I have had the pleasure over the last few months to develop from the ground up the Windows Social Media team. It's been really interesting to explore the different opportunities for marketing within the Social Media channels. There are two teams in particular that we work very closely with; the media buying team and PR. It's been important to draw a clear distinction between what the Social Media team does and what these other marketing groups do.
- The Social Media team is responsible for online engagement that doesn't cost any money. This was an easy way for us to break out responsibility with our online ad buying group. Take video syndication as an example. The Social Media team is responsible for syndication on YouTube, Soapbox, Metacafe, Yahoo video, etc. Anywhere it's free to post a video is done by us. The media buying team is responsible for any video advertising that we have to pay for, for example banner ads and TubeMogul.
- The Social Media team is responsible for any conversations between marketing and customers. A segment of our social media team is set up to engage in conversations in the blogosphere where we can help customers find solutions and answer questions where appropriate. We are responsible for the masses, how people talk about Windows online as it relates to our customer strategies. PR, on the other hand, is responsible for communication with a select group of press and highly influential blogger's. They seed stories through press briefings and we monitor and engage once the story is covered and people begin to respond. PR does not respond to comments on blogs, the social media team does.
Beyond making clear distinctions about what role the social media team will play as a vital part of the all up Windows it was important to define roles within the team. There are three of us on the team and we are organized like this;
Social Media Strategist; Me. I am the team lead. I manage the team members and agency relationships. I find budget as well as evangelize our work to execs. This is a very important part of our teams success because social media is still in the beginning phases. Success metrics are still being determined. We are trying several different strategies as a part of our overall outreach plan. Some things work great and some don't catch on. It's important to keep telling our story to execs and proving our results. I send weekly high level activity reports to my management so they are aware and informed about our outreach activities. This is crucial for when I need to go back and ask for more funding.
Community manager; Marcus. He is responsible for our community efforts. We launched the Windows Live community this summer and he will be responsible for the health and well being of the community as well as growing the community to include Windows. Some very large problems he will be solving this year include; how do we grow the existing community focused on Windows Live to include Windows? How does customer support and help and how to relate. Many issues in a community come up as a response to a support question someone has. What is the most effective way to bring forums and discussion boards online and what platform should we use, internally built or external?
Social Media Marketing Manager; Ali. Ali is new to Microsoft and is a recent college grad. She has been using social media as a college student for years and is intimately familiar with how the younger generation is now getting the majority of their marketing messages though peer to peer engagement. She is going to take on managing marketing campaigns within Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. She will work with our social media agency and TruCast, our blog monitoring tool, to build dynamic marketing campaigns.
Make sense? Would love to hear your thoughts.