Cisco Systems is an ideal model for companies to follow when getting started on the implementation of social media and financial disclosure. Corporate Responsibility Magazine reported Cisco as #6 on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List 2009, highlighting corporate transparency as one of the most significant deciding factors. The magazine article points out that despite over the 400 companies that have been featured on the list over the past ten years, only three have made it each and every year since the list’s creation – Intel, Starbucks, and Cisco!
According to Sharon Merrill Associates, Cisco’s communication with shareholders thrives online. The company posts financial information on their IR Web site, as well as through social media tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and their corporate blog, The Platform. Cisco relies heavily on social media as a strategy to reinforce and simplify existing company messages. The company’s extreme online visibility allows shareholders and other constituencies to communicate directly to the Cisco IR team through a variety of social media channels.
Here is an image example provided by Q4 Web Systems that shows how Cisco uses Twitter to communicate to investors. This particular tweet features a link to a video of the CEO and CFO discussing the company’s finances and quarterly earnings.
Here is an example of how Cisco successfully utilizes their Facebook page. The company creates corporate and industry events on Facebook, like their 2009 Financial Analyst Conference. With these Facebook applications, Cisco can invite others to attend or at least to update interested constituencies about the details and successes of the event.