The Key to Managing Xbox’s Social Presence: Embody the Fan

How digital agency Ayzenberg optimizes the Xbox social experience amid massive fan growth

Ayzenberg, a progressive digital agency based in California, is in the business of creating and sharing global brand stories across web, video and advertising. For the past 25 years, they have built their reputation on creative and agile storytelling, backed by data. And their social media strategies are no exception.

The Ayzenberg team understands just how close online communities are, and aims to bring brands and fans together under their shared interests and values. Steven Monterastelli, Associate Director of Data & Insights at Ayzenberg, dives into their approach and best practices for their client Xbox: nurture, relate, and create. In essence, it’s all about embodying the Xbox fan. 

Nurturing Relationships Beats the Hard Sell

For so many, time spent at home alone has made digital spaces even more important for connection. In these times, the popularity of video games has only grown, not just for entertainment, but also interaction. The team at Ayzenberg does not shy away from recognizing this as a difficult reality, and highlights the importance of empathy in brand communication. 

While we have products to market and certain business goals to hit, we also have a very passionate fanbase coming to this social channel, and to these communities, as an outlet. We want them to know that it’s okay. Games can be that outlet. They can be that escape for you during this challenging time.

Steven Monterastelli, Associate Director of Data & Insights, Ayzenberg

What does it mean to be part of a community? When you show up authentically, your fans show up in return. One great example of the power of community is the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. This particular launch, at this particular time, was not pushed with a hard sell because the brand was mindful of what audiences were going through. Even so, it ended up being the largest launch day in the company’s history and a day of celebration for Xbox and gaming fans to enjoy together. Building brand loyalty like this is not an overnight process; it requires careful strategy and active listening to put the consumer-brand relationship at the center of it all.  

Listening to the Data Uncovers Content Themes

Opportunities for engagement are everywhere, and often go beyond that initial post or story. To truly embody the Xbox fan and find moments for personalized interaction, Ayzenberg’s team follows the data. Over the last year, these insights have led them to lean into meme content and viral moments.

We use Socialbakers to uncover what people are talking about and what they are responding to. Really digging in to understand both the community and the wider channel health has been incredibly helpful for us. It’s something that we haven’t been able to accomplish with the other tool sets we are using.

Steven Monterastelli, Associate Director of Data & Insights, Ayzenberg

Patterns of fan engagement for Xbox are so important to catch; it makes it much easier to iterate and create even more resonating content. Using Socialbakers AI content grading system as a predictive indicator and self-benchmark keeps the team focused on what people really want. Steven shared insight into content optimization in the platform: “We can also take a look at the performance prediction of a piece of content by hour for the first 72 hours to really get an understanding of how a particular moment ranks in comparison to other channels. We want to know when these moments are happening, and I think having a tool that gives us this ability is extremely important.”


In such a popular industry like gaming, it takes more than a couple of posts to truly stand out. Understanding the fan lays the foundation for creating the best user experience possible. Using data as a guide, Xbox has been able to connect with fans on a personal level when they need it most. Rather than pushing a hard sell, the team behind Xbox’s strategy focuses on empathetic content activations that really celebrate what it means to be an Xbox player. The approach is simple, but effective: nurture, relate, create. For brands ready to take this one, what does that really mean?

  • Nurture relationships by tapping into audiences’ shared interests, favorite content formats, and modern trends
  • Relate on a personal level by listening and following signals in engagement data
  • Create more than just content, but also a like-minded group of fans who can use the spaces you cultivate as their homebase 

To see how about Ayzenberg & Xbox and how other brands are approaching social media strategy, check out the webinar The Most Unusual Time of the Year: Holiday Marketing in 2020. If you’d like to learn more about the Socialbakers platform, get started with a walkthrough with one of our experts today.

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