People are often tempted with the prospect of promoting their games on social media, as they are prevalent in our daily lives. However, before creating great content, interacting with people and running UA (user acquisition) campaigns, there are some huge questions – which social media sites are the best to promote my game? Is using all of them a viable option? And a bunch of other ones that are similar to the two stated above. In this post I’ll describe which platforms are good for you, your games and your studio, what to take under consideration and so on, so hopefully you will be able to choose the platforms that will work for you.
Know your studio’s needs and your game’s audience
Every decision regarding marketing strategy and actions should be based on two pillars. The first pillar is your studio, your game. What do you wanna do? Let’s assume that, aside from all of the emotional attachment you most likely have to your game and from the will to show it to the world is to earn a lot of money by selling it (or by making people use in-app purchases). This means that you want to use social media that will grant you exposure either by posting good content or by running successful UA campaigns.
The second pillar, though, is your potential players, who are at this point prospective sales leads – that’s it. Because of this, you need to know how they are, so you can achieve your studio’s business goals. I recommend running a full-blown market research campaign. It’s best to hire an agency to conduct the research. It’s gonna be costly, but you’ll have very valuable insights that will become a cornerstone for your future actions. However, if you don’t have a budget for this purpose, you can run a smaller, but effective campaign to do so ll by yourself. I described how to do it in this post.
Once you have this sorted out, it’s time to choose which social media your game is going to be present in.
Be where your potential customers are
Each social media platform practically attracts a certain demographic. There are many reports regarding such data. You can easily find them on Google. Here’s one made by Sproutsocial. Now, you need to figure out which of the platforms are used by your players. If you have a young female-oriented mobile app, TikTok seems good. If you have a boomer shooter, Twitter may be the way to go and so on. You can also use multiple social media sites if you find that fitting. There’s some stuff to remember about, though.
Don’t go overboard
It’s possible the vast majority of people you want to cater your game may be concentrated on one social media site, but it’s probably not the case, as they are most likely scattered across multiple social media. While at first, it may seem to be tempting to be present on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and whatnot at once, it’s not advisable. The reason is simple – most of the time, it’s not worth the effort to conduct a well-adapted social media campaign in an environment that doesn’t attract your sales leads, as you will put a lot of work into it and will probably have very poor results.
It is a widespread practice in marketing to post unique content on each social media portal and the reason for this is very practical – each portal, aside from the demographics, differs strongly when it comes to the type of content and the methodology of posting there. Content from Facebook would in most cases be even impossible to upload to, say, Youtube or TikTok, while your typical LinkedIn post wouldn’t fit into a single Tweet. Sure, you can modify and repurpose your content for different platforms, but it still will take some of your precious time and energy.
You also need to remember that how, when and in what frequency you post stuff on social media matters as well. Letting a few Tweets a day out? No problem. Letting out a few Youtube videos a day out? Nigh on impossible. How long will a Facebook post last in people’s feeds? A day or two, three at best (without resharing it). While on LinkedIn, I’ve seen some fresh new posts from 2 weeks ago yesterday. So, it may be a good idea to post more frequently on Facebook.
This is why ie. I don’t use TikTok for Fishing Clash’s communication. As you might imagine, the game isn’t catered towards young girls (as they are not avid anglers), so I don’t even bother with making stuff for the organic (unpaid) communications there.
This all takes time and practice to learn, while it often costs an awful lot later (you wanna have your SoMe specialist, a designer or two, a motion designer and so on; don’t expect one person to do this all well in 8 hours of daily work). So, prioritise your social media presence on a single, maybe two, max three platforms. The most obvious choices are usually Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If your product is fitting (and you’re able to make an awful lot of decent content in a short time), you may think about using TikTok. Youtube is a great place to be present at, but making a video clip often takes a lot of time and work.
Another thing to think about is the geographic placement of your potential leads. You need to see if the platform you wanna use is popular there and if it is possible to use it there. Making a game for Russians and not having a Vkontakte profile for it is a missed opportunity. On the other hand, making a Facebook page for a game that is to be distributed on the Chinese market (good luck with that) is making you waste your time, as the Chinese can’t legally use the site there.
One more thing – while I advise not to have full-blown organic communication campaigns on multiple platforms, you may wanna have your game’s account on at least potentially interesting ones. There are two reasons why:
- You don’t want to have a random bloke stealing your handle.
- Conducting PPC (pay-per-click; paid) campaigns on social media doesn’t require you to have a nicely kept organic communication campaign there and who knows – maybe you’ll want to reach out to a niche demographic group present on the platform? Sometimes it may be a good idea, as niche audiences often are, simply put, cheaper to display your ad to.
It is always applicable to all social media stuff – make great and appealing content to increase your brand’s visibility and achieve your business goals.
While this is by no means an A to Z guide that will give all of the answers to you. After all, I don’t know a thing about your game or your studio and all of the stuff I mentioned above provides a guideline on how to do it yourself. It was meant to paint a broader perspective as to which social media platform you should choose and how to do it. I hope you found it useful and that you enjoyed reading it.
I also need to point out that all of the stuff I talked about pertains to organic and not paid communication.
Share your opinions and case studies in the comments below. Thanks for reading this post. If you wanna talk about marketing and gaming or wanna hire me, hit me up on Twitter, LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.