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Cisco Live Social Media Hub: The Pulse of #CLUS

Did you post a selfie that was photobombed by John Chambers? What about tweeting more than 170 times a day to be the top of the leaderboard? Cisco Live – referred to as “summer camp for grown-up geeks” –  was a hotbed for social media activity. In fact, after day three, on Twitter alone, references to @CiscoLive and #CLUS received more than 35,000 tweets by about 8,000 users. We are poised to nearly double the amount of social media activity around Cisco Live this year versus last year.  But how did the Cisco Live team manage all of these incoming and outgoing tweets? The Cisco Live Social Media Hub! Modeled around a social media listening and engagement center, the Hub kept the pulse on social media conversations around the event and was also as a venue for responding to and promoting those conversations in real time.

On-site, the Hub became even more than the incredible social media command center; it also became a meeting place for friends that wanted to connect in person as well as share their experiences in real time over social channels. Between showing live feeds of keynotes and featured sessions to hosting tweetups and social events, we were able to create an experience within Cisco Live for our customers, partners,  /colleagues and friends.

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New to Twitter? The Hub team helped people sign up for social media sites, use and track hashtags and contribute to Cisco Live conversations. Need help? The Hub team was able to provide guidance, troubleshoot issues and lend a helping hand both over social media channels and in person. Ready to win? The Hub team hosted more than 40 contests for prizes such as an attendee-designed social media t-shirt, mobile device battery chargers and even Nerds candy!

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Real-time responses. On-site content creation. Mobile engagement from after-hours events such as the Customer Appreciation Event. The Cisco Live Social Media Hub elevated not only the outgoing conversations about the event, trends such as the Internet of Everything and content from keynote speakers, but also the engagement with incoming content. Our attendees are the best eyes and ears into every session, and they provided incredible insights and feedback that we responded to as well as aggregated and analyzed for future Cisco Live events.

In fact, during the opening keynote featuring John Chambers, Padmasree Warrior and Dave Evans – which you can view on Cisco Live 365 – there was such a high level of tweets and engagement back and forth with attendees that we actually exceeded the number of tweets allowed per hour! We essentially broke Twitter.

Whether you participated in social media at Cisco Live by watching the conversations on one of our six screens featuring social content and trends, stopped by the Hub to chat or engaged with us online, we thank you for helping us elevate the social experience at Cisco Live!

So who were the friendly faces at the Hub and behind @CiscoLive? Our fearless lead, Charlie Treadwell (@CharlieAtCisco) along with our incredible team: Davythe Dicochea (@davythe), Buffy Koscielniak (@BernadetteK), George Metrik (@gosha), Kari Gunderson (@karigundy) as well as our social media agency, GolinHarris. A very special thank you goes to Kathleen Mudge (@KathleenMudge) for being our Cisco Live champion and helping this come to life!

Want an overview of the social conversations? Check out our Storify channel! We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco for Cisco Live 2014!

For more information about the Cisco Live Social Media Hub, check out this BizBash article.

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Professional Social Media: From the Eyes of a College Kid

Social Media has been an integral part of my life ever since my Mom allowed me to create a Facebook page my freshman year of high school. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Webex Social, have completely changed the way I interact with others.

As I make the transition from a collegiate environment to a more professional environment, many interesting points have been brought to mind. I have compiled a list of pointers that I have learned over time and thought I would share them with all of you!

 

Be Aware of Your Audience:

I like to think of a post on social media as an email to all of your following. Just like an email, a recipient may or may not read your post, and they may or may not be interested in the content of the post.

Generally, whatever someone posts on a social media channel will be available to ALL of their followers unless they specify against this. This means that they either have to only post material that is appropriate for all or monitor their following to ensure that whatever they post is acceptable. This is more applicable to personal accounts as the content on professional accounts will most likely be professional in nature. Sites like Facebook are getting better at giving you tools to provide contents to certain predetermined groups of followers only. For example: they could upload an album of pictures from their family reunion and then share the album only with their “immediate family” Facebook friends group.

 

Define Your Goals BEFORE Implementing a Social Media Campaign:

This point is something that was heavily stressed in the Cisco Social Media Training and Certification program and I think it is a really good idea.

Whenever someone uses social media, they should have some type of agenda. In high school, one might just be trying to pass the time or stay up to date with who is dating whom. In college, one may be trying to build a network with their peers or discuss plans for Friday night. At a professional level, one may be trying to spread the word about a new service that they are offering or requesting feedback about what the public thinks about certain ideas. Whatever the agenda is, it is quite valuable to identify this agenda prior to the implementation. You see this with most projects. Diving into a project head first without stepping back and looking at what you aim to accomplish first is often a dangerous practice.

