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Cisco Support Community Wins Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service

March 5, 2013 at 8:18 am PST

a2The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are part of an international competition designed to recognize excellence in disciplines that are crucial for business success. Organizations of all sizes from all over the world altogether entered over 1,100 entries for this year’s competition. Recently, winners of the 7th Annual Stevie Awards were unveiled at a gala ceremony held in Las Vegas, NV.

Among the lucky champions was the Cisco Support Community (CSC), which was awarded within the “Innovation in Customer Service – Computer Services & Software” category for its innovative web platforms and customer service offerings. Known for its creativity and high business impact, the community strives to leverage its software-enabled community capabilities, social media, mobile technology and open APIs to redefine the future of services. Their efforts have not only resulted in over $200 million a year in cost savings for Cisco through case deflection but also accelerated design and architecture with key partners.

Congratulations to the team and all 2013 Stevie Award winners for their commendable achievements!

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Big Data in Retailing: Follow the Money!

March 4, 2013 at 9:18 am PST

Retailers looking at the Big Data opportunity may well find themselves with an array of choices: the opportunities seem so vast, where does one begin?

Well, a pragmatic way forward is to focus on some pragmatic possibilities and then “follow the money”!

In examining the Big Data opportunity for retailers, Cisco IBSG has identified three key areas where we believe value can be generated through Big Data analytics – and we have put together a framework for assessing and comparing the financial impact of options within these areas.

As outlined in our previous report, “Surfing the Data Deluge: How Retailers Can Turn Big Data into Big Profits,” three areas – video, social and mobile data –promise unprecedented insights into what consumers want or need, at the earliest stages of interest, and will drive the Big Data thrust in retail over the next few years. These three essentials not only represent a major stream of incoming data, but also provide an outbound mechanism to communicate with customers on a more personalized basis. In other words, they are both a source of Big Data analytics and a way of implementing Big Data insights!
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How to build the future you

February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm PST

Most of us did not grow up sharing our private feelings with the world.  Today we are faced with the challenge of needing to build our brand.  This test can help you understand how socially connected you already are.

Be as web savvy as a librarian

When was the last time you visited a library?
Hint: Wikipedia counts.

Learn how future librarian, Elizabeth Lieutenant, is using Twitter to connect with like-minded students, professors and prospective employers.

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Three Social Media Writing Tips. You Know You Want ‘Em!

1. Define Your Voice
Writing for social media is its own discipline and different from traditional writing: it is more like writing a story, a story that you want people to share with their friends and so on and so on. Defining your voice is the combination of knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it. Your knowledge, interests, and personality will only add value to the story. Plus, telling a story in your own way is what will create a unique and authentic connection with readers. One way to define your voice is to stop writing the way you think you should--you know, the way your English teacher told you to write--and start writing the way you think and speak. The words should fit you and be easy to read aloud.

2. Hook Your Audience from the Start
In addition to easy to read aloud, social media writing should be tighter and simpler than traditional writing: the beginning of your story should hook readers fast and hard, the way a song’s hook does. Whether you love or hate Queen, you know what comes after “we are the champions” (at least if you’re older than 25). That’s right, “no time for losers.” In essence, a hook is a memorable phrase that summarizes what a song is about. Think of a title and an opening line as your story’s hook. And don’t worry that you’re giving away the best part. Knowing what to expect won’t ruin your story for readers. It will prime them for what’s next and introduce your main point.

3. Construct Clear, Compelling Copy
Speaking of your main point, get to it quickly and clearly. While using a string of straightforward, declarative sentences is too abrupt for traditional writing, it is perfect for social media. Because unlike traditional writing, readers won’t go back to re-read or stop to think about difficult sections. Your writing has to be clear and direct the first time around: don’t be coy and promise to get to the interesting stuff later. Think of your story as a first date: put on your fancy pants and put forward your most compelling, date-worthy self. It’ll make your readers want to read your story and get to know you better. At the very least, it won’t make them regret saying yes.

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“The Network:” Cisco’s Technology Newsroom Garners Industry Awards

February 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm PST

Yesterday, “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site” was honored by Ragan PR Daily as “Best Online Newsroom.”  (Great .gif of Sandra Bullock on this page as well, by the way!)

And, last month, we received the Grand Prize from Bulldog Reporter 2012 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Awards for “The Network.”  I also talked to Richard Carufel, Editor of the Daily ‘Dog about “The Network” and offered some thoughts for our approach to brand journalism, online newsrooms and offering value to your audience.

Certainly, recognition is extremely nice and we all want some form of this in our lives. The Social Media Communications team at Cisco* is  honored and humbled by these awards and add them to a handful of other great honors over the past few years.

First, thank you, Ragan PR Daily. Thank you, Bulldog Reporter. Thank you, American Business Awards (The Stevie). Thank you, PR News People Awards. But, mostly, thank you, audience.

Why did we get these awards?  In a word: innovation.

Let me count the ways that (imho) we innovate on “The Network” and are continuing to innovate:

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