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Using Social Media to Create ‘The Event’

As final preparations are underway for the July 31st (9am PT) Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast, let’s get the conversation going early! Are there certain social media examples used for on- and offline events that stick out in your mind? What made them great or perhaps ideas to avoid? And what was used to enhance the participants’ experience?

Within my last post on this topic, I mentioned social media is a perfect channel to help on- and offline audiences engage in events and activities. Audiences are able to share their own insights rather than just hearing a speaker present, exchange ideas and connect with others, and add to the overall collaborative experience.

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Here are some tips to keep in mind when leveraging social media for on- and offline events:

  • Audiences: use social media to reach new audience segments for an event. After defining the audience in the overall planning stages and listening to their care-abouts, find ways to involve them in different aspects. E.g., polls to pinpoint most popular topic ideas, word-of-mouth opportunities to spread the word, VIP activities for top influencers, and live tweeting to keep engagement going.
  • Duration: leverage social media on an ongoing basis and draw attention to events and activities along the way, as part of the overall ongoing strategy. Depending on the type of event, promotions may begin a few months prior to just 3 weeks. E.g., a large hosted type of event or ongoing online series may require ongoing promotions year-round. Activities such as participating in another organization’s event or a webcast type of activity, may only require promotions 3-6 weeks in advance. Event-specific social media efforts should taper off within 1-2 weeks afterwards, folding back into the regular ongoing efforts.
  • SEO: include popular tags, Cisco and/or third-party hashtags, and keywords can greatly increase visibility for an event or activity. Take time to research these tags prior to beginning event-related social media efforts, maximizing efforts and reaching the appropriate audiences.
  • Monitoring and Measuring: create a program-specific listening and respond plan as part of the overall listening strategy. Since on- and offline events are happening in real-time, planning teams need to monitor constantly and handle responses in a timely manner. And when it comes to measurement, its best to focus on quantitative (number of responses, reach, etc.) and qualitative metrics (sentiment, influencers, etc.). These efforts can help teams benchmark and better understand areas of success and ways they can continue to improve strategies moving forward. (Check out this Cisco Live 2013 Orlando Listening Hub recap blog post, by Cisco’s Davythe Dicochea, for additional insights.)
  • Integration: tap into existing brand and third party accounts whenever possible rather than creating new ones. It will help continue more meaningful engagements with audience members, tap into existing and established channels, and continue to build reputation and trust among interested parties. Look for the most appropriate accounts and create/use content that relates to the audience’s care-abouts within each channel.
  • Activities: create a mix of posts, tweets, images, videos, traditional marketing, and activities to provide a full customer journey. As these assets and communications are developed or leveraged, find ways to keep the audience members engaged, focusing on their care-abouts. And just as importantly, make it fun as they get ready to participate in an event, engage with them during the event, and help the audience be the heroes of their organizations afterwards by providing helpful follow-up resources.
  • Experimentation: pilot new ideas to better understand how innovations or strategies can be implemented for future tactics and increased audience participation. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. This is part of the process and can often lead to even more innovative approaches.
  • Messaging: use social media to create 2-way dialogues for on- and offline events rather than just broadcasting upcoming activities. Communications should include a balance of consistency and variety to keep conversations fresh and relevant. And be sure to customize the messages by social media channel, taking into consideration format and communication best practices. Lastly, make it easy of audience members to share and follow information by incorporating social media channel links in all communication vehicles.

Are there other social media best practices for on- and offline events you’ve seen work well? Share them with us within this blog post and during our upcoming Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast. And we look forward to your participation at this upcoming live online session! Here are the details to participate:

  • When: Wednesday, July 31st
  • Time: 9-9:45 a.m. PT
  • Topic: Using Social Media for On- and Offline Events
  • Hashtag: #Ciscosmt (use this hashtag to ask panelists questions and to participate in the conversation)
  • Panel:
  • Jeanette Gibson, Senior Director, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Cisco (moderator)
  • Kathleen Mudge, Social Media Program Manager, Cisco (panelist)
  • Matt Rozen, Group Manager Corporate Social Media, Adobe (panelist)
  • Brian Ellefritz, Vice President, Global Social Media, SAP (panelist)

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 and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request  customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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Social Media’s Impact on On- and Offline Events

How do you turn social media on its head and make it unique for your initiatives? I’m always fascinated to see new approaches to using social media and get inspired by different organizations’ creativity. From specific initiatives to drive more traffic and awareness (like American Express’ Passion Project) to getting executives involved (like HubSpot’s CEO Manager Twitter for a Day) to countless other examples in sports, entertainment, B2B, and B2C, creativity is a key factor in the success of our efforts.

