SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIAL: The platform holder’s perspective

For our Social Media Special, PlayStation Access community manager Michael Shillingford explains how Sony is getting fans involved in its latest releases

First of all, there is the impact of the PlayStation brand which naturally brings a lot of followers and fans to our pages.

Cross pollination of content across multiple social channels helps us keep the interest and audience engaged wherever they prefer to interact with the brand. We prioritise social channels when we have announcements to make about upcoming products and therefore it’s really the news content that creates the buzz on our channels. Finally our community is passionate about the brand and we always try to interact with our users by asking questions around their passion for gaming.

Our channels are all localised across all of our markets and managed by our local teams, this helps with delivering relevant content that our community can engage with.

Our consumers have high expectations of content created by PlayStation. When it comes to our quarterly mag and our weekly video show in particular, we have really high production values. That said, making sure that we’re conversing with our fans about the messages we’re giving them is more important. We always spend plenty of time looking at the comments under our posts and responding to them, whether it’s answering a question they have or just reacting to something positive they’ve said. We think those direct interactions with us mean a lot to our fans and we know they’re more likely to keep coming back if we converse with them.??

PlayStation has always had a good relationship with its fans, cultivating open dialogue between the company and consumers with initiatives like the PlayStation Blog as well as our community engaging with each other on the very popular PlayStation forums. PlayStation Access allows us to showcase everything great about PlayStation in the UK as well as providing us with the platform to reward our community with money can’t buy experiences. We are then able to hero the community themselves through channels such as Access TV broadening the reach and appeal of our loyal fanbase.

From the metrics and feedback we get from our social activity, we know that our community want offers, discounts and "money can’t buy" gaming stuff from the developers, publishers and retailers that PlayStation is connected to. Our next step is to get those guys interacting directly with our community through our channels – giving PlayStation fans the things they want and promoting PlayStation products at the same time.??

On other social networks, Followers and page Likes are purely an indication of growth, they don’t represent the actual audience of our content. Instead we look to see how many people actually interacted with our posts – the number of comments, shares, retweets and replies are the stats that get us excited. When we see those numbers go sky high, we know that whatever we just posted was awesome and that our audience want more of it.

Access is still an infant at 10 months old – we’re still finding new ways that it can help the business. We’ve already showcased pre-release software at events designed for our community (and then encouraged them to share their experiences of it), widened our audience by celebrating gaming culture through our magazine and video show; we’ve even asked our community to rate how sexy our new Scarlet Red PS3 is (11/10, apparently) and seen them get really, really excited about buying it as a result.

The people in our community are really important to us and we’re at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unlocking their value.

About MCV Staff

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