Years of thinking social archives >
Everything in life is a game especially engagement. (Hence, the term “engamement.”) You either win or lose, get the Likes, shares, and comments, or you don’t. Your brand is either in first place or it’s not.
The most popular games seem to have a few things in common that tie directly to engagement. For starters, games encompass salient elements from the world that we live in, while putting a slight twist on the reality of it all. Games care about your opinion, making YOU, the player, the center of the universe.
Games operate on reward systems. Whether you are gaining invisible points, earning fake money, or collecting sheep, games provide value. There is a simple feeling of excitement from the idea of winning and then actually winning.
That being said, let’s establish three “rules of engamement” tactics that you as a brand can use for execution.
1) Provide value! “Shareable content is king.” In order for something to be shareable, it has to connect with the “player” in an emotional way. The more emotional the connection, the more shareable the content will be. A brand wins when their “players” win. “Players” who share your brand’s content should feel like they are winning by sharing it. Good content has emotional engagement.
This can’t be stressed enough. Without stating the obvious too much, the ultimate goal when posting content is getting others to share it. Facebook Likes, of course, feel good and drive your Talking About This number, however, “shares” drive new fans, engage old ones, and increase reach.
2) Engage “players” again and again in different ways. Don’t assume that just because you engaged a Facebook user once, they’ll come back. “Play” with them. Like in a game, the content’s job is to set the stage, make the rules, and engage the “player” again and again in different ways.
If you decide that creating a game is the type of content that you want to use for your brand. Keep in mind that a game is not just a marketing program. It’s a world of fun interaction. It can stay alive as long as the “players” want it to. So if you design a game, do so from a gamer’s perspective AND a marketer’s perspective. Design it in a way that it can be themed, so it never goes stale.
3) Set the stage, make the rules, but let “players” take control. I have seen some great out-of-the-box Facebook content from brands. But then one or two people write a negative comment and the brand never goes in the direction again. If the content is being shared and the “players” are playing along, figure out what they like about it, and utilize the insight. Don’t dismiss it all together.
As social networks continue to grow, it’s natural that changes are going to occur that shake up the marketing conundrum. Regardless of the change, valuable engaming content will get you past the marketing hurdle.