In November of 2010, I was faced with a decision that committed me (dare I say) to a lifelong commitment – Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 w/ Kinect (Oh I wished I had known about the system 2 Decision-Making process then.) Fortunately I was able to decide via trial and error, as I returned the Xbox 360 w/ Kinect that same day I bought it because… let’s just say a software update could’t fix all of its problems.
Today, we are in a new era, where social media can influence the purchasing decisions of consumers. After taking a look at some of the social media presence of Playstation and Xbox, I can tell that they are very active participants in this world. However, it is hard for me to determine if it is part of their social culture and more importantly if it generates added value for each company.
Today Playstation and Xbox are part of many social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. Both are very involved and each show almost daily activity, more so in the aforementioned media platforms. Many of the posts are from the company’s themselves, introducing new products, events, competitions, promotions, sweepstakes and more. Both companies seem to be using these platforms more as a marketing tool, rather than a place for users to ask questions directly to the company. On the flip side, it seems that users also don’t use social media platforms to obtain answers to questions from the company. Users blog, tweet, comment, but I perceive the expectation is for other users to respond, not a representative from the company necessarily. Going back to the question of culture, I think that while both companies are very active in many of the social media channels, the company itself cannot adopt these channels into their culture unless the user interaction with the company is more developed. Both the users and company need to know that if a question is posted on twitter (for example), the company will be expected to respond (at least more often then not.) In the future, we just may see a more live feed of interaction via these platforms, similar to those feeds from live television shows (i.e ESPN, MTV).
Playstation does lead the amount of social media traction, possibly due to its greater user base. While this data may not translate directly with value added to the company, it is an indication of the number of people that are paying (some) attention to their products and services. I’d like to point out two social media aspects of playstation that I believe is improving the interactivity with their users – Greatness awaits and Greatness exchange. Greatness awaits allows the user to share an in-game screenshot of their game for a chance to be in a weekly poll where anyone can vote on which screenshot is best. Greatness Exchange allows the user to exchange their ‘trophies’ earned while playing games for sweepstake entries. Both of these programs provide an incentive for users to play more games. In addition, it gives potential future costumers an extra reason to choose Playstation over Xbox.
P.S. – I may be dealing with the same decision late this year, PS4 or Xbox 1??