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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

WeAreCisco Snapchat for Employer Branding

Entered in Snapchat


The WeAreCisco mission is the same, no matter where we are in social media: To tell stories to the world about current employees (using a co-worker voice, or the employee voice) to make a connection to our people and technology and entice future Cisconians to work at Cisco! The challenge for Cisco's Talent Brand team was to find a way to better communicate with a new, key audience: early in career, university and Gen Z. These audiences were on a new platform – Snapchat – one not understood by most brands, not to mention a B2B brand or a Talent Brand.

Cisco's Talent Brand team knew that Snapchat was a key channel with a key audience, but how could we be true to our employee voice, be true to the way Snapchat presented content, and do it in a way that would show our culture? Plus, as with every WeAreCisco channel, the ultimate goal is hiring great people from the investment into social. How would we measure Snapchat?

Strategy and Execution

Through our social listening endeavors, the Talent Brand team knew that we already had a few "Love Where You Work" super ambassadors out there. We gathered about 20 names from several geographies (using Cisco's Webex technology) onto one meeting. It was exciting for them, because now they were connecting IRL (in real life) with their social counterparts, and because they felt like they were now a part of something (they called themselves a "secret Cisco society.") We called them the Kitten Rainbow Unicorns, all the things that make the Internet awesome.

The Talent Brand team asked this group if they would help us kick off a Snapchat pilot. We were taking a risk, a big, hairy, scary risk, but our tactic was to hand them the keys to the Snapchat car. Every day would be an employee takeover. They had to sign the Cisco Social Media Policy, promise not to share the password, and go be themselves.

The program took off, and went from pilot to full-fledged program in under three weeks.

The Talent Brand team manages the logistics of the account in the background.

1. We change the password regularly to maintain account security. Only one person can be logged into the account at a time.

2. We have an email mailer that we use to communicate with the Snapchatters

3. We have a shared calendar where employees sign up for the days they'd like to takeover the Snapchat account, and what they'll be posting about.

4. The Talent Brand team provides story ideas, guideance, even days that are "group chat" days with one topic and many voices. But it's not over-architected. Guidance is not a script. The employees are themselves at all times.

5. The Talent Brand team ensures that each day is covered on the calendar, manages the metrics in the background, and shares those metrics with the Snapchatter team.

6. We work with site leads on events and such around the campuses to make sure those are represented.

The industry took notice of the innovative nature of the WeAreCisco Snapchat channel, and the NASDAQ (Cisco is a listed company) reached out and asked the WeAreCisco Employees to takeover the NASDAQ account for National Techie's Day to show why working for a tech company like Cisco was so awesome. From a custom geofilter at the NASDAQ to the WeAreCisco Snapcode in Times Square, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

The WeAreCisco channel then took on another challenge, engaging women in technology at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women conference, the most-attended recruiting event of the year for Cisco. Through a contest (plus geofilter), we asked the attendees to Snap us (or via Instagram Stories) why they loved being a woman in tech. We chose 8 winners to meet our VP Engineering Liz Centoni, then meet hiring managers for an interview.


Since May 2016

1. We've had over 5M minutes of Snapchat stories viewed.

2. Just under 1M total views

4. Snapchat story completion rate of between 60-70%

5. 21K+ total completions

6. From 20 to over 70 Snapchatters in 10 countries

The NASDAQ takeover saw the best metrics day for both channels since launch.

824 Unique Views – up 17% from average daily views

24 seconds = ave. time per unique view

19K total views

The contest from Grace Hopper produced two offers for candidates. There were approximately 70 contest entries over the two channels, 8 winners, 4 interviews and 2 offers were extended.

- Over 17K views over two days of Snaps

- Completion rate 60% average over two days

- Unique view peak = 640 – great for a niche event

- 131K minutes viewed

It's not just about hiring new talent, either. Retaining talent, and making them feel like they are a part of the culture is equally important and a huge benefit to the program.

Quotes from our employees about being a part of this experience:

Does YOUR company trust you to be their voice??? Mine DOES!! This has been one of the best experiences I have had at Cisco and one that I think will be very rare among my peers at companies across the globe. – Stephanie, EA, Cisco Austin

Does your work trust you to talk about what you do on SNAPCHAT using the DOG FILTER? #WeAreCisco #LoveWhereYouWork – Tammy N, IT, Cisco San Jose


Video for WeAreCisco Snapchat for Employer Branding

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Cisco (Talent Brand)


Entry Credits