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The Power of Hashtags

Log on to most social media platforms and you’ll likely see a bunch of # signs floating around. No, they do not designate a phone number; instead, they’re an easy and useful way to grow your products and brand in a way that consumers are familiar with. Not sure what they mean or how they work? Stick with me. I’ll explain what hashtags are, why they’re useful and how to use them in your marketing practice.

The Power of Hashtags

What are hashtags?

According to Twitter, “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

Now, they’ve expanded beyond Twitter to many other social sharing sites—namely Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest—as a way to group like items into one. You simply put a # with a single word or phrase (make sure not to use punctuation or spaces) in your post, and it automatically turns into a clickable link.

It’s common to use hashtags for a big event, promotion, or product launch. For example, say you’re going to one of Cisco’s largest events, Cisco Live! You document your days by sharing your pictures on Instagram and stay updated with regular tweets, but add in the #CiscoLive hashtag and boom – you’re suddenly synced up with others who are also talking about Cisco Live!  You instantly have a connection to others in the industry, thanks to this little symbol.

Why do hashtags matter?

  1. Networking. Using hashtags allows you to reach a new audience you might not have interacted with.
  2. Advertising. If people start hashtagging their photos or tweets with something related to your company or a campaign you’re running, their followers will also see this, possibly driving them to your site and, fingers crossed, becoming a new partner or customer.
  3. Building relationships. Click on a hashtag related to your product or industry and you’ll see not only what customers are interested in, but also what they’re saying. You can then start a conversation with these folks, leading to an introduction about your company or a solution to a problem they might be having.
  4. Relevance. By clicking on a hashtag, you’ll find tons of other tweets, images, and posts that are related. Try it: head to Twitter, search #CloudComputing and you’ll see hundreds of comments, articles, and photos related to the subject. It’s worthwhile to take some time to search for hashtags relevant to your company and industry to see what other products or information comes up.

There are a number of benefits to start adding that # sign to your posts. Does your company use them? Have you tried using hashtags in a marketing campaign? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Sports + Social Media = Massive Opportunities

I was at the SEAT Conference in Miami last week, and people are still abuzz about the recent World Cup. Attendees of the conference see engagement with sports fans as a top priority, and they know that Cisco has the most open, tailored and successful solutions to make that possible in venues around the world. The data below from Facebook and Twitter shows just how voraciously fans engaged on social media with regards to the World Cup.

Facebook

 

Twitter

As the world continues to become more “social” than ever before, teams, venues, leagues, and companies are working more feverishly than ever to capture the massive opportunity these sports fans present in the digital world.

Every conversation I had during the SEAT Conference validated that Cisco’s investments in Sports & Entertainment have positioned us to aid our customers to capture these digital fans. Over the past few years we have solved the problem of reliable and efficient high-density Wi-Fi, and live video streaming with minimal delay, and that is why our solutions are in more than 225 venues, and 30 plus countries, and have impacted hundreds of millions of fans. And with a proven platform in place, we are working with our customers to convert these more connected and immersive experiences into deeper levels of insight and engagement that drive impact, both on a personal level with fans and on the business side with sponsors and other associated partners looking to generate a return on their investments.

While many are looking at capturing the opportunities of the here and now, this is only the beginning.  The rapid pace of technology innovation mandates preparing for the future and as we visualize a world where everything is connected (Internet of Everything – IoE). This video series shows how Cisco and the NBA are already deep into this process. Check out the “One Bounce” video here.

As big data fuels deeper levels of fan insights, the future experience will be richer, and ultimately feed the insatiable hunger for information that these fans have already shown. Being a sports fan will be better than ever before, and Cisco will be right in the middle of making that happen.

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Cisco Focus: The Year in Review

July 21, 2014 at 5:59 am PST

Everyone loves “year in review” articles, slideshows and wraps, right? Well, I do. Cisco’s fiscal year ends July 26, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to give our fiscal year in review for the Cisco Social Media team and all the great content that we produce week-in and week-out.

We created and run “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site.” This is where we have great journalists writing stories about the impact that technology has on your life or your business. We also create short, informative videos that highlight Cisco Innovators, our Leadership team, and other video series like “My Networked Life” or “City of the Future: Songdo, Korea.” And, whether you are a customer or partner…or are just interested in technology, we invite you and encourage you to take our content for your own site and re-use it or share it.

Last August, we launched our monthly digital magazine entitled “Focus.” Each month we do a deep dive on technology topics that we care about and that the industry cares about. You can see all the issues here.

Our Top 3 Issues this year:
1.       Technology in Education
2.       Women in Tech, and Read More »

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Humanizing Cisco’s Recent Network Convergence System

Trying to tell a story with a very technical product is challenging for many B2B brands. Many struggle to get their message across in a succinct and efficient way, but most of all, many of these brands struggle with creativity. Creativity is an essential component of effective marketing, and creativity was definitely the route Cisco took. We took a chance and actually humanized our network fabric family, the Network Convergence System (NCS).  By incorporating user-owned videos with humorous scenarios, leveraging popular Vine celebrities, and making the NCS’ benefits visual, we were able to thoroughly tell its story and make it relatable to everyone – not just the technical crowd.

The campaign was all encompassing of all things social. The integrative campaign (official hashtag #SystemForIoE) used Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Vine, community, blogs, Storify and SlideShare. If there was an audience that needed to be reached, Cisco was going to reach them.

Combining humor with technology

The NCS was designed to meet the demands of the Internet of Everything (IoE), Cisco’s flagship campaign defined as connecting people, processes, data and things. We needed to find a creative way to showcase the campaign’s key messages that made sense to the global audience as they were targeting many regions, including Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Asia-Pac and the United States. After sifting through a few dozen ideas and thousands of different humorous clips from around the world, we decided on the top three clips that resonated best with all the different countries. This is one of Read More »

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Curious About Cisco and Facebook’s Partnership for Wi-Fi?

More and more organizations across industries are realizing that providing simple, easy Wi-Fi for customers, guests, visitors, and more is becoming a basic expectation. Consumers are used to their always-on, always-connected lifestyles, so naturally their checklist for any venue they step into will now include “Wi-Fi” as a top priority. Good thing Cisco has not one but two simple ways for organizations with venues to provide easy Wi-Fi access for their consumers. One is CMX Connect, which you read about in the MSE blog series. The other is CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi.

We announced our partnership with Facebook last October to help connect businesses with their consumers at Interop New York. This Wednesday, January 22nd, we are having a special live webinar to give our customers a deeper dive into the Cisco and Facebook Wi-Fi solution.   Register to join us at 10am PST!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Cisco and Facebook speakers, as well as a special guest customer, to learn more about our joint-solution. Hear how CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi can help boost recognition for your brand, foster stronger relationships with customers, and promote your business by connecting you directly to customers through Facebook.

Click here to register.

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