Windows 8 Launch Party Spotlights Important Lessons from Social Media

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Windows Windows 8 is making its big reveal this month, with new updates so expansive that many are saying it is practically like seeing a completely new OS all together. And yet the much anticipated launch party on Thursday October 25th was a dud, a resounding flop that had absolutely nothing to do with the product, but everything to do with the way the launch party was executed. One pcworld.com writer said the reason being that it was put on more like an infomercial than the drama filled hype event techies had been hoping for. In that statement one can immediately see the effects of social media and how they have spanned over to traditional advertising and marketing realms.
Social media has consistently underlined one thing: do not be overly pitchy, instead provide valuable content. Surely the point of any ad or marketing campaign is to tell customers “buy this” or “use this” but stating it like that is not effective. Instead showcasing how a product improves everyday life, makes something more cost effective or streamlines what one is already doing has proven to work much better. Social media strategies use this concept every day. And yet, Windows 8 failed to learn this important message that media has taught us.

It is doubtful that those who were already waiting to buy this product will have changed their minds because of this stale shindig; however, they missed out on loads of positive press, and still paid for the party. Turning to how other big businesses, even those without an obvious place in the world of social media, have successfully used social media platforms could have spared them the embarrassment.
 Consider the big box hardware chain, Lowes. They are not blatantly positioned for the online realm of sleek, stylized social media, but they have pulled it off incredibly well. They do not use these platforms to display their products or run store promotions. They showcase great DIY tips, show how cost effective a few energy efficient improvements can be, and even display trending home décor styles.
Their biggest coup has been the development of a tool that allows customers to store purchases such as paint colors into the store system. Thus, when in need of a touchup they naturally return to Lowe’s because they already know what the customer needs. This has been a brilliant way of taking what small local shops have been able to do for regular customers and use technology to adapt it to fit an expansive chain of stores with a super-sized workforce.
Windows 8, developed by leading minds in the world of technology, needs a hardware chain to teach them this? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the bold statement that “Windows 8 shatters perceptions of what a PC now really is.” This is most likely in regards to its brand new touch screen interface that is able to work in conjunction with the traditional mouse and keyboard. That is the type of exciting advance that the company should be underscoring and boasting about, no one is denying that, even if they are skeptical as to how it will work in actuality.
What critics are frustrated with are the stale news clips that have mostly been repeated since February and the lack of over the top dramatic display that typically accompanies such great achievements.
Even in Microsoft’s own history they have amped up less revolutionary new products with star powered appearances of Jay Leno, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. It all goes back to the basics of good social media strategy: offer up good content, make sure that content is fresh, focus on recent trends, and do this without making it a blatant sales pitch. Hopefully, other businesses can use this as a learning experience.
Author Bio: Dan Ripoll is co-founder and CEO of Content BLVD, a crowdsourced content marketing platform enabling bloggers to publish more content and grow their audiences. This is achieved by connecting authoritative bloggers to a crowd of top notch contributors offering high quality, informative content.

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