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10 LinkedIn Groups Lessons Learned

In the B2B world, LinkedIn offers marketers a wide array of different resources that they can use to enhance their social media efforts. A vast majority of people use LinkedIn as a viable platform for uncovering business information. Due to the nature of the site, on LinkedIn people are more inclined to provide detailed professional information than on Facebook or Twitter. You, as the marketer, have the advantage of leveraging this very rich profile data to target your messages to people on a very specific basis! Essentially, LinkedIn allows you to engage with a very particular target niche population that is strictly relevant to your core business needs.

Did you know that LinkedIn Groups is one of the most widely used activities on LinkedIn with over one million different groups (Source: LinkedIn Groups Directory)? Specifically for B2B companies, people may use professional interest groups to share knowledge and find answers to tough questions. A regular LinkedIn user, David Deans, Digital Marketing Manager in Cisco’s Service Provider organization, shared some of his experiences to make the most of LinkedIn Groups participation. These best practices will surely take your own social media efforts to the next level, so read on to learn more. 

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Manufacturing Social Media

Manufacturing Social Media

In 2011, only 30 percent of global manufacturing companies plan to increase spending on social media and community marketing, according to a March report from Forrester Research titled Bigger B2B Marketing Budgets Come With Great Expectations. That compares with 53 percent of pharmaceutical companies and 50 percent of business and professional services companies.

At Cisco, we’re leading the way to change all that. Also, you may have noticed that Cisco manufacturing also has a presence in other social media outlets, but you may not know how or if they are linked together – or even if they are part of the same effort. To that end, I wrote this blog to describe and link to all of our social media efforts in one place.


You’re reading it right now… Read More »

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Here be Dragons

Hic Sunt Dracones

Centuries ago, medieval mapmakers used to draw dragons and other mythological creatures on maps to indicate areas that were uncharted, and therefore potentially dangerous. One particular map, the Hunt-Lenox Globe, contains the phrase: “HC SVNT DRACONES,” Latin for “here are dragons.”

When examining social media and the potential effect it can have on one’s professional and personal landscape, I sometimes feel that all social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. should, somewhere near the copyright, contain the phrase “here be dragons.”

The amateur Art Historian in me would also like to see a beautiful image like the one above accompany the warning, too, but that’s less important.

Potentially Dangerous

For all its wonders, Social Media can be a dangerous thing. Read More »

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WebEx on LinkedIn: We Need Your Feedback!

Are you a LinkedIn member? If so, we’d love your help.

LinkedIn recently enhanced their company pages to let businesses feature more on their profile. It’s a nice enhancement and the way they did it is consistent with the “reference-based” nature of their site! When we post something, the site elicits recommendations from its members – you – to talk about your experience with us.

Visit our LinkedIn site, add a recommendation.

Our request is simple. Read More »

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The World of LinkedIn: What’s Next?

Who knew that there are 74 job openings for Elvis tribute artists and 1 opening as a “martini whisperer” on LinkedIn?  True confession:  I was (maybe still am) tempted…

Isn’t that a wonderful truth about online networking and sharing sites like this? It is here where we can discover, learn and engage in “virtual watering holes” and “online town squares” that fit our interests.

via LinkedIn Blog Infographic

LinkedIn now has over 100 million members and averaging one new member every second.  Through a very clever infographic, the online networking site celebrates this milestone by giving us  a view into what this networked community is made of…

–          73 of the Fortune 100 with Cisco listed as one of 6 most represented companies

–          56 million members residing outside of the US

–          1 “invest in cheese” group (huh?)

–          17.8 million groups

At Cisco, we are still learning, and like so many companies it is through active participation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  Through these conversations and with tools like Cisco SocialMiner we pick up new knowledge, listen and share.  It’s real-time marketing and it just makes sense for our bottom-line and in allowing us to expand reach beyond where traditional marketing and conversations can take us.

LinkedIn has grown in large part due to its focus – the professional community.  It dovetails nicely with our efforts on Facebook, for example, and is where we can engage with affinity groups, actively recruit, and connect with those in way really is the equivalent of swapping a virtual business card and expanding that connection.  Certainly, the rising knowledge workers of today have a soul-mate in LinkedIn.

And, today I engage in multiple ways both as a part of Cisco and as an individual as do thousands of my peers. Yet, like so many others I wonder how long we can sustain the proliferation of experiences and things.  The post-PC era is upon us. Yet the number of screens that we have is still expanding and we have social sites for our professional friends, sites for our personal/professional friends, etc. This is not a new question and the next wave of innovation in social media will likely be through intelligent aggregation that allows us to traverse across devices and applications in the way we want and that adapts to our interest. Technology will still matter as it will require intelligence, bandwidth and a “playing well with others.”  But, in reality it should increasingly become invisible.

So, congratulations LinkedIn!  What’s next?  I can’t wait.

And, I wonder what  some of you think..  How do you think the way we collaborate and connect will change?  How do you use certain social sharing sites either together or apart?

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