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Cisco Social Media #smtraining Twitter Chat

Cisco #smtraining Twitter Chat

Cisco #smtraining Twitter Chat

As social media continues to grow and gain even more momentum, organizations need to find ways to empower their best brand ambassadors with the right tools and to create more impact.  From creating guidelines, to setting as examples, to training others, there are many ways organizations can enable their employees.

In a recent blog post “Creating a Social Media Training Program that Works”, we outlined a social media training program we’ve implemented at Cisco. Now that it’s in place, we want to hear from you, share more insights, and exchange new ideas.

Join @petra1400, @elhoust, and @christyjpark for a  special @CiscoSocial Twitter chat on Thursday, August 2 from 9-10a.m. PDT, following the #smtraining hashtag directly on Twitter or another Twitter application. We will dive into the following areas and encourage everyone to participate in the lively discussion!

  • Setting the social media training strategy
    • What goes into it?
    • How does it work?
    • Who’s involved?
  • Creating the appropriate content
    • What’s the framework?
    • What’s in it for the participant?
    • How does the content come together?
  • Sustaining the program
    • How is it maintained?
    • What are key tips to keep in mind?
    • What does it take to implement the program?

Let’s get the conversation started before the @CiscoSocial #smtraining Twitter chat. Share your ideas (through the comment section below or on Twitter using #smtraining) regarding ways your organization is including social media training or pose questions you would like to ask the panelists. We look forward to your participation and lively discussion!

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Bridging the Participation Gap – Networks, Learning, and “Play”

As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

Read More »

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WebEx Social Customers Speak Out at Enterprise 2.0 Boston

The Enterprise 2.0 conference is one of those few industry events where the focus is on customers and how social collaboration is transforming organizations. This year, we witnessed how the topic of Enterprise 2.0 is shifting from a technology debate to a business and organizational conversation. Investing in a social business initiative requires us to think strategically about how to deliver customer value, how people collaborate to get work done, and how culture helps sustain success over time. At this year’s conference, attendees heard from keynote speakers like Richard Foo, Enterprise Collaboration Director at Nike who discussed how social collaboration is critical for their organization to stay connected and drive innovation. Organizations need a “culture of immediate evolution” to do so according to Richard. Leveraging a single, pervasive social collaboration platform is a critical element of their strategy. Read More »

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Creating a Social Media Training Program that Works

It’s daunting, exhilarating, and a lot of hard work, all rolled into one…that’s the day in the life of social media! Each day is different as this social communication channel continues to evolve and grow. So how do organizations keep their best brand ambassadors (aka their executives, employees, contractors, vendors, partners, and customers) up-to-speed with social media?

While it’s really a mix of components, including policies and guidelines, communication, and clear strategies, training is a key component. There are a variety of social media webinars, chats, workshops, and other learning resources out there, but often times, a more robust training program is needed to educate new users and enable those with an existing skill set.

With a collaborative effort, a common goal, and a set of focused training courses, organizations can empower these ambassadors to use social media effectively, build their own reputations, and bolster the brand. Internally our Corporate Social Media Marketing team has been working hard to build a robust training program for employees, contractors, executives, partners, and customers. Below is a summary of highlights from this expanded program, tips to creating a similar initiative, and an opportunity to participate in the upcoming @ciscosocial #smtraining Twitter chat on August 2, 2012 at 9am PDT. (Please note new date.)

Cisco Social Media Training Snapshot

After assessing internal company training needs around social media and existing resources, we looked for ways to expand learning, developing the following model and implementing it this past May.

Cisco's Corporate Social Media Marketing Training Program Snapshot

Courses are offered across Cisco both in live and on-demand session formats to accommodate different regions on an ongoing basis. And in the true spirit of collaboration, we work with Cisco subject matter experts (SMEs), global social media peers, fellow team members, and even a few guest speakers. Not only does this approach create a stronger shared investment across the company, but it also enables those interested in stretch goals, the opportunity to participate in a larger role. Lastly, the program includes special incentives including three levels of certification and gaming badges to earn along the way.

Since we launched the first course on May 29, 2012, we have seen a huge interest in the training programs with over 550 participants, with many on their way to the first level of social media certification! As the word gets out internally to more and more teams, we are seeing larger registration and participation across organizations such as engineering, support, marketing, sales, and several others.

Currently, we are also offering a smaller partner-focused set of training sessions. And at the end of this summer, we will launch the executive-focused track of this program, followed by customer training opportunities in 2013.

Tips to Create a Training Program

Creating a training program like the one described above takes resources, time, determination, and support. Here are some tips to developing this type of training program:

  1. Get to know the audience, internal and external.
  2. Assess the current training resources available to these audiences.
  3. Outline gaps in courses, materials, and other types of resources.
  4. Create a social media training strategy and get management buy-in.
  5. Look for ways to leverage existing resources, internal team member expertise, and external contacts.
  6. Build content that resonates with audiences, sharing a mix of best practices, techniques, and examples.
  7. Tie into the organization’s overall training programs and systems.
  8. Start out slow, evaluate course feedback and ratings, and build out program accordingly.
  9. Identify opportunities to gamify the program to further incent participants.
  10. Recognize those that reach milestones and acknowledge participant feedback and needs.

Over the course of the next several months, we will share more program details and best practices.

In the meantime, let’s meet up virtually for a @ciscosocial Twitter chat to learn more from each other regarding social media training and how different organizations are developing this type of education. Join us on August 2 at 9am PDT, following #smtraining, directly on Twitter or another Twitter application. (Please note new date.)

What questions are top-of-mind for you regarding social media training? Share your feedback with us using the comment section below and we’ll incorporate your questions into this special Twitter chat.

This post was developed in collaboration with Petra Neiger (@petra1400).

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Extending the Cisco WebEx Cloud Platform to Social Collaboration

With advanced collaboration technologies like video conferencing and enterprise social software, companies are rethinking the way they traditionally have done business. Social collaboration adds a new layer to the communication experience, allowing companies to innovate, grow, expand into new markets and increase productivity. It can provide unmatched benefits to an organization including:

  • Easier access to resources and expertise
  • Contextual, real-time communications through integration with voice, IM, conferencing and video.
  • Time and resource savings that drive better utilization of existing systems
  • Social networking with less risk though rules-based policy management
  • Simplified content management
  • More effective information discovery

This week at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, Cisco makes some announcements around our social collaboration strategy and the extension of our market leading Cisco WebEx cloud, which I describe in detail in this video blog. Read More »

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