All Articles Marketing Brands & Campaigns How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success ... and achieves it

How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it

3 min read

Brands & Campaigns

LaSandra Brill is a social-media enthusiast and marketing innovator. As senior manager of global social media at Cisco, Brill shapes the company’s social-media-marketing strategy. At Cisco, she is known for building and executing the social-media strategy of one of the top five product launches in company’s history.

Cisco is very active across social-media platforms. What internal group holds the reins of these many blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook groups, Flickr pages and YouTube channels?

We have an approach that Jeremiah Owyang has defined as the dandelion, with multiple hubs and multiple teams. To create efficiencies and streamline the process, our Global Social Media Marketing team works with our Services organization, who manages some of our largest communities as well as the Social Media team within Corporate Communications, to develop policies, governance and training programs.

As part of our hub-and-spoke dandelion approach, the management of the different channels is left to each group. Cisco maintains over 100 Twitter handles, 26 Facebook pages, 300 YouTube channels, 61 communities and 37 blogs. To avoid duplicate and cross-marketing of these accounts, we have internal lists identifying the owners, which provides an easy way to communicate with each other.

How are you using social platforms to promote your Cisco-branded products, understanding that it is primarily a business-to-business brand?

Social media is just as important for our business-to-business groups as it is for our business-to-consumer groups. From a business-to-business perspective, social media has had an impact in three major areas:

  • Engaging with customers in new ways.
  • Extending the reach of our traditional marketing.
  • Reducing costs.

For example: using serious gaming as a way for networking students to build and manage a simulated network. One of the commercials we developed was posted to YouTube and has garnered an additional 1.6 million views. Lastly, our ASR 1000 launch allowed us to reach 90 times the audience at one-sixth the cost of a traditional-only launch.

How are you defining success in your efforts?

Success for each program varies based on the objectives that were set at the start of the effort. To help our teams identify what to measure, we have recently put together a Social Media Measurement Framework that outlines some of the most common objectives we have for a social-media campaign and defines the data points within those objectives that we want to measure. This framework also helps to ensure that our teams are consistently measuring the same things so we can compare, apples to apples, across our initiatives.

From your experience, what key tip(s) would you give to a business-to-business company using social media to promote a new product launch?

Don’t just think of social media as just another checkbox on your list of things to do. You need a strategy and ways to listen to determine where to focus. Make sure that you understand what your goals and objectives are for using social media. It’s not just about putting information out there, but listening and engaging in conversation.

Hear more about how to achieve success on Facebook from Brill and other leading social-media strategists, including those from SAP, Intel, the Washington Redskins and Xbox, at the monthlong online Facebook Success Summit. Sign up soon — today is the last day to get the 50% off early bird pricing!