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Cisco IT University Program Innovation: Leveraging Social Media to Attract Top Talent

July 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm PST

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Are you an ambitious tech-savvy college student looking for an internship or full time career? Do you want to work for a company that has been ranked as one of the happiest places for young professionals? Then, Cisco IT is the place for you!

The Cisco IT University Program recruits college students from all over the world into Cisco IT for internship and full time opportunities. With a myriad of employers for college students to choose from, Cisco IT identified the need to innovate and explore new ways to become the employer of choice for the best and brightest of the millennial generation. This generation is leading the social media explosion today and is always connected. According to the Society of New Communications Research, 93% of people active online fully expect companies to be present in social media spaces and be willing to have a conversation with them. Therefore, the IT University Program decided to adapt to the communication preferences of this generation and enter the world of social media with full force delivering the Cisco IT experience right to their smart phones.

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What does the millennial generation seek in a potential employer?

  • The ability to work on innovative projects that make an impact
  • A start up environment that is fast paced, fun and exciting
  • The opportunity to change the world

This is exactly what Cisco IT has to offer! However, college students today maintain the outdated brand perception of Cisco being the godfather of routing and switching. They are oblivious to the cutting-edge initiatives going on within Cisco IT that are changing the way we work, live, play and learn more than ever before. The natural expertise of millennials must be leveraged for Cisco IT’s game changing initiatives such as the Internet of Everything, BYOD, user experience, collaboration and mobility.

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So, what does the IT University Program want to accomplish through the use of social media?

  • Create increased brand awareness among college students of the endless opportunities available in Cisco IT
  • Generate online buzz and excitement by showcasing the fun company culture

How does the IT University Program’s social media strategy meet and exceed these goals?

According to Ypulse, 62% of Millennials use Facebook and 22% use Twitter to keep up with a brand or company they like. Based on this research, the IT University Program built a robust online presence using their existing Facebook page with Twitter as a secondary communication platform. When the social media strategy was kicked off, the Cisco IT University Program Facebook page had only 200 likes with a sense of hesitance and uncertainty around the possibility of its success. Within a few short months, the Facebook page has over 1000 likes and the IT University Program has created an incredible amount of excitement internally and externally. The IT University Program’s online audience includes the company’s CIO, IT Executives, Managers, New Graduates and Interns, and even the parents of New Graduates and Interns.

Information distributed through the IT University Program’s social media channels is catered towards each one of these audiences. The IT University Program has engaged its audience and met its intended goals in the following ways:

Overall, implementing an extensive social media strategy to reach the millennial generation has been a big win for the IT University Program. Not only did it create buzz and excitement around Cisco IT externally but also earned the support and encouragement of executives within the organization. This is how the IT University Program is striving towards Cisco’s vision of becoming the #1 IT Company by innovating and finding new ways to recruit top talent into Cisco IT.

 

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Raising the Bar at Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando) with the Social Media Hub

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando) was bigger than ever this year. There was a record breaking 20,000 registered customers, partners, press and analysts. More than 200 of our top partners were in the World of Solutions, representing a year-over-year increase in partner participation. Our host was none other than Blair Christie. She informed and wooed the crowd, tying together the major themes and highlighting special details throughout the week. Along with showcasing the latest and greatest Cisco gear, services, and thought leadership, there was something new this year. There was something special—the Social Media Hub.

The Social Media Hub is ready for day 1.

The Social Media Hub is ready for day 1.

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Some Nice Improvements to Cisco.com Search

July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am PST

We’ve made some important updates to the search experience on Cisco.com:

  • For some top product searches, we delivering a “product information box” of the most important information in one place.
  • We’ve done some significant redesign of the user front-end to improve the user experience
  • Searches using Product IDs
  • Significant work to greatly reduce the number of zero search instances you might encounter
  • Better search results on country sites, with inclusion of supplemental US results where appropriate
  • Faster: Improved performance

Try these searches to see examples:

ASA5510-K8 or 5510  (for Cisco ASA 5510 Next Generation Firewalls)
TelePresence  (for Cisco TelePresence)

See if you can identify some of the new features.

New version:

After_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Previous version:

Before_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Enjoy!

 

 

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Practical Social Media Advice for Newbies

July 15, 2013 at 5:42 am PST

Social Media SharingYou already have subject matter expertise.  It is time to share that knowledge with others through social media.  There are many social networks, many rules, many experts and a lot of information to digest.  Beyond the basics of each platform, here is some practical advice to get started:

Be careful with posts

Take heed to best practices for sharing for the various social platforms.  Whether you’re posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest, make sure to follow the norms for that network.  Some updates may work well for your audience on Twitter, but may fizzle quickly on Facebook.

Try not to cross-post the same update to different social networks.  Do post content in different ways.  For a newly published blog article, post an image with the link on Facebook; pose a question from the article on Twitter; use a different image for sharing on Instagram or Pinterest.  Each post then links back to the original post, but is shared in different ways.

Always schedule

When posting to brand channels, schedule posts for the future—even if the future is only 5 minutes from now.  This will allow you to check the post for grammatical errors and typos, as well as verify that any links work correctly before the update goes live.

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Social Media’s Impact on On- and Offline Events

How do you turn social media on its head and make it unique for your initiatives? I’m always fascinated to see new approaches to using social media and get inspired by different organizations’ creativity. From specific initiatives to drive more traffic and awareness (like American Express’ Passion Project) to getting executives involved (like HubSpot’s CEO Manager Twitter for a Day) to countless other examples in sports, entertainment, B2B, and B2C, creativity is a key factor in the success of our efforts.

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series

Social media is especially intriguing when it comes to the way it can be used for on- and offline events. (E.g., webcasts, virtual environments, onsite conferences and meetings, Twitter chats, etc.) Based on the nature of these types of activities, social media is a strong communication channel to pilot new ideas, convert more traditional approaches to 2-way engagements, and create real-time impact.

Specifically social media can be used to:

  • Drive registration traffic
  • Create a much more engaging environment
  • Tie on- and offline participants together
  • Generate more information sharing, innovations, and crowdsourcing
  • Provide more direct access to speakers, executives, peers, and others
  • Offer ongoing engagement opportunities long after an “event” has taken place
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly

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