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Social Media Business Strategy: Listen and Learn from Your Customers – Part 1

January 18, 2013 at 2:15 am PST

This is the first post in a continuing series related to social media training efforts underway at Cisco.  I sat down with our corporate Cisco Social Media Listening team members members (Charlie Treadwell, Bernadette Koscielniak, George Metrik, Nancy Rivas, Michael Hopps, Davythe Dicochea, and Jennifer Robertsto ask a few specific questions around social listening:  

Why is social listening important to a business?

Listening is an ongoing process that is a necessary and integral component of your social business strategy.  Being present on social channels provides an opportunity to learn from what your customers are saying and gain insights which help drive business results. Listening can also help uncover influencers, identify signs of an impending crisis, and more.  Altimeter business analyst, Charlene Li said in a post:

66% of online Americans are actively using social networking, but only 16% of companies use social media to engage with customers…You can’t have credibility saying you are customer-centric if you ignore your customers in social media channels.”

Executives are consistently investing in listening platforms and processes.  A recent December 2012 report from eMarketer indicates executives plan to increase spending in social listening by 14.8% of their social media marketing budget in 2013:

SM Marketing Programs Planned Increase Spend

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How the Role of the Social Strategist is Evolving

June 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm PST

Social business is about using diverse social technologies to easily connect with one another. In my previous video blog post, we learned some present and future trends within this realm, and how it’s evolving. Let’s continue that train of thought and delve deeper.

Let’s Get This Social Media Party Started

According to Industry Analyst Jeremiah Owyang, “the social business space is still very immature, and things are just heating up” (Owyang, “Social Business: We’re Just Getting Started”). As more and more companies jump on the social media bandwagon, it’s essential that they remember to holistically integrate social business into the corporation. Before getting started with social, Jeremiah recommends conducting an internal analysis of your organization to figure out which of the 5 organizational models your company is currently in and which you aspire to be in. Afterward, employees must realize that incorporating social into their business is likely to be a slow process since it’s much of a major cultural change that their company will undergo.

The Role of the Social Strategist Amidst It All

Many people know that social media is not free – it requires a lot of time, money and people resources. One of the key players that constitute social business is the social strategist. As this realm continues to develop, how will the role of the social strategist change? Will it disappear or become further embedded into a corporation somehow? We wanted to hear what “social media guy at LinkedIn” Mario Sundar (@mariosundar) and Jeremiah (@jowyang) thought about this topic. Watch this short video recapping their words of wisdom:

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The State of Social Business

June 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm PST

Todd Shimizu (@shimmage), SVP and Managing Director at Ant’s Eye View, says, ”Social media is becoming more part of the rhythm of the business.”

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Barry O’Sullivan: 2012 Collaboration Predictions

This week in No Jitter, Cisco Collaboration Senior Vice President and General Manager Barry O’Sullivan looked into his crystal ball and elaborated on his predictions for 2012.

In an excerpt, Barry predicts:

“1. Post PC-era will explode

2. Video will break through

3. Contact Centers will evolve as customers choose to interact with companies in radically new ways

4. Companies will use the cloud and desktop virtualization to provide collaboration capabilities across the enterprise

5. Social business processes will become mainstream for many.”

Read Barry’s predictions in more detail and the follow-up answers Barry gave to Eric Krapf’s questions. I trust you’ll enjoy reading the article.  Send in your predictions for 2012 for collaboration, video, social software, and contact center.

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Digital Britain: Converting Customers into Advocates

February 8, 2012 at 7:30 am PST

The desire to interpret people’s body language during in-person meetings has been studied by psychologists and marketing focus group researchers for many years.  In contrast, the notion of observing your customer’s virtual online body language is a relatively new concept.

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