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Top 10 Tips for Executive Social Media

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.

Let's Chat! Social Media Training Series

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Be provocative – use analytics and data points to back up your theories. Don’t be afraid to express your point of view.
  3. 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!
  4. Show thought leadership (provide value)
  5. Use as an ongoing opportunity to connect with others – your peers, influencers and colleagues inside and outside your company

    ScreenHunter_03 Apr. 04 11.00

    Let’s Chat! #CiscoSMT Social Media Training Series:
    Executive View on Social Media Experiences

  6. 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!
  7. Don’t spam.  Enough said.
  8. 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.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be an expert!
  10. Have fun. Go for it – it’s a new medium and we are all still learning; don’t be shy!

How are your executives using social media? And do you have other tips you would recommend in addition to the 10 listed above? For more executive insights regarding social media, check out the Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Series executive panel we participated in on April 3rd.

Happy Collaborating…the social way!

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5 Steps To Becoming a Social Media Master!

People are becoming more media savvy than ever before. The advent of social media has resulting in people consuming and sharing more information. A by-product of this is that people have becoming adept at ignoring traditional marketing and advertising and better at spotting marketing content trying to masquerade as something else. The best way to overcome the challenges presented by this new social world is to embrace this awareness and willingness to interact and use it to your advantage.

Marketing in a social word means you need to change when, where, and how you speak to consumers. Instead of sending them a static message (like a traditional ad) you need to interact with them. Here’s a few key things to keep in mind:

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Getting the Executive Social Media View

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.

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.)

And it helps to gather other viewpoints and share them with executives. Join us on April 3rd, from 9-9:45am PT, for an unique live opportunity to hear first-hand from Cisco executives about their social media experiences and to engage in an open discussion directly with them. This special “Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Program Series” executive social media panel broadcast on USTREAM, will include Cisco executives with varying levels of social experiences. They will share the reasons they decided to start using social media, what they’ve experienced, and advice for peers and teams.

Panel includes:

  • Jeanette Gibson, Director, Digital and Social Media Marketing (moderator) (@JeanetteG)
  • Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President, Legal Services and General Counsel (@ChandlerCisco)
  • Sheila Jordan, Senior Vice President, IT Communications and Collaboration (@CiscoSheila)
  • Lance Perry, Vice President, IT (@lanceperrycisco)

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.

If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program for customers and partners and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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How Big Data Will Save the Physical Store

Reports of the physical retail store’s death have been greatly exaggerated. As a recent survey from the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) found, 93 percent of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. And while technology has upended many product categories and more than a few individual retailers, it simultaneously creates opportunities for retailers to continue to make the store shopping experience both relevant and compelling. Big Data in the store is key to achieving this.

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Social Media Is Like Gelato In A Cone #CiscoSMT #SocialSavvy

March 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm PST

Last week I spoke at an event and the definition of social media came up. Some people refer to social networking tools when they speak of social media while others refer to the notion of engagement and content on the web. I’m more of a “gelato in a cone” kinda gal. I view social media as engagement and content (gelato) that lives in some kind of an “online container”, such as a social networking site or another web platform (cone). I’m looking for both. I would even argue that customer experiences, whether social or not, could and should be connected to optimize their journey. For example, social content can live on your web site and your social networking sites and conversations can be prominently featured at your events.

Building on the “gelato in a cone” interpretation of social media, we (@CiscoSocial) will be hosting a social media event for the savvy marketer in San Jose on April 18 and 19. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend this free event as we bring together some super bright practitioners for 2 days of live chats and presentations. The practitioners that are lending their expertise and time to our event come from Twitter, LinkedIn, Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, Adobe, SAP, Intel, VMware, Citrix, ABC, eBay, Salesforce.com, MindShare, Engauge, Percolate, BuzzFeed, Performics, Digby, Blinq Media, Cisco, and more.

You may attend in person or via webcast, just please register ahead of time.

Register for the in-person event: http://cs.co/SMevent.

Register for the webcast: http://cs.co/SMEventWebcast.

Hash tags: #CiscoSMT, #SocialSavvy

Ping us at @CiscoSocial

We have a wide range of topics lined up for you, check out some details here:  Read More »

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