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5 Ideas for Leveraging LinkedIn for Business

I was recently asked by a Cisco partner which social platform was better for B2B marketing – Facebook or LinkedIn?  My response went something like this – We’re all using Facebook to connect and share with our family and friends and with 800 million users, Facebook is hard to ignore, but do we really want our professional networks and personal lives to intermingle to this extent? There is always the option to create a separate Facebook page solely for business purposes. However, these types of pages are more likely to be successful for B2C companies where the target audience is already a regular Facebook user and  the product or service they’re selling is a lifestyle fit.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is a social platform designed specifically for the business professional.  It’s used by over 160 million people worldwidewho did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches within the platform in 2011 and are set to surpass more than 5.3 billion this year. If I only had $10 to spend on social marketing and I had to choose between LinkedIn and Facebook, I would choose LinkedIn. The audience is more targeted, more qualified for the B2B technology market we focus on and the platform offers many ways to engage with this audience.

Here are five thoughts on how to maximize LinkedIn for business:

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Online Meetings and Events: Tips for Making Them Better with Social Media

While your next online meeting may happen on WebEx, that doesn’t mean it’s the only channel you should use to make your meeting successful. Social media can be a wonderful compliment to your meeting or event.

Here are a few tips for using the most popular channels in your meeting mix.

Facebook
If the meeting is public, Facebook is great for posting pre and post event information. Before the meeting, post the invite with registration information. Post event, post a blog or screen grabs with links to the recording or a post-event whitepaper. To reach new people, consider a Facebook advertisement. It’s easy to target your reach and control your spend.

Twitter
Twitter is a great channel for driving pre and post event traffic to your site: ahead of time for registration and afterward for the recording. But Twitter is also an excellent way to engage folks during your meeting. By creating a “back-channel” conversation, you can get feedback and ideas from participants who may be too shy to speak up during the meeting. You can also grab great sound bites during the meeting and tweet them so others will be drawn to your content. Use hashtags to extend your reach.

LinkedIn
Publicize your events on LinkedIn to attract a business following. Make sure your company page is up to date and turn on the status updates feature that works very much like Facebook. You can also create a LinkedIn group to create a special interest Read More »

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The Facebook Timeline

On March 30, 2012, Social Media B2B unveiled its list of the 10 best B2B Facebook Timeline cover photos.  And, happily, the cover photo for the Cisco corporate Facebook page was included as one of the best inspirational photos!

Cisco Facebook cover photo

Cisco Facebook cover photo

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It’s Time to Have a Serious Conversation About Internet Privacy Laws

March 14, 2012 at 4:15 am PST

On Saturday, March 10, Jasmin Melvin published the story “Web Giants Face Battle Over ‘Do Not Track’, Other Consumer Privacy Legislation.” The U.S. government, and governments around the world, have their eyes set on Google, Apple, and Facebook and their current and future policies in regards to internet privacy laws. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was the legislature’s first major attempt at regulating the Internet, and web giants like Google and Wikipedia responded with a day of blackouts, generating “3.9 million tweets, 2,000 people a second trying to call their elected representatives, and more than 5,000 people a minute signing petitions opposing the legislation.” SOPA may have failed, but you can be sure it won’t be the last attempt at regulation. This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to issue new recommendations for Internet privacy and data management policy.

You might think, “What’s the big deal, sure I want my privacy protected from Google, Facebook and the like, this is the United States of America.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. I agree, Google and Facebook can’t afford to get this one wrong: they would risk losing massive numbers of users who opt out, or choose new options that don’t track data or new features such as a “do not track” button. But decisions like this have massive consequences that go beyond personal privacy and data management. Read More »

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Why People Share, According to Facebook

March 13, 2012 at 9:08 am PST

Before we decide what to post, we must first understand what compels our fans to share. This understanding will allow us to create consistent, “viral” posts that will generate organic buzz. Thankfully, we have Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook, to explain these social behaviors that occur on Facebook, and in life, so we can actively create conversations and build relationships that will result in sharing of content.

Watch this video about why people share, presented at this year’s Facebook Marketing Conference or enjoy the brief synopsis below to better understand what drives our conversations and, in turn, sharing. (jump to the 3 minute mark to get straight to Paul)

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