Evolution of Social Media at Cisco (Part 2 of a Series)

I had another fun conversation today with Amy Paquette of Cisco. Our first chat was in June: see my post on “The ROI of Cisco’s Social Media Program.” Amy and I plan to chat at least once a month “until it doesn’t make sense for us to chat anymore” (but that will hopefully never happen because she is so much fun!) Their social media program is so evolved that they already have people who specialize in things like “virtual communications” on Second Life. Something to aspire to : – )

It is interesting how the Social Media Program at Cisco evolved — it certainly did not happen overnight. One thing that fueled the fire: as the external communications team was putting together their social media program, the internal comms team was simultaneously building a robust internal community. They had several hundred internal blogs before the external program took off. Amy said:

Having internal blogs is a great way for [potential external bloggers] to find their voice, and learn how to communicate with their blog. People feel more free to ask questions.

Probably the biggest differentiator at Cisco is the culture. Social media has support at the highest level of the company — John Chambers regularly reads the external blog posts: Cisco has 12 Corporate Blogs with more than 80 bloggers. And let’s face it, even the staunchest “blog haters” might waiver when the boss reads ’em.

Have Labrador, Will Travel


Today my craz(ier) Lab, Xena, plunked herself down in the open carry-on suitcase that was in my office. The suitcase is small, and it fit her perfectly.

I figure she was trying to accomplish one of these things:

1. She is looking to relocate.
2. She wants me to share her scent with whatever other Labradors I might meet on my travels.
3. She thought it looked like a good place to nap.
4. She wanted to check for drugs. Especially Excedrin, which she likes to eat.

What do you think?

Microsoft spends Millions to “Go Social”

I found this new story “Microsoft Goes Social to Push E-Mail, IM” from Twitter. GeorgeDearing writes: “always get a little scared when I see a headline referring to a company “going social” — It’s implicit, STOP” http://snurl.com/2p0ja

The point of “being social” (as Maggie Fox explained at BlogPotomac) is that you begin and maintain conversations with your customers, and build a relationship. It is not about spending millions of dollars on a campaign and then ending it when the money runs out.

Hats off to the ad agency McCann-Erickson for leveraging their success from the Liberty Fillmore Campaign they did for VeriSign. It was groundbreaking for VeriSign launch a campaign like that, and it probably raised a lot of awareness for our EV SSL certificates. We know it got millions of views on YouTube. But the clear winner here is the ad agency that landed the Microsoft account.

If you’re going to spend this kind of cash on your Social Media efforts (Microsoft is dropping at least 5 million on promotions), at least be sure to measure it correctly so you know whether or not you’ve acheived the success you hoped for. Check out Katie Paine (the metrics goddess) or call Mike Manuel at Voce for expert asistance. Otherwise, the only people who profit from all this buzz and money spent are the agencies.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The “I’m Talkathon” (imtalkathon.com) features Parker Whittle, a man in his 20s, born into a well-to-do family and now having doubts about whether he’s done enough to help others. So he’s holding a “talkathon” to see how many people he can get to send messages via Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger over 30 days to raise money. Microsoft agency McCann Erickson created the character based on feedback from those who have participated in the program.

An account director on the Microsoft account at McCann says “It’s very important we not come across as fake.”

With all this cash flying around at the shiny new objects, how will I ever convince our marketers to listen and join conversations rather than launch our next “Viral Marketing Campaign”? Everyone is looking for ROI, immediate results, and quick wins. Nobody sees any problem with launching a “viral campaign,” complete with a press release.

The new “Intel Insider Program”

The Intel Insider Program sounds awesome. At first. But look a little deeper…

— The group contains no actual Intel Employees (as one would infer from the term “insiders”). I saw a comment from an employee begging to be included in the fun.
— They have gathered together a “group of social media activists.” Yeah, that means some cool folks who posts tons of pics, videos and generally document every detail of their lives. *Especially* getting invited to Intel and getting a free MacBook Air.

The Intel Insider program seeks to discover some of the best practices in corporate social/new media and in doing so, the results can be shared broadly. There is no restriction on the Intel Insiders sharing the results of the program with others.

Our idea was to reach out to a diverse group of social media activists with three goals in mind:

— occasionally feature their work or opinions as part of our What’s Inside effort
— see whether any are interested in writing about Intel’s products or are following Intel’s social media efforts on their own (note: this is not a requirement)
— seek feedback on our social media efforts, upcoming product plans, roadmaps…

And, as a PR friend pointed out, there are no laws against bribing bloggers (as there are with journalists.) Enjoy those new MacBook Air Laptops, you lucky Intel Insiders!

I commend Intel for putting together a very clever marketing campaign for new Intel products disguised as a groundbreaking thought leadership program. Hey, at least someone is giving the online influencers the respect they deserve! I have no problem with that : – )

Planning a Social Media Program: Gia Lyons gives advice

Gia Lyons took some time out of her busy day just to give me some advice and help me navigate the stormy waters of the social media landscape. She said:

“2007 was the year of Web 2.0 — and now everyone has figured out what that is. This year is about how to use Web 2.0 tools to make or save money.”

Obviously there is lots of buzz around social media and Web 2.0. The hard part is putting together a business plan and finding case studies with ROI. Gia gave me some names of folks who are in similar roles as mine at other large corporations. It sounds like they are doing some cool stuff, I’ll report back on any great pearls of wisdom that they cast my way : )

She also showed me this great blog post about those who are less-than-enthusiastic around Social Media tools. My first reaction was “oh, nobody at my company is like that.” But then I realized, they might be thinking some of these things and just not saying them!

“Norman Naysayer,” the Enterise Octopus arch nemesis

Tweeter blocks Twitter

I just got my new eee pc. We made a special trip into my office just to pick it up. I am off until Wednesday but i decided i could not wait that long for my new toy. So it follows that i defiitely could not wait until August for the new Dell.

I am a little concerned that it could not seem to handle a streaming YouTube video. We’re going to try again now.

The funny thing is that we came to Panera to try out the wireless network. There is a Tweeter Store nearby, and I was on their wireless network. The first site I tried to go to was Twitter. I got this message:

Oh and BTW i did this whole post on my new EEE!