoming blog posts.

And we also have a few topics planned based on questions we’ve gotten in the past… Read More »

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