I was invited as a speaker and panelist to the B2B Social Communications Leadership Forum presented by PR Newswire and Business Development Institute. First of all, kudos to the organizers and our moderator, Michael Pranikoff (@mpranikoff) of PR Newswire. I also want to give a shout out to my fellow keynote speaker, Matt Ceniceros (@mattceni) of Applied Materials and our fellow panelists David Hargreaves (@DavidHargreaves) of Beyond and Tony Uphoff (@TonyUphoff) of UBM TechWeb.
In a nutshell, my presentation focused on how we organize social business at Cisco and how our internal social efforts have an effect on external social engagement. If you just did a double take, here is what I mean by that:
1. Defining the sand box: we encourage our employees to participate in social media but we realize that we need to do so in a way that protects both the company and individuals. You know the old saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? The new saying should go more like “What happens in Vegas ends up on Twitter or Facebook”. Hence the need for social media governance. Our policies and guidelines are the first step for anyone at Cisco looking to engage in social media. Knowing the expectations and rules of engagement is a prerequisite.
2. Providing the tools and know how: once a person has familiarized him-/herself with our policies and guidelines, our next step is to arm this person with various tools and resources to help him or her on his or her social journey. And being a large company, the ability to scale our education and enablement programs is critical. We look at education and enablement on multiple levels ranging from formal training to shared learning opportunities and online self-service resources. Our self-service resources include things like how to’s, frameworks, templates and other tools. And last but not least, we encourage the use of social and collaborative tools internally too, which in turn helps our practitioners build confidence, learn from each other and gain hands-on experience which can be applied externally when they’re ready.
These two things are specific to our social business, in other words, how we manage and encourage the adoption of social media. We realize that the more we share internally, the more we can learn as a company – together. Our learning curve becomes shorter and our practices become more advanced. But, as is the case with most things (if not everything), as soon as we find the answer to one question, two new questions come up. Learning never ends. Do you feel the same?
Here are the slides I shared today on our social business and success stories. Enjoy!