My co-workers know how much I love my PSP, and how much of a love-hate relationship I have with Sony. But I just gotta give them credit for one of the best online social media marketing strategies I have seen. Not only does Sony have a very well run Blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page, but they have both the COJONES and the common-sense needed to run them effectively. Other companies concerned about their branding in the brutal arena of social media would do well to follow their example.
Social Media COJONES!
SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment of America) runs the blog (http://blog.us.playstation.com/). They do just about everything right. First, they have great regular posts that both take advantage of current hot topics, but also have great personable content. All blog posts are credited to actual authors, who often flow up by responding to comments. They also allow users to not only comment but also to whine, rant, and complain about whatever they think SCEA is doing wrong. I, myself, have complained more than once and have never had a comment rejected. Yes, SCEA puts their flaws out for everyone to drag through the mud.
Everyone is afraid of the negative press they will get in the untamed wilds of social media, but SCEA isn't phased by it. Whatever pain this may cause is far outweighed by immense amount of traffic and exposure their products get. Their Facebook page has over 700,000 followers at the time of posting this. That is over half-a-million users they have free advertising to at any point in time!
Social Media Common Sense!
It takes more than just COJONES, SCEA also has the best common sense approach to managing the chaos. SCEA only responds to users who are asking questions, or posting reasonable complaints and issues, but just let's the whiners carry alone. This is very smart, because it trains their users to be polite. Fans know they have a better chance of being heard if they don't just rant and rave. The point here is that they DO RESPOND, just in a very methodical fashion that builds a great fan base. Second, more often than not, other fans will just come to SCEA's defense without them having to lift a finger. And again, all this just builds great traffic.
SCEA also does a great job of re-posting and re-linking all their own content. On weekends, SCEA posts a "recap" listing all their posts from the previous week, as well as a "what we read on the web" which is, of course, a listing of their best press across the web. This also helps their web strategy by encouraging other sites wanting traffic to be positive toward SCEA products.
Even if you don't care about Sony (or hate them), it is worth following their social media for a while, just so see some real pros at work!