WTF is ... Gamification In Social Media Campaigns?!
You might be asking yourself… what do games and social media have in common?
According to Bunchball, “Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.”
Social media marketers, you can relax—we aren’t here to tell you that you need to start designing video games to increase your Facebook engagement. Instead, we are suggesting to include elements of what makes gaming so engaging to people and injecting it into your social media campaigns.
So… what does that look like?
Gotta get that loot!
Humans crave a good deal. The word “free” gets people buzzing more than bees. But did you ever think that time you shared your referral link from your favorite online shop to a friend to get $25 gifted to you was gamification? Because, it totally is.
Many websites have reward systems which give us gratification when we accomplish a task. Uber did this very successfully when it first began—if you completed the quest of signing up, you got a free treasure chest. Once you opened it, it contained a free ride, just for signing up.
Now does it sound like a video game where we are seeking rewards to give us a sense of accomplishment? Happiness?
Gotta get the high score!
Numerous apps offers scoreboards. We’re positive you’ve looked at your Snapchat score at least once and thought “that could be higher!”
Waze is a wonderful example of this, giving individuals points for reporting accidents and traffic status. This gave people incentive to engage, to get their name on that sweet, sweet scoreboard for the world to see their achievement. This also provides a sense of competition, and who doesn’t want to be the very best?
Even LinkedIn has a progress bar to demonstrate your profile strength. Play our game to increase that ranking—you’ll get more jobs!
Gotta beat this quest!
Duolingo is the champion of making a game out of their social media. You may be stopping and thinking that Duolingo is actually more of a game than it is a social app. Take a step back and look at the groups, how it is used in classrooms, how it encourages obtaining speaking partners to increase proficiency. With Duolingo’s interface of completing each section to get to the next level, sometimes we have even forgotten it is a social app at all.
Why can’t you stop swiping on Tinder? This design incites continuous use, that addictive feeling of playing a randomized dungeon in a video game because you don’t know what you’ll encounter next. You have to beat the quest of finding the perfect match.
Now that you’ve seen how socials implement these techniques, let’s get even a little bit more savvy in understanding our audience.
Bartle’s Player Types for Gamification
Theorized by Richard Bartle, each social media user can be categorized into one of the four types of players. Understanding the needs and desires of each of them can further intensify that jump in engagement you’ve been looking for.
How do I target Socializers? Socializers love empathy, they love connectivity, they love community. That’s why they are utilizing your social in the first place. They are the type of player who respond to quest triggers involving questions in your social media posts—can you share this so I can get my message out, can you comment on this to increase our sense of community, can you hit “like” to help me out?
How do I target Explorers? These are the users who are there to socialize, yes, but they are primarily there to learn and understand. Novelty is what is going to keep the engagement of an explorer, so be sure to post consistently and make that content varied. They love the thrill of unconvering more of the game map, so to speak. They like unraveling the world of the brand and social channels you have created—give them something to explore!
How do I target Achievers? Remember how we suggested using leaderboards and points to engage your users? Those are your Achievers. Reward your Achievers by responding to their comments, using their quotes as testimonials on your websites, post photos with recent achievements of your brand to incite that shared thrill. There are many ways to make it seem like your engagers have accomplished something.
How do I target Killers? Also known as Winners, Killers are the most intense of the social media users. They want to engage with channels with exhume the same confidence they do when participating in a competitive online game. Contests and reward triggers are your keys here—make them send a vote, make them make their own content to post themselves, make them share or promote posts for entries in competitions. Winners need opportunities to be the top users, so make sure there are avenues on your socials for them to obtain that feeling.
With these thoughts in mind, you can strategize your campaigns more thoughtfully—and hopefully in a more fun, engaging way—just by utilizing the tactics of one of the world’s biggest industries: video games.