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Forrester Groundswell Social Reach Award 2014 - Cisco Support Community


Our Service 

The Cisco Support Community (CSC) is a hub of peer-to-peer interactions and knowledge sharing ecosystem for technical support. Millions of community members, who represent Cisco’s largest and most technically advanced audience from around the world, come to our community to collaborate, co-create, and share with other members on a daily basis.

Our community thrives on users engaging and creating content in a truly social and interactive way.





Cisco Support Community has a loyal and involved audience within the online forums. In order to reach new audiences, Cisco Support Community expanded its social media presence, continuing with timely social program offers, through social word-of-mouth, generating increased awareness for Cisco customers and partners.


Strategy & Solution


Our customers - particularly those in younger age demographics and in emerging economies - have been shifting their time spent on the Web to social media, accessing them multiple times a day on average. The latest statistics show about 60% of people are connected to one or more social media platforms. 50% social media users say they check in to their favorite networks first thing in the morning. To tap into this audience, we have grown, nurtured and integrated our new support communities on all leading social media with great success.


Our members can participate in discussion forums, get real-time access to Cisco experts and access technical support resources directly from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Our social media communities have become a new eco-system of users built loosely on the Facebook social graph, Twitter hashtags and LinkedIn connections. Here is a look at the key strategies that we focussed on to amplify our social reach -


  • Social Media Programs: Energize & engage our fans and followers to participate through our programs. 
  • Social Media Events: Engage with fans/followers beyond the feeds of the individual channels. Events provide interaction with fans/followers in real time on specific subject matters of high interest.
  • Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Content Campaigns: Employ SEO focused content campaigns to deliver a relevant and most popular content to reach people via traditional search from within social media channels.
  • Social Media Advertising: Generate brand awareness by strategically targeting and reaching people that are not current fans/followers.


    Social Media Programs


    Cisco Support Community fosters two-way communication with our fans and followers. We encourage users to contribute content, engage, and share their experiences with us through a variety of programs. The goal is to recruit the next generation of experts on social media to amplify Cisco Support Community brand and content.


    • Weekly #FanFridays: We ask fans/followers to share a photo of themselves in their data center or before and after photos of cabling. This program has been extremely successful; making them the most engaging program.            
        • Posts receive on average 592% more engagement than other posts
        • Posts organically reach 50% more people
        • Posts reach 1715% more people virally
        • Posts generate 1741% more impressions virally
          * Data is from December 1, 2013 – February 19, 2014
      • Monthly Top Contributor features a top contributor of the Cisco Support Community on Facebook who has contributed signficantly resulting in problem resolution and knowledge sharing. From each of the Cisco Support Community's outlets (online forums, mobile, and social media) each have top contributors those whom have the most engagement for each channel are featured on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

      • LinkedIn Top Contributor Recommendation: LinkedIn Top Contributor Recommendation program is affiliated with the Cisco Designated VIP program; an annual designation rewarding extraordinary content contributors. The Cisco Designated VIPs from Cisco Support Community receive professional recommendation direct from Cisco, validating their expertise within the community. This program ignites Cisco Designated VIPs and their social graph to engage within LinkedIn enabling the Cisco Support Community to reach a broader technical network and increasing brand experience and loyalty.                
      • Over 14 VIPs have requested recommendations



      Social Media Events


      Connecting with the social media audience beyond daily posts, the Cisco Support Community extends the engagement by organizing highly interactive social media events via Google+ Hangouts and Twitter Town Halls. These events have played a huge part in recruting experts to participate as well as engaging audiencesto our community and events.


      • Google+ Hangouts: Cisco Support Community enlists a variety of Cisco technology and product teams to present and discuss Cisco products and services using Google+ page and Google+ Communities with great success through Google+ Hangouts.Through partnerships with other Cisco teams, the Cisco Support Community has reached new audiences that had little to no awareness of the tools and expert resources available to them. The recorded videos from the Google+ Hangouts are published to YouTube capturing high-view counts, leveraging even greater exposure and content sharing by maximizing different mediums.

             Successful Monthly Google+ Hangouts since September 2013

        • Five (5) hosted Hangouts
        • Over 1000 video views     
        • Over 150 attendees

        • Twitter Town Hall: Cisco Support Community hosts Twitter Town Halls to reach audiences further than the standard tweets and retweets. Engaging the audience through two-way communication where the followers can ask questions to a subject matter expert during a 30 minute session.

             Our first Twitter Town Hall resulted in:

          • 1,131,502 impressions
          • 68,217 accounts reached
          • 117 total clicks from Tweet URLs


        Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Content Campaigns:


        Making Cisco Support Community content more discoverable and accessible to the broader audience through search is the primary focus on our SEO content campaigns. These include keyword, video and popular call center campaigns, keyed from SEO keyword queries. Utilizing top search phrases within search engines, posts are crafted to include related and relevant links. With focus on the trending search topics, individual channel messaging targets the intended audience with higher accuracy, with more efficiency to the end user which in turns increases their satisfaction and loyalty. The results shows a tremendous increase in monthly Engagements, Comments, Shares, and Likes by our followers.


        SEO focused campaigns improve the Cisco Support Community page ranking within Google and Bing, providing more success to the end user thereby drives traffic to the Cisco Support Community adding to the knowledge sharing ecosystem.


        Direct Impact Metrics:


        Social Media Advertising


        Cisco Support Community runs social advertising campaigns on Twitter promoting and generating awareness of the brand, new programs, products and services. Part of the social media advertising strategy is to promote tweets and target industry thought-leaders’ social audience. This in turn helps the Cisco Support Community grow follower base, as well as, generate quality followers who are savvy about Cisco products and services. By continually offering interesting, relevant, timely content and interaction, the socialsphere can increasingly share amongst their followers, amplifying extended reach for our content.

        • Over 1M impressions
        • Aquired 20K+ thought leaders




        Customer Impact:


        Putting social media at the heart of our strategy has had a significant impact on our customers’ engagement with Cisco and their loyalty, as evidenced by direct feedback from our community members.



        Business Impact


        Social media has successfully helped Cisco Support Community expand and become an extension of its core. Social media has assisted in delivering informational content to audiences on all types of devices and technologies as well as creating an ecosystem of younger demographic eager to learn and amplify the brand and content to their social graphs and networks.


        These graphs portray our audience and engagement growth within each social media channel – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Our content is reaching beyond our brand pages and onto the feeds of millions of users that are not directly connected to us. We will continue to engage and expand our social media presence by providing content they’re looking for in real-time through posts, virtual or in-person events, searches on Google, and/or video.


        Social Reach Success Metrics


        • Rapid growth: Over 620K social media users on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube
        • Strong engagement across our social channels (* represents: comments, shares, likes, contributions, tweets)
          • Facebook Community: over 10k interactions* (comments, likes, contributions, shares)
          • Twitter Community: 5,400 interactions* (tweets, retweets)
          • Google+: over 1,500 interactions* (comments, contributions)
          • Linkedin Community: 425 interactions* (comments, shares, likes, )
          • YouTube Subscribers: 400 interactions*
        • Search engine optimized content helped get content to users feeds and able to increase engagement by 89%.
        • Social media programs were able to increase engagement by 592% and reach 1715% more people virally.




        Dates during which your entry was available to users


        July 2013 - present

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