Brands

Xbox is Ahead of the Game on Facebook

This post is part of the Killer Facebook Pages Series, which highlights the top brand pages on Facebook and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

Xbox is a social media maven. Thanks to a smart strategy, the gaming console has conquered Facebook, bringing together millions of fans of the platform and games from all around the world.

Xbox has more than 18 million fans on its page, and takes the number 20 spot in terms of popular brands on Facebook. It receives at least hundreds of comments and likes on its multiple daily updates. Sometimes, that number reaches over 5,000 interactions, thanks to its loyal fan base.

Integrating Facebook into Xbox Live

Xbox is perhaps best known for its Live platform, which allows gamers to connect to the Internet while gaming to interact with one another. Before it set up a Facebook fan page, the brand was already encouraging social activity amongst its users.

Then, beginning in 2009, Xbox brought in the big guns: Fans could directly connect with each other on Facebook through Xbox Live.

When the integration occurred, Microsoft, which owns the console, said, “By bringing Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm to Xbox 360, we’re not only extending the walls of your living room beyond your home to your friends all over the world, we’re creating the definitive social network, uniting more than 300 million people to share thoughts on music, play games and tweet.”

In response to the then-new technology, Freddie Laker of Ad Age Digital said that Microsoft was “uniting a passionate community that comprises hundreds of millions of people and, in large part, revolves around its brand.”

He also pointed out the integration allows for fans to share information about games on news feeds, share screen shots from the games, and cultivate a better relationship with the company by asking for assistance over Facebook.

In January 2011, Xbox Live had 30 million users, up from 25 million in November2010. Both the number of Live members and the number of people using social media are growing. By offering a way for users to connect with one another in both ways, the brand has formed a sustainable and thriving community.

Connecting with Gamers and Entertainment Junkies

Xbox’s fan page is a success because it taps into two markets: The gamers, and the people using the console for entertainment. Surprisingly, the latter group is now beating the former in terms of numbers.

Of the millions of households using the console, 84 hours per month, over half of those are spending time watching videos and listening to music, according to Microsoft and XBit Laboratories.

Scrolling through the stream of updates, it’s apparent that Xbox is trying to appeal to both types of users.

On June 14, the page posted about watching movies in 1080p by using Zune Video. That same day, updates were sent out about the game Battle 3 Premium and Crackle, which provides movies and television shows on Live. The brand is always mixing it up so that everyone in its demographic has a reason to stay connected to it.

Posing Poll Questions to Fans

Every few weeks, XBox’s Facebook page runs a campaign called “Find Out Fridays.” It poses one question, either through a status or poll, to its fans. A recent question read, “With Father’s Day this Sunday, if you could have one video game father to be your dad, who would you choose?” The poll received over 13,000 responses.

On May 25, it posted, “What will you be doing on Xbox this holiday weekend?” The page saw 1,245 likes and 879 comments.

Asking questions encourages engagement on a Facebook fan page. It is up to the brand to get the conversation going, and proves that it wants to hear what its fans have to say.

In an interview with SmartBlog, Mary Renouf of Global Brand Marketing at Xbox, said that her company determines, week-by-week, what content will be posted on the fan page.

“We have an editorial review session every other week where the different departments put in requests for content to be placed,” she said. “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.”

Xbox closely monitors its Facebook, tapping into what really matters to its diverse fan base. By connecting with the fans on different platforms and encouraging them to participate in conversations about the console, it has created an ever-growing community and extraordinary fan page.

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