Friday, December 21, 2012

Cisco Social Media Marketing – Top 5 Social Media Programs for 2012!

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:

tomorrow.jpg1. 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 and 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.  

smlc2. 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 10K+ 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 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 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.  

LI4. LinkedIn Social 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.

cool 5. Really Cool Pilots! Okay, so this is more than five things because I’m going to talk about a handful 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!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cisco Likes Facebook's Like Button

Cisco has gone live with Facebook’s Like button throughout its Data Center product pages and select Small Business product pages. Cisco continues the trend of staying ahead of the curve in utilizing social media technology to better communicate with its customers and partners. The Like button will give Cisco customers and partners an intuitive and elegant way to share content they find valuable.

Cisco has developed a strategy on how to integrate social media into, leveraging Jeremiah Owyang’s framework, which outlines the evolution of social corporate websites. Today Cisco is proud to announce the rollout of Facebook Like buttons on over 180 product pages on You will notice them when browsing Cisco’s Data Center or small business product areas.

Why Facebook? Cisco has over 685K fans on Facebook across it’s various Facebook pages and it has seen referral traffic from Facebook increase over 50% in the last year. So Cisco’s customers are on Facebook and they are using Facebook to share information – why not make it easier for them to do that? In fact on other Cisco sites where this feature is deployed – Cisco Blogs, News@Cisco and the Cisco Umi site – Facebook quickly became the third biggest traffic referral behind Google and Similarly other companies are seeing huge traffic gains, The Washington Post has seen its Facebook referral traffic climb 290%, ABC News saw an increase of over 250 percent in Facebook referrals and Levi’s, who was an early adopter of this feature saw more than 4,000 likes on it’s website in the first week!

For now this is still just a pilot program at Cisco but if things go well as Cisco suspects, you can expect to see Facebook Like buttons appearing on product pages throughout the site and who knows where next!

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the Marketing IT team, the Web and User Experience Team, as well as the Data Center and Small Business website strategists, for working with Social Media Marketing to make this happen!

So what do you think…do you “like” it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's All About Video at Cisco - Rap Video

This is a response video to The Coolest Intern at Cisco - Greg, check it out:

Lyric credits to @ShanaDanekari for spending 3-hours on Friday night getting it just right! =)

Soundtrack: Puff Daddy - It's All About The Benjamins (Instrumental)

Uh, oh huh, yeah
It's all about Video baby
It's all about Video baby

Now, what y'all wanna do?
Wanna be ballers, shot-callers
Speakers -- who be beamin on stage wit the hologram
Or on the TP spitin’ my jam

Cisco intern, your rap is cool
But don’t forget, you gotta finish school
I be working that 8 to 5 but without the drive
using WebEx, to teleconference live
President of Russia, I haven’t seen
But for me it’s all about Guy Kawasaki…that’s right Guy Kawasaki

Yeah you know you wanna be like me

Forget the ThinkPad, move to a Mac
And get an intern that’s got your back
Keep bloggin’ and tweetin’ and you will see
You’ll fit right in, to the Cisco family
Social Media Marketing is where it’s at
Yeah, you know, we got it like that
Like your ergonomic desk chair, well make it yours
Stay with Cisco and there’s nothing but doors
Doors of opportunity
social network wizardry
tons of creativity
Get a fatty paycheck, stocks and all
So come on...step up to the plate and take the ball

Yeah…You down with the Cisco crew?

It's all about Video baby
It's all about Video baby

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ghetto Technographics

Sure, you can get your Technographics Marketing Research from some firm like Forrester, or you can take that budget and bring a bunch of non-techy friends to the beach like Nicholas Carlson in this hilarious piece from SAI.  My favorite of his invaluable market research from this focus group of “normals”:

  • Groupon is absolutely the greatest thing ever. Normals ask each other all the time if others have heard about Groupon and the amazing deals it provides – at restaurants, at gyms, and golf courses. Living Social is great too, and even a perhaps a little bit more upscale.
  • Twitter, which used to be just a weird thing, is now recognized as having some value for people obsessed with the news, narcissists, and the overly-plugged-in, but no, it's still not for me, thank you. 
Although most marketers know the cardinal rule of not mistaking the market’s impression for yours, most marketers are still expected to have a “nose” for sniffing out what their demographic is looking for.  The danger comes from being trapped in the “echo chamber” of a social network that both affirms and perpetuates one’s own perspective.  For example, now that I can build virtual social networks in several domains that quite literally care about all the things I care about, it’s reducing any exposure I have to people who don’t think the same way I do.  For a marketer whose demographic is literally everybody in the world, this is less than optimal.  I’ve found close friends and family to be a refreshing exception, but that’s not nearly enough.  I’m interested to hear how other marketers are dealing with this or even whether its considered a problem.  Are you concerned at all that your reliance on “birds of a feather” social networks are insulating you from broader market perspectives?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Listen to Seth Godin - Keep Talking!

Seth Godin is one of the most influential marketers of our time. He’s also one of the most prolific bloggers and is known for writing posts that become critically acclaimed marketing books. Today’s post is a bold proclamation of “marketers should do this or they’ll die.” I don’t know about you, but I love stuff like that.

Here’s what he has to say about it:
Good at talking vs. good at doing. This is the chasm of the new marketing. The marketing department used to be in charge of talking. Ads are talking. Flyers are talking. Billboards are talking. Trade shows are talking. Now, of course, marketing can't talk so much, because people can't be easily forced to listen. So the only option is to be in charge of doing. Which means the product, the service, the interaction, the effluent and other detritus left behind when you're done. If you're in marketing and you're not in charge of the doing, you're not going to be able to do your job.
I have an issue with this, mainly because it seems to fly in the face of A LOT of conventional, (and contemporary), wisdom. We live in an age where there is, literally, more information available on anything we want to learn about than we could ever consume, and marketers who’ve published that information measure it not only by its effect on the listener, but by its effect on the listener’s social network. Seth’s argument seems to be that because traditional marketing output; static, corporate marketing messaging; is no longer as relevant, then marketing messaging is no longer effective.

I agree with the first part, not with the second.

Yes, static, corporate marketing messaging is no longer as effective as it once was. The conversation is moving too fast and the customers have too many choices for a business to rely on “one message fits all”. But that doesn’t mean that messaging or branding, on its own merit, isn’t critical. It’s now even more critical. Marketers can no longer be satisfied with building one message and seeing how it plays. We have to build 10x more information assets, consumable in every way that it can be built up or broken down into parts depending on what’s needed to satisfy each individual customer. Marketing can no longer survive on producing sculpted, iconic, messaging vehicles that are designed to last for 6-18 months. We need building blocks of infographics and 300 word narrative and case studies and business analysis reports, videos and tweets that we can repackage and deploy depending on the appetite and education level of the consumer. Its no longer good enough for marketers to be content producers, we all have to be content strategists.

“Saying stuff” isn’t less effective in the information age where every beautiful graphic or insightful remark by a satisfied (or dissatisfied) customer has the chance to go viral; rather it’s more important than ever before. Different? Definitely. Less relevant? Absolutely not. As Seth has said previously, marketing is the conversation. Your new marketing department won’t be made up of billboard artists, but experts in the practice of steering and adding to the conversation that moves your product.

There’s a conversation happening out there. We need to be part of it. Can’t do that by not talking.