Once again this year, Cisco is a proud to sponsor the EG 7 Conference in Monterey, California, April 18-20, 2013. The theme this year is Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything, and many of the world’s leading inventors, explorers, educators, entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs are coming together to probe these frontiers. The content is truly inspirational.
Everything is learning… and in higher education, the sea change has become a tsunami: Stanford-born Udacity and Coursera are racing with edX from Harvard and MIT to flood university curricula online. Will this be the most significant transformation of universities to date? After all, these thrusts aspire to reach billions of learners — anywhere, anytime.
At EG this year, the founding CEO’s of all these movements are speaking: Sebastian Thrun, Daphne Koller, and Anant Agarwal. This is a revolution in the way higher education is purveyed. How it affects learners around the world — the billions who may someday benefit — remains to be seen.
Guest blog by Ntombozuko (Soso) Luningo
Soso Luningo is a trainer with the ICT Academy at CIDA City Campus in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she trains students on the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum
This is my first blog ever, long overdue since I am an expressive person. Everywhere I have ever spoken, the question has been: “Why don’t you have a blog?” Well there you go folks. I finally decided to write this blog because I am grateful to the Cisco Networking Academy for affording me the opportunity to have influence and make great contributions to the future of previously disadvantaged South African youth.
I have been involved in the Cisco Networking Academy programme from the “baby” (student) days of my career and I am now raising about 50 babies every single year as an instructor at the ICT Academy at CIDA City Campus in Johannesburg, South Africa.
People are becoming more media savvy than ever before. The advent of social media has resulting in people consuming and sharing more information. A by-product of this is that people have becoming adept at ignoring traditional marketing and advertising and better at spotting marketing content trying to masquerade as something else. The best way to overcome the challenges presented by this new social world is to embrace this awareness and willingness to interact and use it to your advantage.
Marketing in a social word means you need to change when, where, and how you speak to consumers. Instead of sending them a static message (like a traditional ad) you need to interact with them. Here’s a few key things to keep in mind:
Since launching our internal executive social media mentoring program, it’s been really eye-opening to get a close up view of their perceptions around using this channel, their goals, and overall interests. We read and hear about different statistics all the time, telling us that executive participation is still in an early adoption stage and this is definitely true. However, the more executives I meet with, the more I see that this statistic is already changing and will continue to evolve!
Some of the main themes from these conversations are the usual: building a personal online reputation, supporting the brand, learning how to communicate with different audiences, leveraging social media for business… and of course, participating in social media without impacting bandwidth.
However, where I’m surprised and really encouraged, is by the overall attitudes towards social media and the avid interest in jumping into the social stream. They want to participate and see the value in social media, but often do not know where to begin.
Let’s make it easier for executives to be a part of the social stream and experience everything it has to offer. In my last executives using social media post, I provided recommendations focusing on “getting buy-in tips”.
Here are a few additional suggestions when mentoring executives on the topic of social media:
- Outline specific goals executives can achieve by learning more about social media and then applying those strategies within the social stream
- Make it personal for them, focusing on their key business and personal interests
- Help executives find their social voices so that they can further build their online reputations
- Provide easy-to-understand best practices, examples, and actual hands-on opportunities to absorb the tips
- Pace the mentoring sessions so that it’s not overwhelming and provide easy-to-implement next steps (e.g., download a social media app that helps them listen into the social stream when they stand in the airport security line, or provide a user-friendly social media aggregator they can use when then have 5 minutes to read and then share information with followers, etc.)
And it helps to gather other viewpoints and share them with executives. Join us on April 3rd, from 9-9:45am PT, for an unique live opportunity to hear first-hand from Cisco executives about their social media experiences and to engage in an open discussion directly with them. This special “Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Program Series” executive social media panel broadcast on USTREAM, will include Cisco executives with varying levels of social experiences. They will share the reasons they decided to start using social media, what they’ve experienced, and advice for peers and teams.
- Jeanette Gibson, Director, Digital and Social Media Marketing (moderator) (@JeanetteG)
- Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President, Legal Services and General Counsel (@ChandlerCisco)
- Sheila Jordan, Senior Vice President, IT Communications and Collaboration (@CiscoSheila)
- Lance Perry, Vice President, IT (@lanceperrycisco)
Lastly, bring your questions for the executive panelists and share them on the #ciscosmt stream. What are you interested in learning from these executives’ experiences that can help with your own executives? Are there other areas regarding executives and their social media participation you are interested in learning more about?
We look forward to your participation and will look for your #ciscosmt tweets as we get ready for the session this week and during the live broadcast on April 3rd.
If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program for customers and partners and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: #smtraining, B2B, B2C, Cisco, education, Executives, information-sharing, learning, mentoring, social, social learning, social media, social media strategies, social networking, training, ustream