When the brief of this assignment was released, I did something any logical, tired, and overworked student would do: I googled “Which companies are the most social media savvy?” Lo and behold, a company called Netprospex happens to write a report on this every year. They call their report ‘The social 50’, and it lists the 50 most social media savvy companies. Surprisingly, they aren’t all technology related companies. Both Coca-Cola and Campbells made the list, one of which makes a fizzy drink, the other which is renowned for beef stock. The company who came out on top however, was Microsoft Corporation.
Graphic retrieved from here
Microsoft Corporation, a technology company whose products are found in every corner of the earth, was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who are tech savvy childhood friends. The company was founded on April the 4th, 1975, and has gone on to create some of the world’s most well-known technology. This includes, the Microsoft Office programs, Internet Explorer, Xbox, Bing search engine, and so many more.
Image source here
Niall Cook’s 4 C’s are boxes that every social media inclined company will want to tick, and Microsoft does just that. The 4 C’s are communication, connection, co-operation, and collaboration.
The next part of this blog highlights Microsoft’s involvement within Niall Cook’s 4 C’s.
Microsoft is a very social media savvy company. They have multiple Twitter accounts, with their main account created in 2009. They run a company page on Facebook, have an Instagram account, a Linkedin account, a Pinterest, a Youtube channel, and even though it isn’t specifically Microsoft, both Internet Explorer and Windows have Vine accounts.
Microsoft is most active on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Their main Twitter account has over 7 million followers and they have even created their own trending hash tags. Their Facebook account has more than 8 million likes and this is where the company goes into more depth about their company values and product descriptions.
On their Instagram account, they post inspirational stories about their employees and people who use Microsoft products. They encourage people to go out and #DoMore.
Youtube is the medium that Microsoft uses to create amazing videos highlighting the best features of their products and how they work. Their most viewed video, which is the HoloLens video, has more than 15 million views. Linkedin is where Microsoft is the least casual and is their most business like profile. Their Pinterest and Vine accounts are very rarely used.
It is well known that Microsoft has collaborated with both Intel and Cisco Systems. Occasionally they will collaborate as a trio, which is rare for companies of this scale. Microsoft usually collaborates with Intel to improve their technology and share knowledge. Microsoft places a huge importance on making technology accessible to everyone, and they work with many different organisations to achieve this.
Cisco systems created their own ‘S.O.C.I.A.L approach’ to social media. S.O.C.I.A.L stands for scalable, open, consistent, intuitive, active, and limitless. Microsoft effectively displays these approaches to using social media within their business. Across all their social media platforms, they are always open and honest with their consumers. They are active across their social media accounts to ensure that consumer queries and complaints are always answered in a timely and friendly fashion.
Their company vision definitely takes a limitless approach, as they are always encouraging their consumers to go out and do as much as they can with their day. They are also always trying to pioneer new technologies and share their successes on their social media platforms. This was best displayed when Microsoft created the first AI chatBot. It caused a social media frenzy on Twitter, and consumers ended up teaching it the worst parts of human nature! You can find the humour in all it’s politically incorrect glory here. You can also read more about AI here in one of my previous posts.
Microsoft is intuitive, in the sense that they are aware of what their consumers’ wants and needs are, because they effectively communicate with them, mainly through Facebook and Twitter. This helps Microsoft to release products they know will cater to the demographics they are targeting. They are also working together with various organisations to make sure their products are accessible and usable for people with disabilities.
Like any company who uses social media extensively, Microsoft has certain policies and guidelines that they expect their employees to follow. Their rules are very simple and straight-forward. Essentially, they just want their employees to post on Microsoft’s social media accounts “Sensibly and responsibly”. They expect their employees to have good judgement while posting online, however employees are not allowed to post for Microsoft unless it’s in their job description.
Ultimately, the social business strategy that Microsoft has implemented into their business is one that attempts to ensure that many forms of social media are used so that they can engage with as many of their consumers through various platforms as possible. Their strategy also aligns with the fact that they are a ‘tech-savvy’ company, so therefore it makes sense for them to use various social media platforms to further advertise their products.
Microsoft is also highly interested in ensuring that they have a high Return on Investment (RoI).
This incorporates another set of 4 C’s. In relation to Return on Investment, these 4 C’s are: Connect, Create, Consume, and Control. These encapsulate the 4 main points of consumer motivation. Because the products that Microsoft creates are new, exciting and often progressive, they will want to harness consumer interest as much as possible.
Xbox One flying off the shelves on the day of its release. Image source.
Through social media, Microsoft is able to connect with their consumers on a more personal level and engage with them to understand consumer wants and needs. This helps them to create the products that consumers desire. Once a new product is due for release, the company will advertise heavily across their social media platforms to make consumers excited for its release.
This is how and why Microsoft is the most successful and powerful technology company today.
Microsoft. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft
Bosker, B. (2011). Companies’ Social Media Savvy: Top 50 Most ‘Social’ Firms. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/18/companies-social-media-st_n_580609.html
Microsoft committed to accessibility. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.microsoft.com/enable/microsoft/mission.aspx
Li, C. & Solis, B. (2013). The evolution of social business: Six stages of social business transformation. Altimeter Group.