Liveblogging breakout sessions

I’m in the CISCO breakout session on Cisco’s journey with social media.  The speaker describes the history and human resource/financial rationale for engagement.  She notes the following four pillars of engagement:

  • People: Invest in policy development, training and recognition programmes for involvement with social media;
  • Places: Social media destinations and active listening in ‘guest destinations’;
  • Practices: Policies and methods of engagement;
  • Parts: Align the methods of engagement with parts of the business, so that social media engagement can develop organically.

She notes that just being present and open to critical comment is key to altering perception, and she discusses the opportunities to use customer contribution in product or process development.

[JJ’s comment: sounds like Cisco is pretty savvy about their social media process.  They understand the need for ongoing, long-term engagement in order to develop a community.  They also understand that training in social media and renegotiation of social media policies is also an ongoing process. But – much like other large brands – I wonder if the development of a sophisticated social media strategy will ultimately create new silos of communication?  And is this necessarily a good/bad thing?]

Cisco conclude with links to their social media blog and their aggregator.


Following a session on regulatory issues facing Word of Mouth Marketing (more on that later), I’m now in a session with the US telco giant, AT&T, and their journey with finding a social media monitoring vendor.

The speaker notes that in the process of finding a monitoring vendor, they received lots of powerpoint reports from internal departments providing advice on vendors.  The opportunities were to pursue either a department-specific or an enterprise-wide approach.  They decided to pursue an enterprise wide approach.

The leaders of the implementation process worked as partners to ensure cross-checking of issues, and to ensure that execution was consistent.  They shared their findings within the firm, creating an atmosphere of trust in the firm.  Their process came down to assessing objectives, requirements and stakeholders, then assessing the quality of the vendors based on functional components and services, then scoring and ranking vendors based on these criteria.

The speakers go through all these stages in detail, but note that questionnaires are useful as a means of doing research on firms, even if they are not initially selected, as this forms the basis of opportunities to engage in the future, depending on the development of any social media strategy.

In the final decision making process, AT&T asked four finalists to deal with 10 scenarios over a 3 hour period and then conducted data validation on the feedback from vendors.  There were also issues associated with core competencies and value-added services in terms of pricing.

Ultimately, there is no perfect tool for monitoring.  As a result, you have to choose the best fit.

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