Director - Social Media Strategy | 01 Jun 2012
Social media has given a way to Intel to humanize our brand. When you are a technology company, it is very difficult to have a persona to connect with people emotionally. Social has opened doors for us to put that human face on something that hasn’t been so tangible.
As Social Media Strategy Director, Becky Brown looks after Intel’s global social media presence across 50 countries, managing a work force of over 400 people working dedicatedly on social media. She has been a key member behind Intel’s latest innovation in the social media space, iQ – Intel’s first step towards brand publishing. In conversation with exchange4media’s Deepika Bhardwaj, Brown talks about the importance of social media for a technology company, future of social and what has worked for Intel in this space.
Q. Intel has developed many social media touch points with its communities, including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and virtual worlds. What would you call the pillar of your social media strategy?
Building communities with shared interests and adding value to these communities is at the core of Intel’s social media strategy. It’s a means of celebrating technology and not selling products. Intel touches lives changing the way we live in this world be it the way we watch movies or how we drive our cars. So we connect communities who have shared interest of technology. Those communities could be on blogs, social networks, video sharing sites or anywhere. When we look at social, we look at networks that are mature globally and can be scaled across all markets. There is no one size fits all, so we look at platforms that are popular in their own respective markets and then build resources. Our strategy guidelines advise long term conversations. We have moved away from campaign-focused social programmes to longer sustaining conversations over time. Our social media strategy is in coherence with our business strategies.
Q. How does a technology company like ‘Intel’ look at ROI from social media marketing?
I believe we are at a juncture today where we ‘can’ measure ROI. At Intel, we measure everything. We are a data driven company and we constantly measure effectiveness of our content, the advertising that we do, the tools that we use. Intel’s social media cockpit helps us monitor what’s happening with our communities, our campaigns, our twitter presence – all in real time. We have also built social media point system to measure all our social media activities like we evaluate our media campaigns through value point system measuring engagement. Social point system evaluates how our fans are connecting with us, sharing the content and creates full circle to get insights on our social network. ROI is very critical to us. We want to be more agile in our marketing, effective in our media spend. At Intel, we think of social and media together. It’s the collective look at the entire journey that we are always thinking about from ROI perspective.
What Intel’s Social Media cockpit does...
Q. Why is it important for a technology brand like Intel to be on social media?
It is most important for us as social has given way to Intel to humanise our brand - which was not possible in any other way. When you are a technology company, it is very difficult to have a persona to connect with people emotionally. Social has opened doors for us to put that human face on something that hasn’t been so tangible. We have a way through which now we can explain and have our engineers talk about innovative products on the site. Social media has been a very important part of our total brand impression and has helped us build a human connection - an opportunity we haven’t had before.
Q. You have looked after Intel’s social media presence globally. What has been your learning? What is the ideal social media model that a company having several brands and global footprints follow?
Along with global presence, we have country-specific presence for Intel on social media. People always prefer understanding and consuming content in their own language. A year and a half ago, we had 250 pages representing products, communities, groups, etc. It was a nightmare. Product managers were reluctant to take their pages down. But we decided to take down anything that had limited engagement. We closed down 200 pages and now maintain only 50, which are country-specific. The results are in front of us. Our 250 pages collectively had 200,000 fans globally, whereas now our 50 pages have close to 13 million followers. It has helped in brand consistency, content creation is now centralised and we have scaled up fast. So focusing on countries has worked.
Q. What are the platforms Intel is using for social media activities apart from FB, Twitter and LinkedIn? What was the thought behind launching iQ?
We use social networks which are famous in different countries, for instance, VKontakte in Russia. We are also making use of Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest for various activities. Our use of LinkedIn has increased as some of their recent innovations have been really interesting.
But, while different platforms have been important, what we are increasingly focusing on now is our content publishing strategy. Our next journey in social is moving into brand publishing. Moving into storytelling and curating great stories across the web, which means creating rich social content. We had been thinking a lot about Brand Journalism, what it means is to curate interesting stories about technology on the web and publishing it on our networks. That’s how iQ (an intelligent system that curates content shared by leading thinkers, engineers and scientists at Intel) was born. It is Intel’s first interest into story telling. I think this is the next phase of social for brands. This is the way we own our destiny in way that we are now able to tell great things that we are doing in technology. Through iQ, we are publishing content created by social media practitioners, brand advocates, brand journalists and partners, which has never been done before.
Q. How have you performed in the Indian market?
We have one of the highest engagements with our fans in India. India is a country rich in culture. People here are passionate, connected and sharing. We have platforms to share content, but it is people who make a platform interesting than the content. With the infrastructure, support and marketing efforts on the importance of building relationships online, you can expect that India would continue to be one of our top markets in the world.
Q. Could you share some of the social media campaigns that have done well for Intel in India and internationally?
Our Ultrabook campaign was released first on social media. The ‘Ultrabook Temptation’ campaign did phenomenally well. But our best social programme has been ‘Museum of Me’, developed by our team in Asia, which gives you a visualisation of your life on Facebook. We always remind ourselves as a brand to add value. Things like ‘Museum of Me’ add value. It’s something you want to share. Intel Innovators is another successful programme by Intel, which was completely designed socially. In India, we have participated with MTV for ‘Sound Trippin’ and are pushing a lot of content around the programme.