Posts tagged ‘cisco’

A Social Media Case Study from Radian6

30 October, 2008 | | 1 Comment

Since June I’ve been bugging social media experts like Amy Paquette of Cisco, Gia Lyons of Jive Software, Steve Mann of SAP, Tac Anderson of HP, and Jeff Moriarty and Kelly Feller of Intel. I’ve been looking for the “Holy Grail of Social Media” – namely, case studies and ROI. So I’m pleased to tell you that VeriSign is now featured in a new case study from the brilliant Social Media Monitoring company, Radian6. Now I finally have something to give back to all of these folks who have been so generous with their time.

What Radian6 does is amazing. With all those “Google Alerts” and other info available, it can get tough to figure out what’s worth paying attention to. Radian6 is a blogosphere monitoring tool that helps cut through the noise and understand:

Who is talking about your brand?
What’s the level of engagement around any particular post?
What’s the overall influence of the blogger?

The tool takes a little training, since it is a bit complex. You create your own customized “River of News” which is an apt analogy, because without this tool you’re drowning in data. Radian6 (and Mike Manuel and Ryan Lack of Voce) have helped VeriSign stay on top of current trends, and much more…read the case study!

VeriSign and Voce Communications: A Radian6 Case Study

Company Culture at HP creates an Integrated Social Media Program

8 August, 2008 | | 5 Comments

Part one of an “interview” with HP’s Tac Anderson

Tac Anderson is a the Web 2.0 Strategic lead for HP’s Imaging and Printing group. HP is one of the brands that I benchmarked for blogging best practices in 2005, so I was curious to find out what they are doing today with social media. Tac has been a student of social media since back in the 90s when we used to call this stuff “Community.” He truly loves his work, saying:

If I wasn’t getting paid to do this, I’d be getting in trouble for doing it too much at work.
– Tac Anderson

Does HP have the Three “Success Indicators” For Social Media?
As I have previously blogged, there are three factors that are present in Enterprise Companies that are successful in the use of social media:
1. A top-down driven approach
2. A robust internal community
3. A company culture that encourages openness and trust.

At HP the hierarchy is flat, with small, empowered work teams and managers who control their own budget. There are 3 business units, Tac works in Imaging and Printing (IPG). Tac’s BU is advanced in their use use of social media, mostly because their executive Vice President was a key driver of Web 2.0 technologies inside HP. So, just like we saw at Cisco, Intel and SAP, there was a top-down driven approach at HP

Tac described a strong internal community at HP, with hundreds of blogs, and an Internal Wiki called “Pligg” (like “Digg.) There are many more social media tools used internally than externally.

The motivated, empowered workforce at HP creates a culture that is conducive to embracing social media. The business units are independent of each other; there is no Corporate Social Media Team. There is a lot of social-media-related activity at HP, but it’s more about integrating Social Media into existing Corporate Communications or product launches.

A Comparison to Dell’s Unified Corporate Approach
It’s critical to understand this company culture if you want to understand HP’s approach to Social Media. It’s different than — for example — Dell, which has a unified approach to marketing and social media. (All the Tweeters use “@Dell” as part of their name.) But let’s remember that at Dell, someone wrote a blank check to get the company out of “Dell Hell.” And Comcast, now the darling of every Social Media presentation, had to do something to erase the memory of the technician sleeping on the couch, didn’t they? Does it really take a major Brand Disaster to get Enterprise companies on the Social Media bandwagon?

How Did Social Media at HP Evolve?
HP’s social media program was originally driven out of marketing, and began with a handful of corporate blogs. HP Communities
Seems to be the “official” HP Community, complete with employee-contributed video that you can vote on, podcasts, a link to the idea lab and to the “Wet Paint” wiki, which is a community for members to show off their creativity. And 50 “official” corporate blogs.

Then there are 60 HP “Employee Business Blogs” that are hosted on HP Platform, written by various business groups. A few executives even have their personal blogs. The number of blogs is growing weekly, recently they launched their first foreign language blog.

But the real jaw dropper is that there are links off to the employee’s PERSONAL blogs. I love this! My legal team would keel over if we tried to do this. But HP’s Legal team was apparently satisfied with the following disclaimer.

How Does HP Mitigate the Risks of Blogging?
1. The HP Blogging Code of Conduct is posted front and center on the Community site.
2. HP has an organization called the “Core Community Council” that reviews blog applications and approves them. But they don’t follow up or monitor the bloggers in any way.
3. Legal advises bloggers on how to protect themselves from risk, but unless it’s an obvious violation, they don’t interfere.

So, in other words, employees are trusted to not act like idiots. As Tac puts it:

“We hire the right people and we let them do their job”
— Tac Anderson

Nicely done, HP. Your unique company culture seems to work pretty well.

