As a public relations and social media consultancy in Berkshire Morgan PR is often invited to speak to companies or organisations about promoting themselves and how to use social networking, however it has been particularly rewarding to be invited to Cisco Systems Inc to talk about social media and engagement.

For speaking gigs it takes some beating! Cisco System Inc turned over $40billion last year and employs 65,000 people worldwide and already has a phenomenal reputation for using social media. I was invited to speak at their UK headquarters in Feltham to a team of interim marketing managers, many of whom were already experienced social media practitioners. We were speaking to a group of clearly talented team with a host of responsibilities within Cisco Systems. They have been appointed by IT Marketing Recruitment specialists marketingmoves who actually employ these key personnel and are responsible for ongoing training and personal development – hence a talk on social media.

Fittingly for a social media consultant, I was only asked to speak at Cisco after an online appeal from the Marketing Director of marketingmoves, Sandy Malone. She explains: “I asked my network if they could recommend a social media expert and got over 60 responses and over a third suggested Nigel Morgan, in a stroke proving the power of social
networking.”

For a presentation on social media engagement the audience we worked with had certainly already invested a great deal in social media both personally and professionally and much of the time there was a healthy discussion as we explored the state of social media today and what the future holds. Essentially I delivered a strategic presentation and talked about the myriad of social media channels and the importance of listening and engaging with those who follow you. I also went through some case studies of businesses that were getting it right… And some who are getting it wrong! I suggested social media trends for 2011 and we also looked at huge social networks in other parts of the global market that most people in the UK have never heard of – like RenRen in China and Orkut in Brazil.

I talked about the ‘Butterfly’ ranking that Engagementdb had given Cisco Systems in its most recent 2009 research and was encouraged to hear that far more engagement goes on now. Essentially Engagementdb suggested ‘Butterflies’ engaged across many channels but did not sustain contact in the way that ‘Mavens’ did.

Too many businesses have recognized the importance of social media and subsequently launched campaigns or events that then fail. Reassuringly they often get it right and make a big splash and even achieve viral success… But what happens next – or rather doesn’t – effectively undermines their initial success. They falter and fail to maintain that initial engagement and fritter away the goodwill they had secured.

Setting a good example of engagement is Cisco Systems’ Chief Technical Officer, as delegates were keen to point out. The wonderfully named Padmasree Warrior manages her own Twitter account and does engage with those who tweet her – certainly looking at her feed today it would seem so. However the speed with which @Padmasree replied to me, @nigel_morgan on Twitter was truly impressive and we had a quickTwitter chat. How many businesses the size of Cisco would see a CTO engaging in this fashion? Very few I suspect!
I was delighted with the effusive feedback and some of those we met yesterday have already been in touch – reassuringly through social media!

Incidentally, the social media performance of Starbucks is well established, but I was still impressed that among the terrific facilities at Cisco Systems UK headquarters, is a branch of Starbucks. It meant that my presentation was nicely fuelled!

A short drive from Cisco Systems and it was time for a fine lunch with some of the marketingmoves team at Edwinns in Shepperton and a friendly chat about how Morgan PR and marketingmoves can work together more in the future.

(marketingmoves is a specialist IT marketing recruitment coompany that recruits Only the best marketers.Only for IT and Telecoms.)

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