Creating your own social media strategy might be a bit of a tricky and daunting task, especially if you don’t really “dig” the marketing side of things. However, it’s not that hard to be honest, and it can be quiet fun. All you need is a bit of a plan, some creative juices, and a bit of time, and you’ll be more than fine. With this post, I hope that I can set your mind in a way that will help you design better content for your social media channels and to help you grow your page’s numbers.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
But first, one thing to remember:
COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT IS NOT SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS NOT COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT.
Community Management = engaging with your community so it feels like it’s part of something bigger. You make them feel like they’re being listened to, and that you are doing things for them. You make them feel that they are part of your product and your brand.
Social Media Marketing = presenting your product to as many potential clients on social media as possible, in a way that gets them interested in it. It’s increasing the amount of follows, which hopefully will turn into sales. Also, once people notice your game and follow your channels, they will then become part of your community.
As you can see, they are two different things with different objectives. Therefore, the content that you will do will differ between the two. You need a healthy balance of both to grow and engage your community.
You need to create content that will keep our community interested and engaged in the product/game, and at the same time, you need content/activities that you can share with the larger outside communities so you can “hijack” their members and grow your own.
So, what you need to do is create social content with two specific social goals. And the two goals are:
Content with the aim of Maintaining Interest is your typical Community Management content. It is your updates on the production, your dev diaries, screenshots/concept pieces, your questions/polls, community Q&A’s.
Growth content is all about building a user base – it’s getting as many people that haven’t heard about your game to come over to your social channels and become a member of your community. Examples of growth content include trailers, competitions, content that other social channels would want to post on their walls and still look cool (your screenshot might not be enough, but a video of something crazy/intense/funny might do the trick).
So, let’s go a bit deeper with the two….
Maintain Interest Content
Here are proposed Maintain Interest content values that you should aim for when posting on your channels.
Give updates on the project. Tell your community what’s going on with your game. Show and educate them on your game’s link to any other particular genres/authors/sub-cultures/art-styles/sports/etc.
Ask them questions. Get their opinions. Involve them in your project. Have a two-way communication with them.
Show them something that will make their day (maybe a funny bug/clip). Blur the line between what’s real and what’s not. Play with their emotions. Get into the spirit of your game.
Social content that is designed for growth will inadvertently blend into PR and marketing. It’s designed to make a splash, peek an interest, or make an offer that you cannot refuse. They usually have a simple message and a single aim behind them. They are designed so that others will want to share what you are presenting.
Now, content that Maintains Interest can also make waves. After all, people’s comments, likes, and shares will make others curious about what you are doing. But content that’s aimed for growth has a bigger chance of getting picked up by the press and large outside communities, and you have to have a few of these in your hands so that you can grow the channels that you have. Once you used that content and gained new followers from other places, these new fans will become a part of your community. From there, they will need to be engaged through your Maintain Interest content.
Now, I won’t lie to you – this type of content is the hardest to come up with and usually take a bit of time to prepare. But, don’t stress too much. What I usually do is take a look at a game’s feature, and see what something creative can be done with it. Do you have a stealth game? Well, maybe you can grab footage of stealth and non-stealth gameplay, and show them side-by-side? Are you able to insert content that can be created by fans? Well, maybe reaching out to a site and offer them a contest for their readers could be an idea.
It’s hard to give you concrete ideas without knowing what the game is, but have a look and see what your game can offer that might be of interest to people. Also, check what other game devs did to make a splash in the press (it’s called “research”) and see if you can adapt it to your own game (read a book called Steal Like an Artist – it will get you in the right frame of mind for these type of shenanigans). Just read the press, and follow some sites – after some time, ideas will come flowing.
Now, this is certainly not an exhaustive “everything that you need to know” guide to social strategy, but I think that it is a good start. Creating social content is fun and exciting, and if you have a plan as to what your content should do, you will get better results from your pages. Also, you’ll reduce the whole “what the hell should I post” anxiety and thoughts. I wish you luck with your game, and I hope that these thoughts helped you out just a little bit – let me know if you want me to write more.