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Xbox lets fans run the show on Facebook

4 min read

Brands & Campaigns

The following Q-and-A is with Mary Renouf. Mary has more than 12 years of digital marketing experience in the entertainment industry and is the head of social-media marketing for Xbox. She has numerous awards for her social-media initiatives during her time in professional sports and while with Adidas. SmartBrief’s Facebook Success Summit Contest winner Elisha Tan contributed the questions.

I notice that your fans engage with each other and help answer queries. How did you create such an environment?

We have a really strong core following who tend to self-moderate. We’ve strongly encouraged that and reached out to some people to thank them. We also give them content to use, things like tutorials and access to our internal customer support team, so that they have the tools they need. We also quit answering some questions from the brand as quickly to give our fans a chance to answer themselves. It makes for better engagement. We are also in development for an influencer program, where we will select key fans across our platforms to engage with. We will give them information ahead of time, get their input on upcoming promotions and campaigns, etc. We will make sure that these people are highly visible and that people are aware they are members in our program.

How do you determine what kind of content Xbox produces on Facebook?

The social-marketing group works closely with the various stakeholders within the company. We have an editorial review session every other week where the different departments put in requests for content to be placed. We review the content, determine the value to the consumer, the chance for engagement and other relevant boxes we like to check. From there, we make recommendations back to the team, and we post the content that we feel will engage the consumer, offer value and deliver brand information to the right people.

Many companies focus their efforts on a single Facebook page, despite them offering more than one kind of service/product. However, Xbox manages a total of 3 Facebook pages. What is the rationale behind this?

I agree that having a single destination does have its advantages. We have our overall “hub” where we provide the bulk of our content. This page is targeted to all brand fans and people with an interest in Xbox, gaming, entertainment, etc. The reason we have subpages for Xbox For All and Xbox for Core is that, as a brand, we have a lot of stories to tell that are focused on core gamers, and many of the most popular games created are rated “M,” for Mature. Whereas, our general-brand fans are sometimes looking for content to share with their families, or entertainment offerings that don’t require a great deal of gaming experience. With our new product offering with Kinect, we are expanding our audience to encompass those people who may not have a background in gaming, but are looking for a fun family night activity, or a way to chat with their friends around the world, or to have an interactive sports-watching experience. We felt it was important to continue offering the Core gamers the content that they have come to expect, while giving other consumers an environment that is easy and fun to access.

What is your definition of success on Facebook?

We determine [key performance indicators] on all of our programs before we launch them. Success can look different depending on the campaign. Sometimes we are focused solely on awareness, so we measure impressions and engagements. Sometimes we are looking for virality, so we look at video views, shares, etc. There are also certain times where sentiment improvement is what we hope to gain, so we focus on that. I would say that there are a lot of wins available, but clearly identifying what you hope to gain before you create an application or post content is really key.

Hear more about how to achieve success on Facebook from Renouf and other leading social-media strategists, including those from SAP, Intel, the Washington Redskins and Cisco, at the monthlong online Facebook Success Summit. Sign up soon — the event starts tonight!