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Marketing at the enterprise level has a unique set of challenges—lack of agility, decentralized teams, and long approval processes—to name a few.  Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to chat with SocialTech presenter, LaSandra Brill of Cisco Systems, about ways they have overcome these challenges in their social media program, and consequently, have driven significant return on investment. As LaSandra revealed during #TechChat (transcript available here), social media made the launch of Cisco's ASR family of routers one of the top five most successful launches in Cisco history, reaching 90 times the audience of previous launch campaigns, at one-sixth of the cost!!! (Yep, that deserved three exclamation points.)

From last week's #TechChat, here are 4 social media lessons for the enterprise from LaSandra Brill of Cisco Systems:

1. Educate Employees on Social Media Marketing Best Practices

How many people have you met that say,"I just don't get Twitter. People don't care what I ate for lunch or that my cat just puked"?

If you're like me, you've met lots of 'em. Marketers, too. But Cisco Systems is turning regular employees into social media enthusiasts by educating them on social media best practices with their in-house optional social media certificate program.

2. Have an Open Social Media Policy

Unlike Apple (and the NFL), Cisco encourages social media participation, and has a clear social media policy. Want to comment on a blog, or Tweet about Cisco? Go for it—as long as you follow these rules.

3. Encourage All Employees to Participate

The one advantage that large corporations have is well, a large workforce. Cisco has 70,000 employees—70,000 potential social media brand champions. Just imagine the power those 70,000 people would have on Twitter. Pretty awesome, isn't it?

4. Share Knowledge with Other Groups

Cisco has an internal site where they post best practices and planning resources. They meet and share their success stories monthly. So if product team A finds out that XYZ works, they can easily share it with product team B, and vice versa.

A big thank you to LaSandra for participating in #TechChat, and an even bigger thank you for those of you who shared your insights during last week's seminar Cisco and the Social Web — it got rave reviews!  If you missed the free seminar and want to learn more about Cisco's high-performance social media program, have a listen to the recording. Learn even more about high-tech B2B social media marketing in San Jose at SocialTech 2010. SocialTech is our new conference about social media for the high-tech industry. Not in San Jose? No worries. We're streaming all content to virtual attendees as well.

And don't forget: #TechChat is every Tuesday at 8 PM ET. Our next guest is Michael Brito, SVP of Social Media at Edelman Digital. Michael has worked for major brands in Silicon Valley (HP, Yahoo! and Intel) and was instrumental in driving social media programs and campaigns emphasizing authenticity and long-term relationship building. Awesome, right? We can't wait to see what lessons he has to share.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Megan Leap
Megan Leap is Online Marketing Manager at MarketingProfs, where she develops innovative, high-ROI social media campaigns. Previously, she was Online Marketing Manager at ion interactive, a leading provider of landing page software, where she spearheaded their social media strategy from the ground up. She's also consulted with leading brands on social media strategy and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter @MeganLeap.