A small business or individual can get a pretty good handle on their social presence with a few of the low or no cost tools our there; Tweetdeck, Seesmic (my favorite) or Sobees come to mind right away. When your brand gets hundred of millions of comments, posts, tweets, re-tweets and more your talking about a whole different ballgame however.
Andrew Pickup is the Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Corporation for the Asia Pacific region, based out of Singapore and in part one of this series we uncovered the 3 digital networks that Microsoft looks to for their online and off-line marketing.
In this episode Andrew shares the tactics and tools Microsoft AsiaPac uses in the tracking the “Earned Media” of which social media is a big part. These are tools that need to be able to encompass hundreds of millions of people making posts, tweets and the sentiment of the comments made everyday.
As far as tactics, Andrew and his team divide the stream into managed and unmanaged, or rather those posts that warrant a deeper engagement versus those in which an ‘aggregated’ engagement is more appropriate.
For the managed engagements, which includes bloggers, Microsoft may opt to engage directly, but only whenever they believe they can add value to the discussion. For unmanaged, or broadly categorized or aggregated issues around whatever trending topic is uncovered by their monitoring, they may opt to develop a response and create specific content to address the issue. A very similar tactic as to how they might handle the commentary if it were made in a PR channel.
As Microsoft engages in the various markets or countries Andrew has responsibility for, they will usually begin with a fairly standard approach and then tailor the presence as the community emerges and opts to engage with Microsoft. Quite a challenge when you consider the number of languages being used in the region, the dialects and slang not to mention the abundance of other social networks consumers can use in the AsiaPac market.
Andrew and his team certainly recognize that the comments in social media are not controllable like they are in paid media, so the metrics and measures applied are more like they are in PR, considering aspects such as;
- Volume of commentary being made
- Influence of the set of commentary being published
- How much is positive, negative or neutral
In all cases, they are aiming for the ‘upper right of the quadrant’ of the matrix and often succeeding. Andrew cites that in 2009 Advertising Age wrote that of all brands globally, Microsoft was rated the most engaged in social media and 83% of the comments were positive; Apple and Google trailed in the rankings.
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