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July 16, 2019
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I don't hate social media...

by Claire Sh on 06/21/19 10:31:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

 

There’s a trope that comedians are all miserable people and that their sadness contributes to the success of their jokes and how relatable they are. In a way, pretentious as this sounds, the same can be said for marketers, especially those that work with social media.

I often joke that I hate social media, but I always preface that with acknowledging the pros both for business purposes and spreading messages. Maybe I hate myself for constantly being on social media and that’s not really Twitter’s fault, but the cat rulers of the world probably have something to do with it. Overall social media is engaged with by millions, every second of the day. There are obvious cons with that, but just happening upon a tweet about a really funky cafe you never heard of, that does geeky froth coffee might negate them.

 

My approach to social media is a mix of business and pleasure. I use my personal platform primarily as an extension of my career-related branding and to make people laugh. Or to help people by connecting folk or sharing links that support events, job seeking and exposure. Sometimes I post about tough issues that mean something to me, but that’s rare. But we’ll get into that further down in this blog post.

Apologies to Star Trek

So social media has its merits but mah lawd it’s a bit crazy and despite this being an area of expertise I still don’t always understand some of the why’s. To decipher what works on social media is a bit like cracking the code of an ancient puzzle.

 

To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s an example of a personal viral tweet.

This is an edited gif of Deanna Troi farting. I’d like to apologise in advance to Marina Sirtis who by all accounts is a wonderful human and was in one of my fav games of all time, Mass Effect

5k likes and 1.9k retweets. The comments were gold too. A few days later I posted a link to a charity fundraiser for a child. I got 3 likes and one of them was me accidentally hitting the heart.

Why did this go viral? Because it’s really funny in a general sense and easy to share. Why did the charity tweet not go viral? I can only guess that it’s due to the fact that when it comes to sensitive topics, people are less likely to engage unless they have a connection to the content. That can be that they relate to the situation on some level or they will help you out if it’s connected and they’re not just followers but friends.

Is there anything wrong or shocking about this? No, not really, but it is a little bit grim, that some content needs sharing to make an impact on people’s lives and it just fades away.

Then there’s social posts that hit an impressive amount of shares and can lead to an ENTIRE GAME BEING MADE BUT WE KEEPING IT HYGGE 100 THOUGH!

Memays

Claire, your life is a meme and your GIFs are so fresh and on point. How is this so?” The answer to this question I often get comes in the form of a meme, which might make some of you reading this cry or reach for the wine bottle. I’m doing both.

Memes are such a common everyday occurrence now. They should ultimately be humorous and harmless. But their power is such that they’re a vital part of marketing and engaging with communities. There’s no real twist as to why this is. Humour puts people at ease and if it’s relatable without being hellofellowkids.jpg it reflects on the accessibility of your brand.

Indie games haven’t succeeded as well as they have, just because of their art style or versatility. It’s because the barrier between creator and consumer isn’t as thick as with the AAA genre. If you can’t find a good meme, then shove a cat in there. I’m very serious.

Sulo and Chi aren’t just there to be cute, their business input has been pivotal.

It sounds like something to say for a laugh, but in all honesty, if you can inject your social media with a chonky dose of memes I swear your reach and engagement will skyrocket. Or at least perform somewhat better than without that spicy addition. Just look what the mothlamp meme did for this Cultist Simulator Tweet.

The Dark Side of the Tweet

There are many negative sides of social media that we could discuss but let’s focus on its use for professional interaction and promotion. A few publications have touched upon the stress that those handling social platforms endure. From Vice:

” Social media can be a toxic place—especially for those of us who work in that space. Angry users on social seem to forget that a human being is behind the brand’s account they are screaming at or the story they are criticizing.

When you are involved in anything that requires daily interaction with humans online, especially in the gaming industry, you’re open to abuse and uncheery interactions. Even if you’re presenting as the company brand and not your direct name. It’s your eyes being exposed to and your brain having to deduce replies if any. The veil is thin enough.

Different people will experience different levels of negative feedback and text-based abuse and will handle it in their own way. Some may not be phased but plenty are. Who can blame them?

Social media didn’t exist 20 years ago and in 10 years has evolved into an entirely different beast.

 

It’s worth noting that Weather Factory accounts have not suffered any tirades of abuse. We primarily get people asking questions or posting critiques in a manner that isn’t offensive. Do we get comments that sometimes hurt? Yes but it’s not frequent enough to impact and it’s never directed personally. I hope that remains and given how lucky we are to have a very lovely and active community, I’d be surprised if it changes.

Disclaimer: Just because I said this, if you’re listening Sod’s Law, please sod off.

Social media has now become a vital organ in promoting video games. It’s top of the list of what you need to set up, keep active and learn how to properly use. I appreciate its value, I love the variety of content, the way it can help people and I enjoyed every Game of Thrones Season 8 meme more than most of the episodes. We are truly blessed by this aspect of social. It makes sense and it doesn’t.

I like it but I also hate it. Maybe I hate it because it’s popular to say that. But I don’t believe that’s the case. I think I hate how it can tangle itself up in our lives in ways we sort of let happen without consciously consenting to. I hate that people are beholden to the physical representation of how well a post did, via a heart or whatever button.

To sidetrack a bit, analytics can help show that on the face of it, your performance may have not been great but behind the scenes, it did far better. So never focus purely on the aesthetics of a social post to determine its success.

In all honesty, the main reason I made this blog post is to vent at the fact that only 7 people liked this beautiful collage post of Jessica Fletcher in her various forms.

Based on that, social media is full of riff raff and that’s how I’m ending this elongated hot take! Good day to you sirs and sirettes!

 

 


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