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Twitter Polls Are Coming!

You may have heard the news coming in from Twitter this week…


Cisco Data Center, @CiscoDC, received the opportunity to be one of the first Twitter handles to have the polling enabled on to our account. (Yes, we do feel special too). Here at Cisco, we are excited to test the feature so we conducted our first poll yesterday with great results.

Benefits of Polling

One of the biggest benefits to Twitter Polls is that it gives brands a new opportunity to engage with their Twitter network. The most obvious benefit is that brands now have the opportunity to ask anything and get feedback in real time. The real time aspect of Twitter’s new polling feature will enable quicker decision making that will help brands create more effective social media campaigns.

Time and Analytics

Each poll is live for 24 hours, which gives people only 24 hours to choose one answer of the two you can provide. No third or fourth answers are possible. During this time you will be able to see real time analytics of the number of respondents and the current results of the poll . Your respondents are able to answer the question anonymously.

During Polling Analytics Information

During the 24-hour response period, mobile users are able to see the question rendering in two big buttons like this:


Participants are also able to see how many people have already voted and how many more hours the poll is open to respond.

After participants have answered, they are able to see via visual confirmation, their choice and also the real time results of the poll as show below:

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Post Polling Analytics Information

Once the poll has closed, everyone (whether they have participated in the poll or not), will be able to see the results of your poll. As seen here:

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Character Limits

For the initial tweet, you are limited to 95 characters and for each of the possible answers; you are limited to 21 characters. Clear messaging and a concise plan will be critical for using this feature.

Are you excited to use this feature on your account? What would be your first poll question be?

Tell me in the comments below.



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Are Your Customers (and Prospects) Talking About You? (Part 2)

Yesterday, I shared information on how to get started with social media listening, what to listen for, and the types of information you can gain from listening. Now that you have an idea of what your customers and prospects are saying, what are you going to do with all of that information?

Well, that’s when the good stuff happens! The insights you’ll get from social listening will help you:

  • Build your social media marketing strategy – you’ll have more insights about your audience, who exactly is participating in social media, in which social channels the conversations are happening, how frequently and actively are they posting, and what they are talking about.
  • Have a dialogue with customers and prospects –  you want to do this carefully, thoughtfully, person-to-person, and with a customer-service mentality, but participating in social media conversations gives you the chance to thank fans, find prospects, help those with problems or questions, discover problem areas you might otherwise have missed, and build better relationships with your community.
  • Share what you learn with the rest of your organization – product feedback will be useful to your support and development teams, lead opportunities will get sales excited, your executives will want to hear about emerging trends and what kinds of business problems customers are looking for technology to solve, and marketing can see the traction that offers and marketing campaigns are getting.

As an example, here’s a situation where we were getting feedback via social listening from customers about challenges with firmware downloads. We responded to this disgruntled person (who clearly was appreciative of our efforts), but it also led us to put a temporary fix in place to make the experience easier while we worked on the longer-term solution.

Here at Cisco, we have a central Social Media Listening Center where we are continually tracking mentions of the company, key technology areas and events. It functions as a command center to route questions, issues or even potential leads to various teams across Cisco (many of whom are also doing their own ‘deep-live’ listening work for their specific area of expertise). We also can launch listening centers for special events, including our recent listening center in London for the 2012 Olympics.

We’re also eager to share some of our social listening highlights with you, our partners! Read More »

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Are Your Customers (and Prospects) Talking About You?

I’m sure you know what your customers want – you talk to them all the time, right? But what do they say about you – or your products, employees, website – when you aren’t involved in the conversation?

Hopefully, what they say when they don’t know you are listening isn’t much different than what they’d say to your face. Well, the truth is, people are talking about you, whether you are listening or not. So if you COULD listen, wouldn’t you want to?

Forget the things you’d rather not hear – “What did she do to her hair? Does he really think that joke is funny?” – when it comes to your business, hearing more can only be a good thing.

Enter social media listening – a fancy phrase for reading relevant things that people post on social sites – and voila, your long-distance hearing just improved! And by hearing better, you can make significant improvements to how your business runs, deciding what to market and sell, focusing your resources, and strengthening your relationships with customers, prospects, and your entire business community.

How do I get started?
You can use sophisticated monitoring applications like Salesforce Radian6, Cymphony/Visible, and Cisco Social Miner, but you can also get started with free tools like Google Alerts, Technorati, TweetDeck or SocialMention. Before you invest in a paid application, it’s a good idea to play around with putting keywords into one of the free tools to get a sense of the type and volume of results you’ll get back.

What do I listen for?  Read More »

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How to Deliver Superior Customer Service in 140 Characters or Less

When you complain about a company’s customer service using Twitter, do you expect them to respond? If you’re a baby boomer (which covers approximately 76 million Americans), you are more likely to. In fact, according to a new study from Maritz Research, nearly half of all respondents expect companies to respond to—or at least read—their tweet.

The Maritz Research study examines consumer expectations from brands in the social web. In addition to being timely and relevant, this research highlights the value of customer engagement which is especially vital for me and my team as we continue to lead Social Media Marketing listening at Cisco.

When it comes to listening, Maritz Research uncovered a significant gap: although nearly half of the consumers who tweeted a complaint directed at a particular brand expected the company to respond, only a third of those customers actually received a tweet back from the mentioned brand.

Read More »

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Social Media Listening and Engagement Journey

With multiple, diverse, and fragmented conversations happening on the social web, news—both the good and the bad—spreads rapidly. It’s critical to have the ability to quickly gather relevant insights, market trends, and customer intelligence so we can use that information to improve our service and drive our business. There is a huge opportunity to engage with customers in ways and on a level that wasn’t possible before.

For the past year now, I’ve been leading our efforts in social media marketing to do systematic listening for the Cisco brand and also help increase the number of Cisco teams that are monitoring their specific areas. What I’ve learned is that the monitoring and listening process is really a journey—it’s not something we can easily switch on or off. To be truly effective, we must develop clear processes and allocate a variety of resources, people, and tools to this effort.

Read More »

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