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Here be Dragons

October 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm PST

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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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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Social Media Listening and Engagement Journey

With multiple, diverse, and fragmented conversations happening on the social web, news—both the good and the bad—spreads rapidly. It’s critical to have the ability to quickly gather relevant insights, market trends, and customer intelligence so we can use that information to improve our service and drive our business. There is a huge opportunity to engage with customers in ways and on a level that wasn’t possible before.

For the past year now, I’ve been leading our efforts in social media marketing to do systematic listening for the Cisco brand and also help increase the number of Cisco teams that are monitoring their specific areas. What I’ve learned is that the monitoring and listening process is really a journey—it’s not something we can easily switch on or off. To be truly effective, we must develop clear processes and allocate a variety of resources, people, and tools to this effort.

Read More »

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