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The Last Dance

I have written many blogs over the years but never have I had so much trouble finding the right words as with this post. All kinds of thoughts are rushing through my head at a million miles per hour and I can’t seem to hold on to any of them. Then I take a deep breath and here it goes: today is my last day at Cisco.

I have had a great dance. I am so grateful for the people and organizations that have come into my life – both virtually and physically, – and for the memories they have given me. I have waltzed through some unforgettable experiences and cha cha’d my way to having the privilege of leading a team I’ll be forever proud of.

As I take my last bow as a Cisco employee, I want to thank you for all your support, for reading my blogs, for sharing and commenting on them, and for engaging with me in other ways. I also want to thank all who have participated or are participating in any of the programs or activities that my team has built. There are several but I would like to highlight three: Read More »

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Diving In: A How To Guide to Twitter

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Have you been thinking about becoming more active on Twitter and haven’t gotten around to it yet? Often, it can be difficult to dive in.  I’ve seen this often through planning a department wide social media plan, and I’ve gotten the same questions from both new hires and executives.

Common concerns I’ve heard are:

What do I talk about? Who do I follow? Will I get fired if I tweet the wrong thing?

These questions cause many to push social to the backburner again and again. But don’t quit just yet! The best way to answer these questions is observe and experiment.

These are my personal tips for establishing your profile:

Find social role models.

Look in your organization or industry for someone’s social style that appeals to you. Follow them and see how they set up their tweets. Once you look at a few, you’ll see a simple combination that you can use to model yours after.

Example:

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A Sneak Peek into Our New Social Media Training Center

A Short Trip Down Memory Lane…

On the quest of becoming a truly social-minded culture, about a year and a half ago, we rolled up our sleeves and created a multi-level, multi-track social media training program that used game principles and integrated with our Education Management System to encourage and reward participation. We augmented our on-demand courses with a vibrant community filled with self-service resources, online discussions (we call them “social chats”), team challenges, and recognitions and testimonials.

What I’m most proud of is that we did this in house and on a shoestring budget (imagine toddler-sized shoes and shoestrings). The original team was very small, namely the wonderful Elizabeth Houston (please give it up for @elhoust) and yours truly (@petra1400). Having seen great success with our internal program and inspired by the possibilities of growing and even bringing it to our customers, partners and general public, we have added some resources and upgraded to kid-sized shoestrings. Soon, the external-facing training program pilot, a scaled down version of our internal program was born. (For the record, the current team is still really small and also includes @kmgibbs and some of @nrrivas07 and our fun intern, @efannie’s time).

We knew it was just a matter of time before we wanted to expand the customer-facing program and mirror it after our internal program as much as possible.

Driving in the Fast (and Furious) Lane

Over the past few months, we have been working furiously on making this dream become a reality. While we have a little longer to go before you can test drive our new social media training center, we want to share some screen shots of this new environment. Read More »

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All-New! Cisco Champions for Data Center: Nominations Now Open

Are you passionate about Data Center and Cloud Technology? Do you love sharing your knowledge? Do you want access to Cisco experts? Today is your lucky day.

Share your passion as a Cisco Data Center Champion! button on.

Share your passion as a Cisco Data Center Champion!

I’m happy to announce the call for nominations for the all-new Cisco Champions for Data Center. From now until October 31, 2013, nominate yourself, a friend, a mentor, a luminary in the community for inclusion in this program.

Here’s what’s in it for you (aside from Internet fame, of course): http://www.cisco.com/go/ciscochampions

Here are the rules.

Submit your nomination today to cisco_champions@external.cisco.com! Be sure to mention “Data Center” in your nomination, so it will be routed correctly. All Cisco Champions for Data Center will be selected and alerted no later than November 15, 2013.

 

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5 Steps to Success: Encouraging Employee Social Media Engagement

Aristotle was spot on when he said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This holds true when we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the socialsphere. Why not leverage your organization’s built-in social media army to evangelize the brand? Encouraging employee engagement across social channels on behalf of the brand seems to be a hot topic in social media these days.

Fast Company recently published how Cisco employees are contributing to the brand in their article, The Social Employee: The Secret Sauce that Cisco, Southwest Airlines and Adobe Use to Win.

Now the question is what are the steps for successfully encouraging employees to participate on behalf of a brand? In a recent Let’s Chat #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat we heard from Cisco’s Petra Neiger (@Petra1400) and Salesforce.com’s Jennifer Burnham (@JennyDBurnham), on ways to engage employees. In addition to their insightful tips, here’s my take on 5 steps to successfully encouraging employees to participate in the socialsphere:

Step 1: Training

  • It all starts here. Educate your employees with social media best practices, checklists, playbooks, toolkits, etc. Help your employees feel comfortable using social media on behalf of your brand. Interested in social media training? Check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag. To request customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com

Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:

Step 2: Stretch Assignments

Once your employees have participated in training and are comfortable using social media best practices, create opportunities for their participation across multiple social channels. Leverage the masses to assist with social media campaigns, launches, events, etc. Even if social media is not their main role within your organization, develop these assignments as a great way to increase your program’s reach in addition to allowing employees to test out their new skill sets.

Step 3: Recognitions

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What motivates your employees? Is it a milestone badge, management recognition, or perhaps a prize of some sort? Knowing this will help you to motivate additional employee participation. Along the way, create incentive programs to entice your employees to participate. Adding an element of gamification and rewarding beneficial behaviors can go a long way.

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