I did an interview with Social Media B2B recently to share best practices on how our Social Media Communications team successfully built the CiscoSystems Facebook fan page and received a comment by an anonymous person questioning my credibility as a social media practitioner. How can I be an expert if I’m not “publishing on Cisco’s blogs, or writing content, or being the engaging personality that customers and partners will want to get to know and then meet at trade-shows and events.” Which then got me wondering about what defines a social media expert. Coincidentally, the same week the article was published, I attended the Cisco-sponsored MashMeet hosted by Mashable. It was no doubt a great party and networking event where I met a lot of active social media practitioners and entrepreneurs. I also managed to squeeze through the crowd for a 15-minute conversation with Mashable CEO, Pete Cashmore and a couple of photo opps with him to boot.
(cc) Kenneth Yeung -- www.snapfoc.us
But if all it takes to be a social media expert at a company is your own blog, a sizable Twitter following, and being a recognizable face at social networking events, then we’re in trouble. You may be an expert at creating your personal brand but at some point, if that doesn’t translate into success and impact that is measurable for the company or client you work for, you might be “socializing” yourself out of a job. I’ve even heard stories from hiring managers of large and small companies who were eager to hire the seemingly bright social media talents whose credibility were instantly justified by their online social presence and “network” but were also quickly put to the test when tasked with equating their social skills to corporate ROI. I asked leading social media and PR expert, Brian Solis to weigh in and this is what he had to say: “Social media experts are inspired by possibilities but proven through experience and the ongoing quest to transform theory into practice. The more seasoned experts will also have figured out how to establish business metrics and in turn, design campaigns that map to objectives.”
And we, collectively as a Social Media Communications team at Cisco are doing just that. I will be posting more frequently on the Cisco Platform Blog – sharing experiences, insights and best practices from our team and across Cisco on how social media is used to engage with our customers, fans, employees, press and other influencers. Hoping to share more B2B social media case studies since most are more consumer-focused. If you’re interested in keeping track of our progress and engaging with us, follow us on Twitter via @CiscoSystems and on our Cisco Systems Facebook fan page.