Twitter Connects Microsoft With IT Pros
The Microsoft social media manager could not decide on a tagline. So, Rose -- a senior community manager for Windows Client IT Pro -- posted a tweet to his more than 400 IT Twitter followers, asking for opinions. The Tweet: "Hi, what do you guys think when we say this ... ?" returned "amazing" responses.
"I reached out for instant feedback and within 20 minutes I forwarded the social media expert about 40 Twitter responses," Rose said. "I can be in a meeting and someone says, 'What do IT pros think about this.' I say, 'I don't know. Let me ask them.'"
The goal of connecting Microsoft with IT professionals -- those who design networks and databases, or program computer applications and rich media ads -- has led Rose to reach out via social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. The apps have become a support line between IT pros and Microsoft, Rose said, because it lets IT professionals participate in the future of the brand and its products.
Microsoft also relies on Visible Technologies' TrueCast to monitor buzz for Vista and Windows 7, for example, and connect with people who might influence buying decisions. The application identifies "influential" bloggers and the number of people they reach. "We look for them and connect," Rose said. "It has allowed us to build relationships with people who have built successful Facebook and Twitter groups."
Rose said the comments are broken into three categories: Green, people who are happy and excited about Microsoft products; Red, people who are Linux or Mac fans who will never use Microsoft products; and Gray, I have Windows XP now and I'm evaluating Windows 7.
Just prior to next month's TechEd conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft's IT Pro group will begin using CoTweet in multiple languages. The twitter management system allows multiple people to manage and respond back to tweets from one account.
Rose believes the Twitter tool will let conference attendees ask questions and find the best sessions to attend while at the conference. The event puts the focus on the forthcoming releases of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. "We're going to blow out the application into multiple languages and blast a tweet every 30 minutes," he said. "We hired specialists to offer this Tweet tool worldwide in Spanish, French and German."
If the group gets a question from a Twitter user, Rose said, Microsoft can forward the tweet to a specific person within the company, so they can respond. The application lets the user schedule, send, assign, and confirm receipt of direct messages.
At TechEd, Rose said, Microsoft will use a flat-screen monitor as a Twitter message board, similar to this week's ad:tech conference in San Francisco, where organizers had a few screens streaming tweets tagged #adtech.