Navigating social media can be an intimidating challenge for many people, but particularly for company executives who may not be naturally inclined to communicate using social channels or have the time to learn how to use them.
Sheila Jordan, Cisco Senior Vice President, IT Communications and Collaboration
My own experience with social media has evolved – initially by watching my teenage children use it to communicate, share photos, and catch up on the big news event of the day – and by watching others. For me, I find it easier to separately my personal and work life by using Facebook solely for family and friends, and Twitter and blogging for business topics.
Twitter is a fantastic way to reach a very broad audience. There are now four generations of people in the workforce and Twitter is a channel they all use!
And I really enjoy blogging because it allows me to express my opinions and points of view on IT topics that are top of mind with CIOs and IT leaders. I do many, many customer executive briefings and get input directly from customers and learn what’s most of interest and important to them. I use that information as an opportunity to express my and Cisco’s point of view on a variety of IT topics – collaboration, mobility, cloud and social.
So for those of you who need some encouragement, here are my top 10 tips for executive social media:
Be relevant – be timely. It’s most important to get your point across while the topic is hot – if you tinker endlessly with your message, you’ll have missed the moment.
Be provocative – use analytics and data points to back up your theories. Don’t be afraid to express your point of view.
Use social media as a channel to message your organization and teams’ work and as a form of recognition. Colleagues will enjoy following you so use this channel as a way to express your appreciation!
Show thought leadership (provide value)
Use as an ongoing opportunity to connect with others – your peers, influencers and colleagues inside and outside your company
Let’s Chat! #CiscoSMT Social Media Training Series: Executive View on Social Media Experiences
Listen to feedback and responses – have you resonated with your audience? This is a way to instantly get feedback. And don’t worry about responding to each and every comment; not everyone expects you to reply and when you do they are pleasantly surprised!
Don’t spam. Enough said.
Personalize your social media – offer insights to how you think. Be authentic and human. If you’re asked to re-tweet a company message, be sure it reflects your own thinking.
Don’t be afraid to be an expert!
Have fun. Go for it – it’s a new medium and we are all still learning; don’t be shy!
Since launching our internal executive social media mentoring program, it’s been really eye-opening to get a close up view of their perceptions around using this channel, their goals, and overall interests. We read and hear about different statistics all the time, telling us that executive participation is still in an early adoption stage and this is definitely true. However, the more executives I meet with, the more I see that this statistic is already changing and will continue to evolve!
Make it easier for executives to learn about social media and get involved in the social stream.
Some of the main themes from these conversations are the usual: building a personal online reputation, supporting the brand, learning how to communicate with different audiences, leveraging social media for business… and of course, participating in social media without impacting bandwidth.
However, where I’m surprised and really encouraged, is by the overall attitudes towards social media and the avid interest in jumping into the social stream. They want to participate and see the value in social media, but often do not know where to begin.
Let’s make it easier for executives to be a part of the social stream and experience everything it has to offer. In my last executives using social media post, I provided recommendations focusing on “getting buy-in tips”.
Here are a few additional suggestions when mentoring executives on the topic of social media:
Outline specific goals executives can achieve by learning more about social media and then applying those strategies within the social stream
Make it personal for them, focusing on their key business and personal interests
Help executives find their social voices so that they can further build their online reputations
Provide easy-to-understand best practices, examples, and actual hands-on opportunities to absorb the tips
Pace the mentoring sessions so that it’s not overwhelming and provide easy-to-implement next steps (e.g., download a social media app that helps them listen into the social stream when they stand in the airport security line, or provide a user-friendly social media aggregator they can use when then have 5 minutes to read and then share information with followers, etc.)
Lastly, bring your questions for the executive panelists and share them on the #ciscosmt stream. What are you interested in learning from these executives’ experiences that can help with your own executives? Are there other areas regarding executives and their social media participation you are interested in learning more about?
We look forward to your participation and will look for your #ciscosmt tweets as we get ready for the session this week and during the live broadcast on April 3rd.
While more than 99 percent of things in the physical world today are still not connected to the Internet, the phenomenon called “The Internet of Everything” will soon wake up everything imaginable. As the network evolves and changes, becoming more sophisticated, the job roles and education requirements of network engineers also continue to change.
Gartner Research forecasts that worldwide IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion in 2013. In order to maximize the ROI of IT solutions, education is imperative. Companies require properly trained IT professionals to deploy, support and troubleshoot new and emerging technologies.
To enable our global community of partners and customers to realize the benefits of new networking solutions, we are pleased to announce the redesign of the Cisco Associate-level career certification programs and the evolution of the CCNA certification to CCNA Routing and Switching certification. Check out the video below to learn more about the changes:
Apprenticeship programs can be an effective way to employ new IT talent as well as train and develop current IT staff with relevant skills for business success. For most companies, improving business processes at all levels, from manufacturing to sales, is contingent on efficient implementation of technology. Possessing an innovative, well-trained IT staff can become a source of competitive advantage.
Check out this short video about how apprenticeship programs can help develop the necessary IT talent required by companies today and into the future.
4-3-13 Cisco Social Media Executive Panel Broadcast
“How do you get executives involved in using social media themselves? How do I make it relevant for them and their business initiatives? And how do I show them value for participating right away? ” Our social media training team is approached regularly with questions like these in hopes that there is a simple formula to include each executive into the social stream and as quickly as possible.
Are you finding yourself in the same situation? Know that you are not alone. Much of the research I continue to read indicates that there is a growing interest among executives to use social media, but we still have a ways to go.
In addition to the questions we will ask the executive panelists, we want to open it up to you as well! Do you have questions related to this topic you would like to ask these executives? And are there other areas regarding executives and their social media participation you are interested in learning more about?
Join in the conversation using the #ciscosmt hashtag starting now and during this live broadcast. We’ll do our best to pose your questions to the executive panelists. And follow the #ciscosmt hashtag for more details.
In the meantime, here are some tips to get executives involved in social media. Are there other best practices you find helpful when encouraging executives’ participation in social media?
Getting Buy-In Tips
Identify with the executive’s mindset
Show the executive the money or bandwidth savings
Outline ways to capture metrics
Set realistic expectations
Develop short- and long-term strategies
Take small steps, starting out with listening to keywords to get a feel for the conversation
Encourage executives to participate in existing social channels to get started, even practicing in internal platforms first
Look for ways to make social media use relevant to their business needs and areas of interest
Show them examples of other peers that are using social media and its value as well as ways they can incorporate participation into their regular routine
Expand awareness around building personal reputations and integrating with business initiatives
Help executives participate directly rather than participating for them
Provide executive supporting teams with the proper training and resources
Monitor participation and offer helpful tips and coaching along the way