Tallying the Effects of Content in Social Media: Cisco Live

Cisco Systems succeeds at Enhancing the Attendee Experience at Cisco Live

Editor’s Note: The Customer Experience Recognition Awards made their debut in 2014 to recognize the role of content in creating great customer experience. Cisco Systems received the 2014 CERA for Social Media.

CERA-logo-150If technical communicators doubt the utility of social media in delivering relevant content, it’s time to take a look at how Cisco Systems measures social success. Community building and brand recognition are two important goals for any organization’s social media campaign, and Cisco Live was able to achieve both during its 2014 event. Attended by thousands of technology professionals worldwide, Cisco Live took place in San Diego from June 8–11.

Cisco _ live _ image 4“Cisco Live uses social media to amplify key messages and overall conference conversation and brand awareness,” according to Kathleen Mudge, of the Cisco Live team. In addition, the team set out to help attendees effectively navigates the event using digital streams. A key consideration, and asset, for increasing engagement was the fact that event attendance grew 35% over the previous year—reaching 27,000 in-person registrants and 130,000 online views. The Cisco Live team was quick to credit social media as one of the driving forces for the increased numbers.

Authentic experiences reported and shared by enthusiastic attendees were a key objective for the Cisco Live team. One of the ways they achieved this organic amplification was by creating and launching games through their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds.

Implementation taught Cisco Live that content doesn’t always transfer well between social media channels and, as a result, the team has developed a deep awareness of content delivery requirements. Unique content and focus is necessary for each stream, and deliberate effort is required to realize desired engagement levels.

Overall, the final event numbers were impressive: 55 attendee-penned blog posts; 5,419 social engagements; 66,578 mentions of Cisco Live within social media channels; and 86 million total impressions during event week. A full 88% of surveyed attendees noted that they prefer and evangelize Cisco as a result of attending Cisco Live.

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Social media is always evolving, and Cisco Live expects that optimizing audience benefits will require adapting their strategies to meet future challenges. One option being considered is paid amplification, and Cisco Live anticipates that they will enhance their event coverage so that prompt social media responses are generated even at their busiest times.

Receiving the CERA award for social media created well-deserved attention for Cisco Live and the Cisco Live social media program. Renewed confidence in their team’s efforts and increased outside awareness of the event were the most obvious immediate results for team members. Kathleen promised “Cisco Live will continue to grow and change the social media program for the event to ensure optimal benefit for our audience and to stay current with the ever changing tools, communities and opportunities offered with social media.”

Stacey Plowright

Stacey Plowright is the current Communications Manager for STC Toronto. A soon-to-be graduate of the Technical Communication program at Seneca College, she has deep roots in both publishing and customer support. Stacey advocates strongly for clear, concise communication and seeks to provide knowledge to those who need it when they need it. She can be found on Google+, and through LinkedIn.

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