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Using Research to Impact Our Social Media Strategy

I joined the Cisco Global Social Media Team in February of this year (2012).  It has been one wild ride on this team with LaSandra Brill as my manager.  The learning curve has been steep and the team dynamics great.  When I joined the team, my responsibilities included managing the community strategy (Cisco Communities), the Facebook corporate strategy, the Twitter corporate strategy, the Cisco mobile events app, and social integration on Cisco.com (which includes social login).  I also helped lead the social execution of our #WorkTogether campaign in September.  My responsibilities changed slightly during a recent reorganization; now I focus on our blog and community strategy, social CRM, governance and policy, and social integrations on cisco.com.

Two principles have guided my team:

  1. Research – Understand what Cisco enthusiasts, customers, partners, and prospects want to see on our social channels through objective research.
  2. Delivering Value – Deliver quick wins while at the same time working on the larger initiatives.

4 Research Initiatives & Their Results:

  • Analyzed Cisco’s Facebook and Twitter channels to understand what type of content performed well and how to optimize our presence.  Results:  We developed an inventory of the social media channels across Cisco, detailed metrics on our top 20 Facebook and 20 Twitter accounts, and best practices for Facebook and Twitter.  We partnered with Crimson Consulting for this study.
  • Social Top Tasks study for Facebook, Twitter, and Cisco Communities in partnership with Gerry McGovern (leveraging his Customer Carewords methodology).  Results:  Deep understanding of social top tasks segmented by mobile usage, technology, user role, etc.
  • Developed new social media components for Cisco.com architecture and product pages and tested the usability of those new components.  Results:  Positive feedback on the social media component themselves and the designs.  Input on how to improve the components design. We partnered with EightShapes and Abbott Usability for this research.
  • Analyzed the effectiveness and areas for improvement of our Social Rewards program on blogs.cisco.com.  Results:  Direct feedback from reward and non-reward members on program elements.  Recommendations on how we can improve the program.  We partnered with Engauge for this research.

Social Media Projects Executed in 2012 

And, with a talented and dedicated team, we have executed on many projects with tangible benefits.

These include:

Our success is due to the effort of many people on the Global Social Media Team including:

Deanna Belle

Lindsay Hamilton

Michael Hopps

Tim Husband

Richard Lam

Albert Qian

Jennifer Roberts

And the extended Global Social Media team…

Key Learnings from the Social Marketing Team

Some key things we’ve learned this year include:

@thusband:  The ability to join, blend and visualize big data uncovers KPIs and actionable insights that may have previously been unconsidered.

@mhopps: Social media tools and processes go together.  Beautiful tools, with minimal process and structure, can prove effective.  Real-time processes must be instilled to meet the needs of the constantly changing social media landscape.

@jroberts:  Customer relationships don’t end at the sale. Social demands ongoing communication between teams, partners & customers.

@lelau:  To be innovative, start small first and build on the ideas of others.  This leads to even bigger ideas that deliver real value and is more than we could have ever imagined.

Looking forward to an even more exciting, fun-filled 2013!

Best regards,

Leslie (@lelau)

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