The Real Cost Of Marketing Your Game With Social Media
July 13, 2010 Page 2 of 3
Building out Your Social Engagement Organically
Despite what some people think, social media is not free, and you have to pay for people's time and the technology that will support them... and let's not forget any creative and research costs. It may seem like a lot of money up front, and it can be, but much like buying a good quality TV or washing machine today, all these upfront costs will pay for themselves as the process is used.
That being said, if your company can only pay for one touch point once you've factored in all the costs, how do you decide where to put your resources? You can't afford to fail; in fact, you want to make sure you're achieving success. That success can then hopefully turn into more resources to help you build out your social engagement organically.
This isn't the only way, but this is how I go about building out a company's social engagement organically when resources are limited.
This is where social media starts and this is where it ends. Your business objectives are your goals and what you are looking to achieve as you get yourself into the world of social media. The tools (Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, LinkedIn) and technology come after you've looked at your business objectives.
Maybe you want to increase brand awareness of your new video game. Or better yet, you want to connect with your die-hard fans and see how you can improve some of your current titles with downloadable content.
Once you have some objectives, you need to start looking at how you are going to measure those objectives in eight to 12 months. If you know -- and you should -- that your video game averages about one new article a month, then your goals should be to increase the number of posts your game gets and increase the brand's awareness across the board.
The reason you want to have measurable goals is to prove that your efforts in social media are having a tangible effect on your business in a positive way. Let's say, for sake of argument, you want to go from one post a month to 15 a month over the next 12 months.
The Ideal Customers, Research & Listening Platform
If you've figured out your measurable business objectives, then you need to start looking at your consumers. Most companies know who their target consumer is and what kind of video games he or she wants to play. Maybe you have a demographic profile of your consumers; sometimes you might even have a physiographic profile.
If you can only get a demographic profile, this is a great starting point and will force you to do some research and possibly look at various listening platforms for more consumer data. You can use the listening platforms to find out where the majority of the activity related to your video game is occurring online. All of this data will give your company a better profile on your customers and where you may want to start to engage with them.
Another option if you only have a demographic profile of your consumer is to look at comScore and/or Nielsen data to give you an idea of your audience's media consumption habits. All of this will tell you where you should be spending your time within social media (blogs vs. social networks vs. video). The more you know about your consumers, the more you can connect with them in a meaningful way.
I'm a big fan of touch points; you can read about them here. You are going to use your newfound consumer data to build out different touch point(s) for your video game. For example, if you are going after moms, then you'll know that they trust information found on blogs more than social networks (see eMarketer and About.com).
You'll want to pick a touch point that connects with your audience and allows you to achieve the business objectives that you set out when you started on this social media journey. If this goes as smoothly as possible, you'll achieve your objective and get more resources in the long run.
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