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Social Media Case Study: How do Microsoft use it?

Let’s face it! Microsoft has been having a tough time of late. But everyone has their own theory on why?

Once the biggest and most powerful software firm in the world, with a more noticeable brand image than a Coca-Cola advert at Christmas has recently been overtaken in market share by Apple inc. Microsoft is now suffering across all divisions i.e Windows computing operating system, Windows phones, the new Outlook (formally hotmail and outlook) and most controversial amongst Generation Y, the Xbox gaming entertainment console.

Recently this problem has become more apparent with the launch of the Xbox One, where the Xbox One chief product officer, Marc Whitten, responded to the recent fan petition asking Microsoft to re-reverse their Xbox One policies. In an interview with IGN, Whitten lamented Microsoft’s back-and-forth messaging since May, admitting that the company still has a lot to work on when it comes to communicating with consumers.

This is a massive admission as Whitten addresses the whole company rather than just its gaming division. The launch of the Windows Surface and the Windows Surface RT saw the same issue. This lack of connection between consumers and Microsoft’s current products has been damaging to it’s reputation.

In both instances social media has been a key factor in how a product has been perceived by the consumer. Take Apple for instance, they use social media as a tool to make their product more appealing to their consumers, creating something that they feel they need, not just want.  Microsoft have slowly been able to catch up with this with their invitational press conferences when introducing new product lines. Using current products such as Xbox to stream these conferences, something Apple are unable to do.

But overall most of Microsoft’s issue root from them taking a traditional stance, this differ from competitors who try to create an exclusive club of users rather than appeal to the masses. This is what has given Microsoft their undeniably strong image, and has lead to many successful social media campaigns.

Such as the famous “I’m a PC” marketing strategy for its Windows 7 operating system, which focused on product benefits. After the poorly received previous operating system Windows Vista, Microsoft went out on a limb to save its reputation, by going back to basics and showcasing their product from a consumers point of view, focussing on how easy it was to use

Microsoft used YouTube, which is often used by the public to do tutorials, as a way to show all of different tips and tricks Windows 7 had to offer. Each spot concludes with user stating “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea”.  As a new Windows 7 user myself, I clearly remember watching these ads and actually trying out the tricks, such as side by side window snapping, this suddenly made windows cool.

With the ever changing technological environment, Microsoft along with their competitors will have to do all they can to keep up with the constant developments and discoveries.


Content Assistant – Odelle Hogg

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