Let’s think of the average gamer. Not the stereotypical nerd with no social life, no, according to ESA, the average gamer is 30 years old and gender is almost at an equal. The ESA also reported that 71% of gamers were between 6 and 40.
One thing we can take away from this is that gamers are also more than likely users of social media. According to Mashable, 83% of 18 – 29 year olds use social media and 77% of 30-49 year olds use social. Again gender is almost equal.
When you consolidate all this data, it would be fair to say that gamers are active on social media; therefore it would be a great opportunity to use this channel to further engage your audience, right? I analysed a few profiles in the gaming industry and I’ve noticed that on average, not much is being done. In some cases, companies are using social as a customer service help desk and on odd occasions they will talk about upcoming events such as exhibitions or in game events.
Social Media Is Not A Game
Playing the Game
What I find interesting is that gamers tend to be very dedicated and rather passionate about their hobbies. They spend countless hours playing, talk with friends about the games and play against them too. It would seem as though this demographic is very enthusiastic, thus easily engaged, so why isn’t this being done?
Must Be Using Hacks
One example I would like to use is the Twitter account of Activision. @Activision has amassed over 17,000 followers without tweeting a single time. This means that all those users actively searched for Activision’s Twitter account and followed it, with no effort from the company, in fact the twitter account isn’t even made public on their website, so these followers have manually searched for them. Imagine the possibilities if they did make an effort.
I suppose what marketing efforts gaming companies are making is working. They are obviously making money and fans are lining up for the next sequel to their favourite games, but I believe that social media could benefit their marketing campaigns further. If done correctly, stronger relationships could be built which will create a sense of loyalty to the player. Not only that but a larger audience could be reached and exposed to the company’s content which could result in an increase in sales.
So we have established that there is opportunity, but what can they actively do about it? One thing I know that fans would love to hear about is updates about their favourite games. There isn’t a lot of released information about games in progress. For example a screenshot of a new gun that’s being built into the latest call of duty. There is no doubt that this sort of information would get bounced around a lot on social media followed by countless comments and opinions which will in turn, create excitement about the next release.
What seems to happen a lot is a game is released, then we hear nothing of the sequel until 3 months before its release when they have finished the game and slowly release previews, information and so on. By updating you audience throughout the process, you can keep that excitement and anticipation bubbling away all year.
Once a game is released, it opens a world of content that you can talk about. What is quite common is for people to give up due to frustration. Why not offer tips & tricks through your account for people to try out and keep playing. Someone who has got frustrated with your game and gives up is much less likely to buy your sequel, so by keeping them interested in the game, you increase your chances of further sales.
One last idea would be to share things created by fans. Think of a game and search Google for fan art, I’m pretty sure you’ll find some. Fans love creating this and getting recognition for their hard work is the icing on the cake. You could get really creative with this by suggesting topics and even rewarding prizes.
There is a lot that gaming companies can do and there is no doubt that this would result in a larger return from their overall marketing efforts. We all know social is becoming more and more important but it is very interesting to see how some companies that you would automatically think are actively social are actually the complete opposite.