Young engineers and other desirable jobseekers increasingly want to be part of a startup culture. That’s not how most of them would probably view Cisco, a large, well-established hardware organization. Cisco’s Talent Brand Team, however, knew the organization’s culture was more consistent with a startup than with an old and stodgy enterprise. The team’s efforts to attract millennials to its culture made extensive use of Snapchat, and its success has won Cisco first place in the “Use of Snapchat” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Digital PR & Social Media Awards.
To convey the right culture, the Talent Brand Team established We Are Cisco, a brand that crosses social media channels but focuses primarily on Snapchat, which is popular with Cisco’s target market of potential recruits still in college, just out of college or early in their careers.
The We Are Cisco initiative evolved from Cisco’s “Love Where You Work” social media ambassadors. Gathering 20 of these ambassadors in a meeting, the team asked if they would help launch the Snapchat pilot by taking over the account. That’s a risky proposition—too risky for some organizations—but the Talent Brand Team implemented safeguards: Ambassadors signed the organization’s social media policy and promised to keep the password confidential. (The team also changes the password regularly.)
Ambassadors use a shared calendar to sign up for days they want to take over the account, and the team engages with them through multiple internal channels, offering story ideas and guidance. As long as they follow the rules, though, the employee Snapchatters can go wild, showing off their personalities and Cisco’s culture.
The effort has paid off, with 5 million minutes of Snapchat Stories viewed in just four months since the effort launched. The ambassadors achieved more than 800,000 total Snap views, grabbing an average of 700 views per day. Now there are more than 70 Snapchat ambassadors from around the world.
None of this involved paid advertising—just a small investment in the creation of Snapchat filters.
Congratulations on a truly innovative approach to Cisco and the team of Macy Andrews, Carmen Collins, Casie Shimansky and Tamar Glasner.