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Use Social Media to Sell Smarter: Insights from our WebEx Event

On Feb. 3rd, Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne facilitated a WebEx featuring a panel of thought leaders who shared their knowledge and experiences in using social media to create powerful sales strategies. In part one, Brian shared some amazing research about the changes social media has made to the sales cycle. Today, in part two, we’ll hear from the panel. You can listen to the entire WebEx here.

Meet the panel:

Sam Decker: founder of Mass Relevance. He worked with Dell on their ecommerce engine and also was CMO of Bazaarvoice. Now he is curating content. All of the millions and billions of pieces of content around the world, he pulls it together and curates it so that marketers and salespeople can engage with buyers.

Barbara Weaver Smith: founder and president of The Whale Hunters -- a strategic sales coaching firm. They help small businesses grow explosively by finding bigger customers and signing up bigger deals.

Sergio Balegno: director of research with Marketing Sherpa and MECLABS. His company has a phenomenal repository of over 7,000 case histories for the marketing and sales community.

The discussion in Part One focused on how the sales/buying cycle has really changed because of social media. As a result, selling has changed too. In part two, the discussion turned to evidence of this change and tips for dealing with it.

Is this change in buyer behavior happening in small businesses as well?

Read More »

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Lost in Social Media: The Phase of Integration #lostinsm

February 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm PST

Ready for the next installment of the 5-stage social adoption theory? The phase of Experimentation is over. In phase 3, social evolution reaches new heights. We’ll see the early benefits of Integration. On some levels at least.  

By now, this (third) group has learned about the tools, picked the ones they deem most appropriate and made the decision to embrace social media for marketing, now what? Soon it will become apparent that marketing can become more powerful if they start using these tools together and in support of an objective. This group is called “Integrators” because companies or organizations in this phase will start looking for integration opportunities between their social and traditional marketing efforts, and across (e.g., Facebook and Twitter harmonization) and within (e.g., Facebook X and Facebook Y harmonization) their social media platforms. They’re now starting to create a connected social media story but their efforts remain within their corner of the larger organization. In addition, Read More »

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Does Your CEO Speak Social?

February 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm PST

I think we all agree that having a CEO that not only encourages the use of social media within the corporation but also leads by example goes a long way when it comes to company-wide social media adoption. While without a doubt a company’s top man or woman will be followed and fanned by many, the impact of getting the rest of the upper management team on board should not be underestimated either. But how can they get there? Let’s say they already understand that social media is here to stay and you no longer need to build the business case for them. Now their big challenge is the “T” word: time. Unless we can squeeze more than 24 hours in a day, we may need to find other ways to unleash the power of social media for C-level executives.

I hope you, dear reader, don’t mind my sharing a fictional letter I wrote to CxOs out there. Here it goes: Read More »

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The Power of Relationships

If I like you and you like me, and you like what I like and I like what you like, then I want to know about it. You follow? Call it peer pressure, call it follow the leader, call it the ultimate marketing tool…whatever you call it, it’s the power of the relationships, the influence, that is driving friends and fans to click.

Influence, when it comes to crowdsourcing, is worth noting. Jeff Howe, the author who first coined the term in 2006, defines crowdsourcing as tasks previously done by employees “now outsourced in the form of an open call to a large, undefined group of people generally using the Internet.”  Web 2.0 technology and social media tools have made this phenomenon commonplace, with Facebook among the most popular applications.

I tend to alter the definition of crowdsourcing a bit, particularly when it comes to purchasing decisions. I think of it more as a means to an end, using the power of many to provide insight that otherwise might not have surfaced had it been left to just one person. Reviews, essentially. Add on top of that, influence, and now you not have only input and feedback on a particular product or service, but now you have individuals you know or know of weighing in. In your world, the information becomes more credible. (Cisco home products, grants contributors a particular status in its peer to peer community…adding to the pool of influencers. We’re seeing this with badging programs as well.)

A few thoughts on relationships and social media to cuddle up with this Valentine’s week.

What are your experiences with crowdsourcing?

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How Cisco Operationalizes Social Media for Repeated Success (slides included)

I presented at the Social Media Strategies Summit last week sharing the steps and process our team has gone through to operationalize social media. I actually did an interview with Cindy Kim late last year for her blog, How to Operationalize Social Media – Cisco Style! which inspired me to formalize what we did into a presentation to share more broadly.

It’s been just over a year now that our centralized social media marketing team has been formed and I am proud of all we have accomplished in that first year. We didn’t just start engaging in social this past year which is what made the challenges for our team greater – Cisco had many enthusiasts and socially engaged teams throughout the organization for 5+ years but all were doing so with very little guidance, governance and collaboration with each other. Within the past year we have put a training program in place, increased collaboration across the company eliminating duplication of efforts, put a social brand in place for Cisco, standardized on social listening and engagement tools, formalized a process to enable the many teams across Cisco in a scalable way, and started a concentrated effort on social media integration among many other things. Here is a copy of the presentation (apologies for the formatting, that was due to the Scribd upload) – enjoy!

UPDATE -- I replaced the Scribd presentation with PowerShow which formatted the slides properly!

How Cisco Operationalizes Social Media for Repeated Success
View and share presentations on PowerShow.com

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