Cisco Blogs

Bridging the Gap Between Social and Digital Media

- October 22, 2014 - 2 Comments

I’ve come across many articles touting the differences between digital and social media. Here’s one, for example, that suggests the words have lost their meaning entirely. It raises some good questions. What does digital even mean, anyway? And isn’t all media basically social in nature? A great take on it comes from Cisco’s Vice President of Digital, Mark Yolton, who provides deeper insight into “What is Digital?”

As marketers, we must think beyond social media and consider how digital components like web, mobile and video can further enhance the user experience and boost the perception in such a way that ultimately leads to a purchase. That’s exactly what we’ve done at Cisco. We did it by aligning social, web, mobile and video capabilities under one organization so that we can offer customers, partners and influencers an integrated experience. Clearly, social media is a huge part of today’s digital journey.

mobile apps concept

In my years at Cisco, I’ve seen the evolution of digital and social – from the virtual open world of Second Life, to the practice of creating Twitter handles and Facebook pages. It all began with the idea that our brand needs more social interactions with customers, influencers and employees. Social networks have given us the perfect platforms to forge deeper connections.

Today, social media networks go far beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We know that people consume information more digitally than ever before: just look at the number of new mobile apps each year, the rise of video social networks like Vine and Instagram, the use of hashtags for more than just for 140 character tweets, and the growing use of gamification to entertain as we learn.

Beyond the social network platforms, social media tools let us listen, measure and engage with our audiences. We can analyze practically any data at our fingertips. Digital is changing way we consume information and create content, and social media allows all of us to share that information with practically everyone. One does not exist without the other. Tools will change, new platforms and apps will pop up, and we will need to look at how our digital journey will also evolve to ensure we continue to reach the audiences that matter most.

I’ve worked at Cisco for seven years and my role overseeing the social media marketing efforts for our brand and portfolio of products, solutions and services continues to fuel my passion for the business. As the lead on our Digital Training & Certification program, which unites and educates our global workforce into the Digital 21st Century, I’m constantly piloting new ideas and innovations with my amazing team.

I must admit, it’s been far too long since I jumped on WordPress and shared my thoughts and opinions about social media. I’m hopeful that this post will be the first of many, and I look forward to sharing more of my social media musings and insights into how we approach social media marketing with the broader digital experience in mind.


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  1. I agree, reaching the "audiences that matter most" is important. Figuring out that balance between just enough social and digital media. So many out there it is hard to figure what is useful for your audience.

  2. I agree, reaching the "audiences that matter most" is important. Figuring out that balance between just enough social and digital media.