As part of the Windows Phone 7 launch, T3 conceived a Windows Phone 7 “preview site,” but the key to garnering a global-level impact and interaction was the creation of Backstage.
Part of the preview site, Backstage was an exclusive online community that connected technology enthusiasts with key Microsoft players, positioning Backstage as a source and hub of information. Backstage interactions activated excitement amongst the Windows Phone fan base and armed them with information to share with their personal networks, essentially transforming them into brand advocates.
With this executional strategy, conversations quickly bubbled into Facebook and the Twitterverse, creating a year of constant and simultaneous discussions for T3 to listen in to.
How We Listened:
In-depth analytics and social listening tactics across Backstage, Twitter and Facebook measured domestic and international consumer reactions to key announcements, messages and features to reveal future opportunities and affect future steps and communications.
What We Heard:
T3’s social analytics supported general findings such as: the fan base wants to be constantly heard, understood and informed, and if properly served in this way, become stronger fans. In one specific example, fans clamored for more information about copy/paste and multitasking after an announcement created more questions than answers. T3 and Windows Phone acted quickly, giving Backstagers more information and ensuring each felt Microsoft was listening.
Through the high and mass level of interactions with Windows Phone 7 fans, T3 was also able to confirm the importance of various Windows Phone 7 features, such as Xbox LIVE, as well as future features, to users.
How We Responded:
T3 adhered to their belief: listening is important, but without appropriate responses and actions towards what is heard, the findings are of minimal value.
In response to the desire for multi-task and copy-paste functions, T3 quickly responded to concerned users and provided information to prevent any negative uproars.
Windows Phone 7’s NoDo update revealed a copy-paste functionality, and the Mango update will have multi-tasking capabilities.
The site became a first-look source for bloggers and journalists, commended by forum participants for its commitment to fostering not only positive sentiment, but real, honest and open dialogue not typically ventured into by many brands.
One user, mhc48, commented, “Just wanted to commend the forum moderator and MS for allowing such open, freewheeling and sometimes (lovingly) critical discussions here of the WP7 Phone. It’s a mark of MS commitment to making the WP7 experience really excellent that it not only allows but encourages this sort of wide ranging and wide open forum.”
Another user commented, “I love this forum, it’s been consistently the best place to find aggregated info on the entire web. Nearly all of my questions and concerns have been answered by users and I look forward to sharing my personal WP7 experiences going forward.”
- 3x more discussion than goal amounts during launch (Oct – Dec 2010)
- Grew Facebook fan base 18X to 640k
- More than doubled Twitter followers to 47k
- Established a 50k member online community within 2 weeks of launch – eventually growing to a much larger group
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