January 4th, 2018
Carmen Collins, manager of Cisco’s talent brand social media team globally, says 2018 will be the year of live video for the many @WeAreCisco social media accounts she leads, specifically live video employee takeovers, a ballsy move for a brand manager (if I do say so myself). However, over the last year, employee takeovers have not only entered Carmen’s wheelhouse but her comfort zone.
Before we dive right into Carmen’s seemingly effortless employee takeovers across multiple channels, let’s get a little background on @WeAreCisco.
Who Is Cisco?
Originally Cisco Jobs, then Cisco Careers, We Are Cisco was created to boost recruitment. Armed with the knowledge that employee voices are still more credible than those of CEOs, Carmen sought to boost Cisco’s workplace reputation by telling the uplifting stories Cisco’s employees readily and enthusiastically share.
Despite the numerous employee stories shared, this is not an employee channel. Yes, the majority of the audience may be current Cisco employees, but KPIs (key performance indicators) for the accounts include the number of qualified candidates who find Cisco positions through engagement with their social media channels. Currently, Carmen estimates that 10% to 15% of their audience are people who want to work at Cisco.
Through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, We Are Cisco encourages employees to “be you, with us.” Takeovers are carefully chosen from a group of employee advocates hand-selected by Carmen and her team.
How to Find Employee Brand Advocates
How does an organization of nearly 75,000 employees find their advocates? Perhaps surprisingly, without a tool. The grassroots process relies heavily on the team keying into Cisco’s engagement campaigns, which use the hashtags #wearecisco and #lovewhereyouwork abundantly.
Social listening enables the team to discover highly-engaged employees. An introduction and a request to use the employee’s UGC (user-generated content) opens communication. With an outlet to be heard, employees eagerly share stories that often lead to compelling blogs.
This process has been so fruitful for the talent team that blogs are scheduled months in advance, up to four months in advance. However, Carmen explains that they remain flexible enough to stay on-demand, able to tackle relevant current topics.
Through their manual discovery process, Carmen and her team have built up their global Snapchat ambassador group to nearly 70 people. Weekly, Carmen invites a member of this group to take over the WeAreCisco Snapchat account. By sharing 3 to 10 Snaps from their day, the ambassadors share their passion for their careers with prospective employees.
Additionally, as Cisco gives employees days off specifically for volunteer opportunities, their social media channels have been key in covering their employees’ acts of service. Through Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and soon Facebook Live takeovers, Cisco employees stay true-to-brand all while showing tons of heart.
Employee-Created Content Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
Brand managers everywhere are wary to give advocates the “keys to the kingdom” by way of social media takeovers but We Are Cisco proves how valuable this type of content can be. The team has earned Cisco numerous awards and earned media, such as KRT Media’s “10 Companies Slaying the Social Media Recruitment Game,” Potential Park’s “Top 25 Talent Brands in the US,” and “LinkedIn Top Companies 2017: Where the world wants to work now.”
As we all know, the content has to come before the awards roll in, so how did Carmen earn C-Suite support in the first place? Metrics help, however, Carmen will tell you she simply has amazing leadership. By trusting Carmen’s intuition and recommendations, leadership empowered Carmen to get the ball rolling.
With the support of upper management and the success We Are Cisco has seen in the last year, it’s no surprise the team is bravely leaping into Live video takeovers. Employee takeovers through Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and perhaps YouTube Live will be served up in the following months. Keep a close eye on We Are Cisco social Media accounts for some live video inspiration.
What award-winning social media strategies will you be implementing in 2018 (or already have implemented, you over-achiever, you)? Hit me up in the comments—I’d love to hear, and potentially write, about what plans you have in have brewing this new year.