The same goes for social media campaigns. By identifying what you aim to accomplish, you are able to for efficiently implement a strategy to accomplish your social media goals.

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The Weakest Link Analogy with Professionalism:

A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. I think this common saying applies to how a social media channel is viewed from a professional standpoint.

I believe that a channel is viewed at the level of professionalism as the least professional post. A Facebook page can turn out great weekly content about a company written at a high professional level, but as soon as an inappropriate post is made and someone sees it, that follower will associate the channel with that lower level of professionalism. This just means that, when in charge of a social media account, a professional reputation must be constantly upheld.

 

Social Media Representing a Something Bigger Than Yourself:

When dealing with social media, there is a huge difference between a personal account and a professional account. With a professional account, the creator is representing a company or a product (in some cases the product being the creator themselves i.e. Linkedin). Where as with a personal account, you have complete freedom over post content. We are seeing more and more incidents today dealing with social media snafus causing major problems.

When watching ESPN, we will often see that a player had impulsively tweeted that he wanted a trade or thought the coach was in violation of some rule which will often set off a chain reaction of events often resulting in disciplinary action all across the board and media backlash. Many companies experience their social media campaigns go horribly wrong due to a misinterpretation on how a specific tactic would be received (see this article for several of these breakdowns http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/). Social media takes what used to be private interactions and puts them on a pedestal for the entire world to see if they so desire. This can be extremely helpful in some regards but also potentially dangerous.

The bottom line is that, when dealing with a professional social media account that is representative of something bigger than oneself, it is important to be aware of the magnitude and possible ramifications of ones decisions.

 

Identify a Posting Environment’s Style:

This final point has to deal with posting on an unfamiliar environment on a social media platform.

Not everyone online is interested in holding a professional conversation with you. In modern day internet slang, it is said that there are many trolls out there. A troll is basically someone who posts off topic, offensive, irrelevant, comical, or derogatory comments on a social media post essentially for fun. Some may be surprised that this exists but yes, it is definitely something to look out for. When first encountering an unknown social media environment, evaluating the landscape to see what type of activity is going on there. Say for example that someone searches: “Lawn Care” on Facebook looking to post a serious question about why you are having weeds grow in their lawn. There will probably be some results that consist of pages that are filled with trolls that will not be able to contribute constructive responses to their questions. A good rule of thumb is to look at a few of the past posts and responses and determine if the specific social landscape is appropriate for your needs. Also, if you are engaged by a troll, the best thing to do is just ignore them.

 

What differences have you noticed between utilizing social media in a professional manor vs. a personal manor? Do you anticipate social media becoming more prevalent in todays society? Do you have any additional observations?

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To Ignite Interest in STEM, Remember Our ‘Sputnik Moment’

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

As I watch the unfolding story of cyber outlaw Edward Snowden skipping around the globe, I’m struck by the talented young man who employers “fought over,” despite the fact that he had no formal STEM education. In contrast, the National STEM Conference in Austin last week brought together over 1,500 folks to ponder and discuss the critical need for more American students to be knowledgeable in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

While many young people today are brought up with some innate sense of these skills, as Snowden was, this conference dared us to imagine the innovation and creativity that could come from this future generation if they were provided the formal education to reach their full potential in these fields.

All the participants at the National STEM Conference brought diverse ideas to the table. Corporate leaders mixed with curriculum developers who chatted with government officials who socialized with teachers. More than one session and hallway chat highlighted the desperate need to interest and retain younger and younger students in STEM education. Fewer conversations occurred about the relevancy of field. Even fewer attendees spoke about their own education “journeys,” when a STEM learning moment drove them into their current career path.

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Data Center Cloud Guide to Cisco Live 2013: Technology with a Side of Waffles

June 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm PST

Has it been a whole year already? It’s that time again to gather with fellow technologists from around the globe to talk shop at Cisco Live, this time in Orlando. It’s going to be hot in every way. Here is a quick guide to what’s happening from tech to social, plus waffles.

Waffles. Just because.

Waffles. Just because.

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Summary of B2B social media session at Internet Retailer 2013

Last week I was honored to co-present with Parvez Patel, senior director of e-strategy at Grainger, on a session at Internet Retailer Conference 2013, titled “Social Marketing for B2B:  It’s Not Just for B2C Anymore.”

Parvez Patel, Grainger, Kenneth Leung, Cisco

 

In this session both of us discussed how we approached B2B social media from a Grainger perspective and from a Cisco retail industry marketing perspective.  Some of the points that we discussed include:

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