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!

 

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17 Responses to “How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rob Birgfeld, Jason Murphy, SocialWize, Ana Hoffman, Santi Chacon and others. Santi Chacon said: How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it: LaSandra Brill is a social-media en… http://bit.ly/a4t3mE [...]

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  3. I'd welcome hearing more about LaSandra's dandelion approach – for example what software and other tech tools they use for that hub and spokes approach and if they have rules of engagement or guidelines. Very helpful post – so i tweeted it
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  4. [...] 26 Facebook pages, 300 YouTube channels, 61 communities and 37blogs. In an interview with SmartBlog on Social Media/ Senior Manager of Global Social Meida LaSandra Brill explains how the company can avoid duplicate [...]

  5. [...] a good interview with LaSandra Brill, senior manager of global social media at [...]

  6. [...] How Cisco keeps its social-media teams on target [...]

  7. [...] LaSandra Brill, Senior Manager of Global Social Media at Cisco, plainly [...]

  8. [...] How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it | SmartBlog on … – [...]

  9. [...] How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it | SmartBlog on … – [...]

  10. Manendra says:

    This is a really nice article and i think listening is new way of social media communication because people will our goals will be full fulled if we listen to our customers.
    My recent post Why should i update Google profile

  11. [...] How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it – I can’t even fathom manning 100 Twitter accounts let alone adding on 26 fan pages and 300 YouTube channels, but then again, I am not Cisco. This article breaks down how they look at social media and its definitely worth a look. [...]

  12. [...] Cisco’s Social Media Accounts With around 100 Twitter handles, 26 Facebook pages, 300 YouTube channels, 61 communities and 37 blogs, Cisco has really invested into the concept of Social Media. They based their social media strategy on the “Dandelion”, one of Jeremiah Owyang’s Frameworks for Social Business. This model allows flexibility but sacrifices a bit of control. However, in this arena, control is fleeting and because technologies and people’s behavior change rapidly, it is adaptability that counts. [...]

  13. durgarao.nunna says:

    i like it

  14. [...] How Cisco defines business-to-business social-media success … and achieves it Cisco has achieved impressive results in using social media as a marketing channel for business-to-business sales.  Cisco is very active across social-media channels and maintains over 100 Twitter handles, 26 Facebook pages, 300 YouTubechannels, 61 communities and 37 blogs. To find out the secrets of Cisco’s success, SmartBlogs interviewed Cisco’s Social Media Marketing Manager LaSandra Brill. [...]