Page 11 - Engage -- Fall 2018 -- no.14
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                                                                       need to stop doing things on social because they “look beautiful” and need to start thinking about how the audience engages.
“If you do an MRI of a brain, when you present facts and figures, like boring brand stuff, it’s like the brain of a walker in The Walking Dead. Nada,” Collins says. “If you give them ‘the feelz,’ as we say in social media, their brains light up like fireworks. It’s scientifically proven and now proven by our social media data.”
Organizing the publishing of content that is created and collected is an often-overlooked part of the process. At an organization the size of Cisco, that requires building an editorial calendar for all social media channels while remaining flexible enough to adapt to timely, unexpected stories.
“The blog content is scheduled for the next five months, and on our social channels, we are scheduled for probably a month out, but we make sure we can move things if we have big news to share,” Collins explains. “I don’t consider us a publisher, because we are making personal connections.”
Image Credit: Natalie Jennings Photography
By setting goals, Collins says that she and her team are able to better show the success
of their efforts. Instead of just throwing stuff at walls to see if it sticks, they measure awareness, connection, decision, and advocacy, and Collins stresses that each of those funnel pieces has a business impact. Without some metrics, she says, you will never know how successful you are.
“We are not a sales team driving revenue, but if we retain talent and bring new talent in and it reduces the cost or time to hire, we are saving the company money,” Collins says. “Everything we do is driving to a business impact. Oh, and those teams that made Cisco close out fiscal year 2018 strong . . . we are making sure you have the best talent to do it again.”
Educating employees on the business impact of employee advocacy is a key component to gaining their assistance in the effort. Many employees just don’t know how powerful their voice can be on behalf of the brand. Though Cisco already had social media ambassador training in
place to help with general sharing of employer content, the work of Collins’s team is more focused on the #WeAreCisco campaign.
The Talent Brand team has created
videos on demand to help employees, hiring managers, and anyone else who will watch them understand why Cisco would encourage them to share their stories. The content is less about skills training and more about explaining what kind of impact they can have. They want employees to understand that their referrals are a top source of quality hires.
In the past, Collins’s team created social media trainings for the talent acquisition team and recruiters. With the recruiters on board, they now focus on coaching those teams to help each of their hiring managers “brand” their teams at Cisco.
“We want to let employees know that it’s okay to share,” she explains. “It’s about creating a habit rather than teaching a skill. By showing employees trust, they feel [like] a part of the company and they want to do better.” n
Fall 2018
 By Carmen Shirkey Collins
This is the way we talk about metrics at Cisco and the way I talk about metrics at conferences: just as your communications plan is storytelling, so are your metrics. Here’s what I’ve learned
about social media measuring and how to use the results.
Reach is nothing without an engaged audience.
It drives me nuts when people just report enormous reach stats. I would rather have 100 engaged followers than 100,000 followers with only 10 who are engaged.
Use the unmeasurable anecdotes.
There are some things as marketers that we will never be able to measure. That doesn’t mean they aren’t impactful. We had a blog post from a woman who said to us, “After two years of reading the Life at Cisco blog, I’m finally having my first day as an employee at Cisco.” We reached out to her and she gave us her list of the top five Cisco blog posts that helped her work at Cisco. So, can I say with hard data that the blog helps drive people to apply for jobs at Cisco? Maybe not, but I have anecdotal evidence and have built a case for getting more of that hard data available to me.
Get your executives on board.
It helps that our executives have bought into what we are doing. To get them there, you need to help them understand what you’re doing and what it means. Tell a story using metrics such as share of voice to this audience, because they are not spending every day in this platform, like you are.
Understand your stakeholders.
If I deliver one slide to my chief HR person, she might take just one point and deliver that to the CEO, and at each stage of the story, different people will attach to one thing. I don’t want her to go to the CEO and say we got three million impressions. They will say, “Okay, what does that mean?” It’s my job to help them explain the meaning of it.

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