Cardio or Weight Training? Social Media is a Lot of Hard Work…

26 July, 2008 | | 2 Comments

After meeting with other Social Media professionals at Cisco, Intel and SAP, I have noticed three distinct characteristics that appear to contribute to the success of Social Media programs:

1. Social Media Initiatives came from “the Top:”
At Cisco, John Chambers’ blog post about the iPhone lawsuit set off an avalanche of external blogging. At SAP, the CMO requested a social media strategy.

2. Internal Community Helps: Both Cisco and Intel have a robust internal community that allows potential bloggers to try out the medium and find their voice.

3. Company Culture:
Cisco and Intel (especially Intel) both have an internal environment that is receptive to social media. Here is what I wrote about their cultures: “Social Media at Intel” and “The Evolution of Social Media at Cisco.

I just spent a week at our corporate headquarters where I met with execs who are supportive of social media initiatives for our company. As I think about how we should move forward, I am working with a PR agency that specializes in Social Media. They have lots of good ideas for me. But I still have a lot of work to do on my own…

As I vividly recollect how hard it was to drag my butt in to the gym this morning, this analogy of Social Media to personal training by Jim Durbin reminds me that we still have a lot of “heavy lifting” to do internally — and the agency can’t do these things for us:

Paying Sven to do your workout for you isn’t going to help you, it’s only going to enrich Sven. And for far too many of us, purchasing a 3 year membership at the 24 Hour Fitness of Social Media hotspot is a subsitute for actually exercising.

So, while our agency (a.k.a “Sven”) can help with some efforts (like monitoring the blogosphere), we have to continue to lay the groundwork of a social media program. I still need to persuade legal to open up the blog program, and update our policies so that employees won’t feel scared to start a blog. And finally, there are our marketing folks, whose favorite phrase is “viral video.” : – )

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

10 July, 2008 | | No Comment

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.

ROI of Blogging: Cisco’s Social Media Program

14 June, 2008 | | No Comment

Figuring out the ROI of bloggging has become my quest for the Holy Grail as I try to educate my company. But the best part about working in social media is how open and helpful everyone is. We’re all on the same boat, being tossed violently in a perfect storm. But everyone is willing to share their lifeboat (in this metaphor, information = lifeboat.) The New Media team at Cisco is no exception in this generosity.

Cisco’s New Media program started out as a grass-roots effort in late 2005 with two people working part time on it: Amy Paquette and Jeanette Gibson. When I first did research on blog programs in October 2005, Cisco had nothing. zippo. nada. And then A year and half later, their director of New Media (Jeannette) is presenting at Web 2.0 in April 2007. Through various modes of online stalking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I managed to connect with Jeannette. I even modeled my own title after hers (“New Media”).

Here is a great story from Cisco that illustrates the value of blogging:

In Jan 2007 Cisco engaged in a lawsuit with Apple on the iPhone. Cisco owned that trademark. The lawsuit was public and there were a lot of questions around the specifics. Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel posted JUST THE FACTS around the lawsuit (he was probably tired of all those phone calls.) It was not conversational in tone, just factual. They “just wanted to get it out there.”

In one day his post got 77,000 hits and got 344 comments.

Out of 344 comments, the sentiment was a 60 / 40 split between Apple and Cisco. (Which is surprising, considering Apple’s rabid fan base.) People expressed their support of Cisco protecting their trademark. Now, I want you to take a minute and think about the corparate legal folks you know. How many of them would take this kind of risk and post the facts of a lawsuit on a blog? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, ya gotta hand it to Mark Chandler for putting it out there.

(This reminds me of another great “controversial” post on Yahoo’s corporate blog: the day Yahoo turned down the Microsoft Deal. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.)

Chandler’s post around the iPhone proved to Cisco that a blog can be a great way to disseminate information. This was the first time that a blog had actually helped with Cisco’s PR efforts. It is not surprising that after this event, Cisco’s blog program really took off in 2007.

The icing on the cake is this great commentary on around Chandler’s blog post:

From Jan. 10 2007

“It’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out given the transparency Cisco is approaching this situation with, and Apple’s notorious secretive nature.”

— Scott McNulty (“The unofficial Apple Weblog”)

Autumn Truong of Cisco: Moving in the Right Direction

13 February, 2008 | | No Comment

There is nothing more encouraging than talking to someone who is doing REALLY cool stuff. I had the good fortune to speak personally with Autumn Truong of Cisco today. We met last year at the SNCR forum in CA. Autumn used to manage the virtual events for Cisco, but now she is in a strategic role where she consults with the business units and Corporate Marketing to educate them about social media.

With any announcement, there is a PR and an AR component. Autumn helps determine what the “social media” version would look like: since that is always different.

Autumn said it’s tough sometimes to think of new tactics, since there are no roamaps and no rule books. She asks herself the following questions before she pursues a mew tactic:

— is what I do going to impact customer behavior / sales transaction?

— what types of opportunities can I jump on that would give me a unique case study?

“Initially, education is always challenging. But once it’s done, and they see results, then next time they are more open to bringing you in.”

For example, she did some great work this summer on the User’s Conference, so the Analyst Relations team came to her for assistance.