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Digital and Social

2012 has been a great year for social media marketing at Cisco! The organization as a whole is really starting to experience the value of social intelligence, social engagement and social reach which were our key objectives this past year. We have had so many wonderful achievements this past year but I’d like to reflect back and recognize what I consider to be our top 5:

1. Fully Integrated Brand Campaign! For the first time ever we delivered a brand campaign across paid, owned, and earned media which included a fully integrated cross channel experience. The campaign kicked off with a social strategy for the pre-launch phase introducing the Internet of Everything tomorrow.jpgand how it will transform the way we live, work, play and learn. For the launch we revealed our new tag line: Tomorrow Starts Here through an integrated global advertising, digital, mobile and social media strategy including augmented reality-enabled print advertising. With a smartphone or tablet, readers can bring print advertising to life. They can open up a a number of assets that they can share, like, follow or download. Social media was responsible for a total reach of 10.8M in the pre-launch phase with over 16K blog views and 34 organic blog picks from influencer sites such as Kurzweil and DailyBlogTips.

2. Social Media Listening Center -- #CiscoListens! Social media listening has been the foundation of our strategy from day one. We launched the first phase of our social media listening center last year – it included 6 LCD screens strapped on our cube walls run on four struggling Dell towers. This past year we took advantage of a building remodel to create a bigger an better social media listening center in our marketing offices – now with nine touch screen LCDs we can visually represent what conversations are happening at any time. We also deployed a six-screen version in our executive briefing center where we can demonstrate to the smlc10K+ annual visitors how we listen and engage in conversations. Additionally a two-screen kiosk version outside of our executive offices allows our executives to get a quick pulse on market conversations. Lastly, our strategy includes a “pop-up” listening center that we can build for physical events. We deployed a “pop-up” listening center at the London 2012 Olympics and were awarded the 2012 Forrester Groundswell Award for best-in-class social media listening.

You can learn more about our social listening efforts here, here and here!

3. Social Login on a B2B site! At a big company like Cisco, implementing something like social login across Cisco.com is not an easy feat! But, we did it! Social login (okay, it’s really more of a social fill-in today, but we’re still working on it!) made its debut across all Cisco.com registration pages as of May 2012 and since then we have had tens of thousands of people choose to simplify their registration process through a social login. It’s interesting to note that while we offer Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google as OpenID providers Facebook is by far the preferred choice.

4. LinkedIn SocLIial Ambassador Program – fancy! We did an audit and uncovered 1,400 groups on LinkedIn with the word “Cisco” in the name, but little was known about the activities taking place in those groups. We then conducted an analysis of the groups to determine the best way to optimize our engagement in the groups.

The analysis revealed there were 17 active groups that were lacking a Cisco voice. We then tapped into the Cisco Ambassador Program to match subject matter experts with groups. This program enables Cisco to reach 243,000 group members to:

• Extend the face and voice of Cisco and enable peer-to-peer interaction
• Better enable the sales process through authorized responses to inquiries
• Gather market insights from Cisco followers to share in the social listening process

Since its inception, the program has grown to include over 30 LinkedIn groups. and the number of Cisco Followers on LinkedIn has grown 17% to 314k, with the highest number of new Followers during this pilot timeframe.

5. Really Cool Pilots! Okay, so this is more than five things because I’m going to talk about a coolhandful of things. Innovation is always top of mind for everyone on my team and we are constantly testing and piloting new concepts, technologies and ideas. Once a pilot can prove its value we start scaling it across the organization. Here are some early results from pilots that haven’t fully scaled yet.

YouTube Calls to Actions (CTA) – YouTube added the ability to add clickable calls to actions on your videos as of earlier this year. We immediately started testing this with a CTA at the :15 second mark and the end of the video. The first CTA is related to the video, where viewers can learn more, and the second CTA is to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We have tested this on a few hundred videos so far and are seeing an average click-through rates of 5.4%!

Social Demand Generation – We are just at the infancy of this concept however in an effort to kick things off quickly we deployed a simple no-cost pilot that involved putting a registration form to access gated content on our Facebook page. We then promoted it with social updates on Facebook and Twitter and in just 60-days, we had 1,881 click-throughs to the offer page with a 4% form completion rate! There are a lot more ideas and pilots under development that expand this concept further. For more on this program and other initiatives from this team click here.

Listening for Leads – We first ran a “listening for leads” program last year with underwhelming results. We learned from that experience and approached things differently the second time around. We leveraged a new listening process we developed called the “ABCs and 123s”. First “Action-Based-Conversations” (ABCs) are identified and tagged — we used seven categories for tagging such as question, lead, support, etc. Then, we prioritized the conversations  and used the 123s to designate the priority for responding. We used this model to identify and route leads to  call center agents who nurture and qualify the opportunities, leveraging LivePerson’s Click-to-Chat capability to enable private conversations. We are only 2 weeks into the pilot and nearly two-dozen <unqualified> leads have been identified. You can read more about this pilot here.

It’s been a busy year, and this is just a taste of the accomplishments from my team this year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of my team who contributed to this year’s success: Charlie Treadwell, Leslie Lau, Leslie Drate, Davythe Dicochea, Roberto Araujo, Andy Grant, Bernadette Koscielniak, Richard Lam, Deanna Belle, Lindsay Hamilton, Michael Hopps, Tim Husband, Albert Qian, Jennifer Roberts, George Metrik and Nancy Rivas. This doesn’t include all the folks across the various teams at Cisco we worked with, but you know who you are and we thank you for your continued partnership!

Looking forward to more social media innovations in 2013! Happy Holidays!

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1 Comments.


  1. Thank you LaSandra for your and your team’s partnership throughout the year and always. The brand campaign has been a wonderful experience with many “firsts” and I look forward to our next chapter together :-).

    I would also like to add a bonus program to this list. A key component of our success with the overall Cisco Social Ambassador program, the LinkedIn program, the brand campaign and many other social programs is our robust, company-wide social media training and certification program which in its first 6 months of existence has had a total of about 4,000 course participants. This program continues to grow internally as well as externally, and I can’t wait to see (and share) where we are taking social engagement next. If you’re interested in learning more about Cisco’s social training and certification program to date, feel free to browse Elizabeth Houston or my blog posts on the Digital and Social blog.

    Happy holidays to all and a wonderful 2013!

       2 likes

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