McBru Social Media Case Study: Itanium Solutions Alliance
Case studyItanium solutions alliance social Media
Summary The Itanium® Solutions Alliance, formed in 2005, is a global community of hardware, operating system and application vendors dedicated to accelerating the adoption and ongoing development of Intel® Itanium-based solutions. Traditionally, the Alliance has focused its PR strategy on cultivating media relations; mining editorial, speaking, and awards calendars; and promoting an annual awards event. After taking the reins of the Alliance’s communications strategy in 2008, McBru added a multi-faceted social media effort that has achieved success across a broad range of touch points not available just a few years ago. The agency used social media to expand discussion around the Itanium architecture, boost effectiveness of influencer relations, improve key audience engagement and contribution metrics, increase participation in Alliance marketing programs, and grow membership in the Alliance.Research & Planningthe first step was to assess theunused potential in the newsocial media landscape. While thealliance already had a website andrudimentary blog, McBru directedan overhaul of the blog to make it anintegral part of its online communityand developed a plan to recruit anew pool of dedicated and guestbloggers from alliance membercompanies. after finding that thetarget audience was starting to use Itanium Blogother social media, the agency beganengaging key networks – starting an account on twitter and a group on LinkedIn – toexpand the reach of alliance content and facilitate a dialogue with Itanium stakeholders.ExecutionMcBru collaborated with the alliance’s technical resources to re-design and re-launch the blog using a leading, open platform. the agency then recruited, trainedand managed subject experts from alliance member companies to expand the range of
topics covered and drive up the frequencyof posts and comments. a renewed focuson useful technical posts served to balancethe industry news and business subjects andencourage dialogue.On twitter the alliance set out to grow itsfollowers to include key influencers in thespace. during a four-city press tour, McBrutweeted live updates from the road, offeringvisibility to tour momentum and success.On LinkedIn the alliance initiated focuseddiscussions with the core audience inits group and also joined other groups tofollow related topics and introduce allianceprograms where appropriate. McBru alsointegrated other social networks includingslideshare and youtube to house and servenew and existing presentations and videoassets. Itanium solutions Newsletter & twittertogether, these channels formed a “social syndication network” whereby the sum totalof alliance engagement and contribution is measured as a whole. Wherever possible,McBru creatively repurposed every new piece of alliance content in order to leverage itsvalue across all relevant channels, increasing exposure and allowing the target audiencemembers to receive the information in their preferred formats.ResultsBolstered by the contribution of many newbloggers from within the ecosystem, theblog’s readership and subscriber list havegrown dramatically as system architects offerdevelopment tips and tools; and as industryexperts weigh in on Itanium’s position in avery competitive landscape. active outreachhas shifted Itanium debates and discussionshappening elsewhere on the Web to the Itanium’s LinkedInalliance blog.
the number of alliance twitter followershas grown to include key analysts, press,and other industry heavyweights. Bystarting and participating in discussionsabout Itanium on its LinkedIn group,the alliance attracted new members,recruited guest bloggers, and increasedparticipation in its annual awards event.In fact, three of 2009 award “finalists”submitted their application as a result Itanium on the Registerof social media outreach.Program results metrics have now expanded to include activity generated across thesocial networks, as well as the number of quality interactions with Itanium stakeholders.In addition to website traffic, the alliance now measures additional audience engagementstatistics including blog visits, slideshare and youtube views. this increased engagement,in turn, stimulates more quality contributions across all the social media channelstaking the form of blog posts, comments and discussions while also creating a “pull”on alliance content measured via Rss subscribers, twitter followers, LinkedIn groupmembers, newsletter subscribers, and new members to the alliance.On May 5th 2009, the alliance blog was cited by a major online publication in the serverspace – the Register, known for its negative slant around the technology. But in an articletitled “Itanium: ‘a special cause for optimism’” the publication cited an alliance postthat presented positive analyst data in arguably its most balanced coverage in years.Proactive social media outreach made this possible. Our blog work has indeed been cutting edge. We have significantly enhanced and even revitalized the Alliance this year through the cultivation of the blog and the associated social networks and conversations. My hopes and expectations have been more than exceeded in this area. Joan Jacobs President and executive director Itanium solutions alliance
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