Cisco was created in 1984 out of Stanford University. In retrospect, the company was actually founded on the concept of social networking…on the concept of people wanting to be together. A husband and wife who were in different departments, utilizing different computer systems wanted to talk to each other. The multi-protocol router was created in a living room in Menlo Park, CA and Cisco was born.
In February of 2005, we launched our first external blog at Cisco. The topic was high tech public policy. Today, we have too many to count internal blogs and twenty-one external blogs, including our corporate blog, The Platform. (The new blog site launched just this month.)
Cisco, of course, LOVES video. In September of 2007, our Public Relations team started using video for press releases and blogs in earnest. We created the CSCOPR YouTube Channel. We now have over 800 videos and over 1.6 million views of those videos. While the CSCOPR channel remains active, recently, the social media marketing team created an umbrella YouTube channel to encompass the multiple other Cisco channels. You can view that site here.
In February 2008, Jeanette Gibson, then the head of the New Media team in Corporate Communications and now the director of Social Media Marketing at Cisco, asked me to run the CiscoSystems twitter account, as it seemed more appropriate for a PR person to run the “corporate” twitter account. I accepted and we’re now at about 40,000 followers and growing. We now, of course, have multiple “official” Twitter accounts and many, many employees tweeting (see here for our Cisco Social Media Policy and Guidelines for employees.)
In August 2009, we started the “official” Cisco Facebook page. We now have over 100,000 “likes” and growing. We utilize the page to share Cisco news and events and engage with Cisco fans. If you “like” us now on Facebook, you can even get a discount on Cisco Valet or a free Flip Video accessory! (Offer ends soon!)
In November 2009, we started using Ustream for our Talk2Cisco live broadcast series so that viewers could interact real time with Cisco thought leaders.
This month, the Social Media Marketing team created a social media aggregator so that you can get a snapshot of the activity going on in Cisco’s social footprint as well as in our discussion communities. (Follow us, like us…engage with us.)
And, for what’s next, I recently talked to Forbes Managing Editor Bruce Upbin about how Cisco looks at social media and this will give you a flavor of where we might be heading.
Whether creating technologies and solutions, partnering with others, or taking good ideas and making them better, Cisco knows that innovation is the key to survival. Social Media is about innovation and that is what Cisco does better than anyone. Please join us as we continue this journey.