Social Media: Marketing Research

On our sprint list of this week we had the task of defining how often we wanted to update social media in terms of marketing the project. We discussed it briefly but in all honestly we weren’t entirely sure how to market an indie game on social media, so we needed help and I began researching into what how to do this.

From the research I wanted to gain information on:

  • When to post
  • What to post
  • Where to post
  • How often to post

In order to help us better focus our efforts towards marketing to the game’s target audience and gaining a community and following for it.

 

Research

Initially Bobbie and I started off by trying to identify what the best tags would be to use within Tweets, we simply searched tags online seeing how many posts they were in and what other tags they use within those posts, to create a list of hashtags for us to use.

 

Popular Twitter #

#indiedev

#gamedev

#gamedevelopment

#indiegame

#indie

#unity3d

#madewithunity

 

We also discovered weekly game development hashtags including:

#screenshotsaturdays

  • Screenshots or gifs of the process game developers are amking on their games are posted on saturday with this hashtag.

#unityfriday

  • screenshots of gifs showing what developers had made within unity.

 

 

Popular Instagram #

Using the same method for Instagram I tried to form a list of tags used for Instagram, trying to see if they would be the same or different to Twitter.

 

 

 

#gamedev

#gamedesign

#characterdesign

#conceptart

#indiegame

#indiegamedev

#gamedevelopment

#unity3d

 

Surprisingly #screehshotsaturday and #unityfriday were not very popular/ regularly used on Instagram and so we realised that these were more focused towards Twitter.

 

 

Marketing Articles

Having found some key #’s to use, I decided to research further into marketing discovering some articles to help me identify when and where to post.

 

20 Tips For Indie Game Developers Using Social Media

“1. Understand your audience and where they prefer to interact with your brand.

2. Understand goals and metrics. You want to align the metrics to match your strategy. If you want to drive traffic, look at unique visitors. To create a following, look at subscribers. For interaction, focus on engagement. And for revenue, focus on your revenue numbers.

3. Set a social media calendar. Set the date for your game launch and work backward on what you have to do every single day to build a constant buzz for the title.

4. Concentrate on quality posts and daily updates. Use well-edited copy, good photos, and professional videos.  Stay true to the values of your brand. You can be human, but stay on topic. If someone is subscribing to your company’s game feed, they don’t want to hear you talking about the weather. Ask yourself how a post relates to your brand. On Facebook, you can post one to four times a day. On Twitter, three to five times a day works. On YouTube, maybe one or two times a month. Make each one of those posts count.

5. Engage in real-time interaction and respond to everything within 24 hours.

6. Be authentic. Be human. Don’t sound like a corporate PR marketing person.

7. Help users find your content with hashtags (the # sign), as it is increasingly important on both Twitter and Facebook.

8. Have consistent branding across all channels.

9. Reward your brand advocates. One fellow named Arglefumph on Facebook has made more than 3,000 videos on Nancy Drew, and those videos have 35 million views. So Her Interactive gives Arglefumph access to a lot of game assets.

10. Zero in on your customers interests and needs. Her Interactive’s fans have asked for mobile versions and the company is finally giving them what they want.

11. On Facebook, update your fan page info. Use custom tabs. Write engaging posts. Create offers and promotions. And review insights.

12.  Add a link to tweets. Use hashtags appropriately and do not try to take advantage of the scandalous story of the day. Tweet between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Use the Twitter card format, and retweet only relevant tweets.

13. On YouTube, optimize your channel name. Optimize your tags. Constantly post new content. And strategically promote your videos. Make sure brand advocates have access to videos.

14. With Pinterest, create a business profile and verify the URL. Add a “pin-it” button to the site. Link pins to your content. Share between 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

15. Measure return on investment with tools like Social Annex. Analyze the data on where the sharing happens the most.

16. Know your influencers and reward them. If one person led two people to buy something on your site, you should know that and reciprocate. This will drive engagement, which is essential for your community.

17. Take some risks. GameHouse ran a poll that showed that its women players have more sex, are more social, and are more happy than their male counterparts. Everybody in the media picked up the story.

18. For social network management, take advantage of tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Tweetdeck.

19. Delve into data from your social media channels so you know metrics like your favorability rating. If someone is talking about you, you want to know if it is positive or negative in the aggregate.

20. Learn from the bigger brands. See how they engage players and learn from it.”

 

What to take forward?

  • Learn specifically who the audience is and then research into what social media they use most and use this to market the game on.
  • every single day to build a constant buzz
  • well-edited copy, good photos, and professional videos.  Stay true to the values of your brand
  • Facebook, you can post one to four times a day. On Twitter, three to five times a day works. On YouTube, maybe one or two times a month.
  • Be authentic
  • Help users find your content with hashtags
  • consistent branding
  • Tweet between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Add a “pin-it” button to the site. Link pins to your content. Share between 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Tweetdeck.
  • Learn from the bigger brands. S

 

 

 

Promoting Your Indie Game On Social Networks

 

 

 

An Indie Game Studio and Social Media Marketing

 

 

RiteTag

RiteTag is a application that allows users to type in particular hashtags and identify how popular they are to use, showing figures on how many tweets and retweets per hour the hashtag is in, how many times it is viewed, the percentage of tweets with these hashtags containing images, links or mentions. Also the hashtags can be compared with others that are similar to identify which are the best to use to gain the most attention and traffic to your tweets.

Playing around with the tool it was certainly very useful for us to learn that even though we had a list of hashtags that we saw had been used on Twitter a lot it showed us definitively which were more well used and would be best for marketing, so we knew what ones to focus on.

Also I found it interesting that there were 2 different types of hashtags, ones better for tweets to be instantly seen and others better for tweets to be seen over a period of time. I hadn’t ever considered there to be set hashtags which are better at one than the other, but apparently there are and it is something we should keep an eye on.

 

Showing the stats of tweets using #gamedev
Showing the stats of tweets using #gamedev.

 

Comparing the stats of #gamedev to similar hastags, seeing which is best to use
Comparing the stats of #gamedev to similar hastags, seeing which is best to use

 

 

Identifying that #gamedevelopment shouldn't be used as there is very little traffic for it
Identifying that #gamedevelopment shouldn’t be used as there is very little traffic for it.

 

What to take forward?

  • Consider instant hashtags and hashtags over time – Add both to a post so that it is seen straight away but also over time ensuring it gets the most exposure as possible, to help spread the game as wide as possible to build a large community around the game.
  • Slight changes to hashtags can alter the view-ability of the post, with #gamdev being very popular and well used, but #gamedevelopment having next to no activity and it is clear that we need to be careful which tags we use and how we spell them – Always check Ritetag before posting.

 

 

Bitly

Bitly is an online tool that will shorten URL links to make them more post friendly. In one of the articles above it promotes the use of this tool in helping with marketing products on social media, by creating a simplier shorter and more professional looking link which people are more likely to click on.

bitly

  • Useful to use this application in order to shorten links so they fit and look more appealing/ genuine on social media. – Use when posting links

 

 

 

Gaming booths

Indie Meda Booth

Indie Cade

 

How NOT To Market Your Indie Game

 

 

 

 

Plan

  • Search through the social media accounts of indie developers and companies and discover what they post, to help me get a better idea of what we should be posting on ours.
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