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Social Media Spotlight: How to Get Started in Social Media

April 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm PST

Over the past few years, so many partners and even Cisco employees have asked me time and again “How do I get started in social media?” Having heard that question so often, it seemed to me that before we use our new Social Media Spotlight series to highlight best practices when blogging, or using Twitter or Facebook, we should explain how to get into the social media game.

I myself came to social media by way of journalism, so when someone asks me how to get started, I usually turn around and ask the person who’s talking to me, “What do you want to achieve in using social media?”

Perhaps you’re not certain what you want to achieve, beyond knowing that you want to use social media at your company. According to a recent survey conducted by IPED and commissioned by Cisco, about 50% of partners are interested in learning how to expand online engagement to drive business. Does that include you? Then read on for some advice on how to start process.

1) Identify Your Goal(s)

Defining what you want to achieve is the major starting point—if you haven’t used social media before, and you are looking to get started, you need to ask yourself what you want to use social media for—what is your goal?

For most businesses, social media can help amplify your company’s message, help you engage with your customers, start conversations, and deepen relationships. So keeping that in mind, you should start thinking about a social media plan by developing a list of clear goals. It should be more than just gaining followers and fans. While gaining followers is one metric, the conversation, interaction, and even leads you generate are important ways of measuring success.

Once you have that list of goals (my rule of thumb is that two or three is ideal) then your next step will be to identify which social media vehicles align with those goals. Read More »

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Channels Blog Trivia Time: UCS Discounts for Partners or Wearable TelePresence Units?

April 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm PST

It’s time for a little mid-week trivia. Guess which one of the following is true:

A. Cisco is trying to set a world record for the most number of people running a virtual sprint at one time.

B. Cisco just announced UCS discounts providing an easier, more streamlined way grow partners’ sales in unified computing and give them larger discounts.

C. Cisco invented a new gym that will power data centers using humans as batteries.

D. Wearable TelePresence units will be launched later this year.

OK, give up? Keep reading to see if you guessed the right answer.

Read More »

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Live Broadcast Offers Tips to Help Partners Increase Profitability, Differentiate

April 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm PST

Need help building your professional services practice so you can increase profitability, accelerate your evolution to architectures, and differentiate? Then you won’t want to miss our upcoming live video broadcast for partners.

On Monday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m. PST, we’ll be hosting a live, free, interactive video chat on our Ustream channel with Bob Dimicco, Director of Cisco Services. During the live broadcast, we’ll be taking a closer look at the recent announcement made at Partner Summit 2011 and what it means for partners.

We will also cover the following topics:

  • Why Services are THE key differentiator and profitability engine for Cisco partners.
  • How partners can take advantage of the new set of services called Collaborative Professional Services
  • Why Cisco has one of the most partner-centric services strategies in the IT industry.
  • How Cisco will drive the next wave of service innovation through Cisco’s Smart Services.

And, most importantly, we’ll be answering YOUR Services questions live on the air during the broadcast.

Your participation is integral to the success of this broadcast! Here’s how you can participate:
Read More »

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New Architectural Specializations for Cisco Partners: Borderless, Data Center, Collaboration

At Partner Summit 2011, Edison Peres, SVP WW Channels, described architectures as being the house, with individual solutions being the rooms in that house.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BbVPCavN1U

Today we are evolving our channel partner program with architecture specializations: Borderless Networks Architecture Specialization, Collaboration Architecture Specialization, and Data Center Architecture Specialization.

Architectures present massive opportunities for Cisco and its channel partners – borderless networks alone have a $49 billion total addressable market opportunity in FY11, collaboration $35 billion in CY11, and data center/virtualization is $42 billion in FY11.

To capture market opportunities that lie ahead, we must evolve towards architectures together.  And here’s how we’ll do it.

Read More »

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Cisco Channels Social Media Spotlight: Your Questions Answered

April 6, 2011 at 11:36 am PST

Since starting my role in Cisco Channels social media some three years ago, I’ve been asked a lot of questions: “What video camera should I buy?” “Who do you like to follow on Twitter?” “Who does your hair?” (OK, no one’s actually asked me the last question, but drop me a note in the comments if you really want to know.)

But the most commonly asked questions that I hear over and over are: How do I get started with social media, what are the best tools to use, and how do I engage more customers? Well, in the interest of helping Cisco partners around the globe achieve resounding social media success, I’m happy to announce our new Channels blog series: Social Media Spotlight!

In this series, my fellow Channels blogger Kalpana Ettenson and I will be addressing any and all social media questions that you have. For starters, we want you to post your most burning social media questions in the comments below so we can address them in upcoming blog posts.

And we also have a few topics planned based on questions we’ve gotten in the past… Read More »

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