LexisNexis, Cisco Systems, grab top social media honors

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Cisco Systems and LexisNexis Group were social media marketing headliners at BtoB's second annual Social Media Marketing Awards presentation, held May 24 in New York. Both topped their categories in “Peo-ple's Choice” awards balloting as the top b-to-b social media marketing programs of the year, joining a lineup of award winners in a variety of social media segments. Communications technology company Cisco took its second straight People's Choice award in the tech company category, recognized this year for a viral video campaign in support of its ASR 9000 network router. While watching a live streaming video, viewers were able to operate a robot arm to yank a switch processor card out of the ASR 9000—essentially, to break it—to observe the impact on video performance. The 100-second invitational video was posted on YouTube in October 2010 and promoted through banner ads, blogs, email blasts and social networks. In the first four months, the promotion drove nearly 6,000 video impressions, 500 contacts from interested users, 216 demos and 60 qualified leads. “Our goal was to empathize with customer challenges in producing high-quality video delivery,” said Stephen Liu, director-service provider marketing at Cisco. “We wanted to make high-definition video delivery synonymous with our product.” Cisco also was able to attribute more than $80 million in revenue to the effort. Cisco has had continuing success with social gaming. Last year at BtoB's inaugural Social Media Marketing Awards, the company took home a People's Choice award for its myPlanNet campaign, a downloadable simulation game in which participants played the role of a corporate CEO solving business problems using Cisco products. Database information company LexisNexis won People's Choice in the non-tech category for its closed community, the LexisNexis Investigators Network, designed to provide peer-to-peer networking between law enforcement investigators who subscribe to the company's Accurint law enforcement database service. The company not only wanted to drive engagement but also distinguish itself from rival database products. The solution was to provide an exclusive community where local, state and federal law enforcement officers could swap ideas, track evidence and share best practices. “We wanted our law enforcement customers to "entrench' with us, stick with us,” said Terri Beck, senior director-marketing for the company's government and healthcare division. Introduced last April, the community currently boasts more than 6,200 members. “The community provides a venue for officers to talk to each other, helping them solve crimes,” Beck said. “Our C-suite kept urging us to add members, and we did; but I kept urging engagement—how many people are continuing to come back to the site—and their time on the site.” Other People's Choice finalists were EMC and Microsoft Corp. in the tech company category, and and Omni Hotels in the non-tech category.
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