Welcome to the first Windows Social Media Team update. We've had a lot of questions about what we've been up to so I wanted to provide some background on our mission, objectives and what's coming up.
Social Media Marketing is defined by Wikipedia as a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users (customers), not direct employees (brands). For a quick explanation of how social media can change businesses watch this video. We want Windows to participate in the groundswell of conversation on the web by evangelizing passionate customer conversations and participating in a transparent dialog with consumers. To do that we've made 3 big bets:
a) Infuse customer experiences into our marketing voice. Using the Windows Live and Windows advocate group personalize Windows by allowing real customer to tell their stories through user generated content on WindowsLive.com [coming to Windows.com in H2]
b) Monitor, report and engage in social media conversations (forums, blogs, chat rooms) increasing share of voice and sentiment for Windows and Windows Live brand.
c) Build Social Media marketing beachheads that compliment broader Windows campaigns reaching customers in networks they are already using.
People want to engage with each other, and especially with others who are "like them". WindowsLive.com engages and showcases a community of people who want to share experiences and insights on how they are using Windows Live services in their everyday lives. UGC brings real, authentic customer stories to our marketing voice. Since the community launched on August 4th a few top contributors are;
o 20 year old retail sales professional at a Target store in Pennsylvania who loves the new Windows Live Hotmail
o 64 year old retired grandmother in the UK who has uncovered some of the great new features of the Windows Live Messenger beta
o 31 year old IT pro in the UK who used Windows Live Events to plan his wedding
o A Microsoft MVP in Bangalore, India who figured out how to use Windows Live Photo Gallery to "clone" people
Together, the community has contributed over 300 pieces of user-generated content (UGC) sharing personal stories and how-to tips about Windows Live. Great job community!
Social Media Conversations
Since July 2008, we have been monitoring, measuring and engaging conversations pertaining to target audiences on the web . We use a technology called TruCast to collect conversational data which we then use to guide our responses and engage with our customers. To date we have experimented with 5 types of outreach and engagements: blogs and forums, answers/Q&A sites, social networks, social bookmarking/aggregation sites, and video content sites. We measure both the cost per engagement action (cpea) and the ROI for each engagement type. Based on that data, we continue to evolve the outreach program to optimize for value and effectiveness.
Combining this date with our current marketing efforts allows us to monitor the effect marketing efforts and messages have on Windows brand perception in online conversations.
Social Media Beachheads
Facebook.com/Windows – Become a fan of Microsoft Windows on Facebook. Some features to look out for: I'm a PC Status Randomizer app, exclusive online Windows videos, Best Fan Photo & Free Download of the Week, Windows Live Messenger Themepack and much more. Over the next few weeks, we'll collect fan photos from all over the world and feature them among our community. Windows is also running homepage engagement ads using beta video ad units which we customized for Windows allowing users to Fan the page directly from their homepage.
YouTube.com/WindowsVideos – The Windows Video Channel became the #10 most subscribed sponsored channel of all time in just one month and is now the #1 most subscribed sponsored channel of the month. And as we expected, our customers have started to respond. They began uploading and sending us their "I'm a PC" videos, which we now showcase every Friday in the Best of YouTube Playlist. We are working with YouTube to better understand the reach and opportunities available to tell our customer story through this large, vibrant community. Specifically, we are investigating relevance search terms strategies, improved discoverability tactics, and other beta testing opportunities.