When you think of gamers, you often think of a bored commuter, tapping away to pass the time, or someone holed up in a room with a plate of snacks and a headset. But actually, gamers come in many guises and from many different places. How to reach all these people? Well, social media is the answer, but don’t expect a one size fits all. Let’s go through the advantages of different social media sites.
Facebook is huge! It caters for a wide range of ages, so it’s a great way to communicate with your audience, both young and old. They can comment, review and message, which allows us to maintain friendly customer service in a social space. Whenever we have news on our game, updates or something to share, Facebook is a great way to get that information out there in a quick and accessible way. It’s really lovely to see an array of emojis, comments on reviews and to get personal messages on how our players love the game. We can also take on their feedback and fix glitches if ever they arise.
Twitter hosts a different type of follower. Unlike Facebook, where most, if not all, of our followers are actual players, Twitter is more of a gamer centre of independent game developers, sound technicians, artists and animators. Twitter has more of a business like feel, and our posts of our games, which we use on Facebook, just weren’t right for the cliental on Twitter. Instead, we show our awareness and appreciation of the wider game industry by posting linked articles from popular game websites to keep us in the current mindset. It’s also a great way to stay in the know of trends and how our fellow game devs are going.
Games are image and video heavy, so Instagram is a perfect place to pitch. A picture tells a thousand words in this case, and when you have a professional feed of consistent artwork and details, it gives your followers great insight into your style, professionalism and popularity. The viewer can choose just to admire the picture or read on in the description. Most of the time we explain how or why we chose such an image to post. Sometimes it’s an update on something we’re proud of or an error to show we’re all human in the game dev world. Most of all, it’s giving advice on how to promote yourself as a business and a games company in the right way. Everyone loves the little details and you don’t need to write an essay to get your point across. Plus, it’s just lovely to look at.
An interesting social site to take advantage of, and this is mostly tailored to our cliental of men and women over 50. Pinterest is a haven for family fun, craft ideas and aesthetic pinboards. It’s also a great place to showcase videos of how our games work, as they automatically play when the viewer is scrolling through their feed. Pinterest users are interested to learn new things or gain new ideas. Tutorial videos or taster videos allow these users to realise there are many forms of solitaire they can play. A useful link and a handy space to explain the video reels in potential players.
Imgur and Reddit
These are two social media sites we have yet to figure out and see if they are worth the time. What steers us from using them, after a few test-runs and trials, is their lack of market. There are definitely people who use it who would be interested in our games, but they are harder to reach. Both are casual and eclectic. In order for find your tribe, there’s a medley of images and trends to wade through and even then, it’s not clear cut enough for our posts to gain much traction at all. It might also be due to the sheer amount of content being posted daily. However, we never say never, we’re just in-tune to their rhythm yet, so maybe we will try again in the future.
Use each social media’s assets to your advantage.
- Facebook has great customer service potential and communication. Send messages, make reviews, like and comment. These are all helpful ways your players can get in touch with you, tell you what’s working within the game and what’s not.
- Twitter relies on hashtags so start to understand where your market is looking. #Screenshotsunday, #fridayfeeling and #mondaymorning all posted on the right days and times allow a little more traction to hit. If there’s a new game out or some games news, check the trending hashtags to find more likeminded followers. Avoid bots!
- Instagram also relies on hashtags, so be as niche or as general as you like, depending on who you’re trying to find. However, be aware that your images must be bright, accessible and understandable. Make sure none are too dark to see what is going on, blurry or jarring. Followers often take a look at the entire account to see if you’re worth following and that you’re not going to clutter their feed with ugly and irrelevant photographs or images.
- Pinterest loves videos. If you have a landscape or portrait orientation video, it doesn’t matter, Pinterest will happily put it out there. Most of the time, we get over 1K views. Make sure your videos are professional, clean and as slick as your game actually runs. Sometimes people won’t watch for more than 10 seconds, so you have your chance and you better run with it.
Using different social media accounts just goes to show the diversity of your players and also the game industry you are a part of. It may seem overwhelming at first, but get into a good rhythm and become consistent with your posts, and over time you’ll start to see followers rack up. There’s also so many handy sites and tricks that can teach you when, what and where to post. Good luck!