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Social media is especially intriguing when it comes to the way it can be used for on- and offline events. (E.g., webcasts, virtual environments, onsite conferences and meetings, Twitter chats, etc.) Based on the nature of these types of activities, social media is a strong communication channel to pilot new ideas, convert more traditional approaches to 2-way engagements, and create real-time impact.

Specifically social media can be used to:

  • Drive registration traffic
  • Create a much more engaging environment
  • Tie on- and offline participants together
  • Generate more information sharing, innovations, and crowdsourcing
  • Provide more direct access to speakers, executives, peers, and others
  • Offer ongoing engagement opportunities long after an “event” has taken place
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly

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Cisco Networking Academy Students Participate in “Workforce Olympics”

Olympic athletes train hard year round to be the best in their sport. Every 4 years we have the chance to watch them give it their all and compete on a global level.

Did you know that a similar event takes the most talented, skilled workers from around the world to compete head-to-head for a world title?

Welcome to the WorldSkills Competition, what a Cisco executive once described as the “Olympics of the skilled trades.”  This event is hosted by different host countries every 2 years:  this year Germany is the proud host and in 2015 it will be held in Brazil.

wordskills

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Network Threat Defense at Black Hat 2013

Join us at Black Hat 2013 in Las Vegas this July, for our two-day hands-on Network Threat Defense, Countermeasures, and Controls course. Courses will be offered on July 27-28 and July 29-30, and attendees will learn and perform two network security roles. First, as a Security Practitioner, you’ll learn to secure and harden network infrastructure devices, and second, as a Security Incident Response Investigator, you must correctly detect, classify, and mitigate threats attacking a network by configuring and deploying advanced network threat defenses and countermeasures. Learning these roles will help you prepare for and respond to real world threats such as the recent Financial ServicesSpamHaus, and OpUSA Denial of Service Attacks. Read More »

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White House and IT Industry Partnership Prepares Servicemen and Women for the Workforce

Approximately 1.2 million armed forces personnel are expected to transition from the U.S. military to civilian life over the next several years, with as many as 300,000 in the next 12 months.  Many of these veterans will look to move quickly into the next phase of their careers and need to find fulfilling jobs that will enable them to build upon their military experience and support themselves and their families. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 10.1 percent jobless rate for post 9/11 veterans and exceeding 30 percent for veterans ages 18-24. It is imperative that, as a country, we come together to fix this. We must provide the training, certifications and jobs that our veterans have earned and deserve.

As an example of what we hope public private partnerships will do for our veterans who have given so much for our country, I look at Courtney Beard, a Cisco employee, who transitioned from active duty Air Force service in September 2011 with very little IT training. Coming from a family with a long history of military service, she knew at a young age that she would serve her country but she did not think much about what life would look like after she returned home. Highly skilled, and capable of excelling in the most difficult of circumstances, she still faced challenges finding a meaningful job aligned with her future goals; the process included resume critiques, regular attendance at job fairs, and participating in the Warrior to Cyber Warrior training and mentorship program with other veterans.

People like Courtney are the driving force behind the White House IT Training and Certification Program – an initiative to help transitioning military personnel make the difficult shift to the civilian workforce by obtaining the necessary training and certifications needed for high demand IT jobs.  Debuted today by First Lady Michelle Obama, the program – in partnership with Joining Forces and the President’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – will actively engage 1,000 transitioning military personnel in training, certification and career resources. The concept and platform behind the program was developed with leadership from Cisco and Futures, Inc. This public-private partnership exemplifies business and government working together to make a difference in our economy, our businesses and our country.

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