Social media accounts and pages can resemble video games—some are truly entertaining and fun, while others make you bored and sleepy.
I think there should be a way social media managers can learn a thing from video games to make their accounts and pages more captivating.
So with that in mind, let’s review some common gaming elements for how they can be used in daily social media activities.
#1 People love rewards
Whatever the game I’ve been playing, collecting coins, finding hidden treasures and getting bonus points makes me (and millions of game players worldwide) feel fascinated and motivated to keep playing.
Psychologically, we love gaining and hate losing.
How can you use this for social media management? Add more news about free stuff, such as guides, giveaways, webinars, coupons, books, etc. Launch “free stuff Fridays” and invite users to complete some simple activity—share the post, retweet, leave a comment, etc.—to get the sweet reward.
(Just make sure you follow the rules of content sharing, so as not to abuse anyone’s copyright!)
Here are some recent examples I came across in my social media feeds…
Link-Assistant announces the huge SEO book giveaway on Facebook:
Orion Publishing gets to the “Top Photos” on Twitter with their giveaway announcement (obvious—everyone loves chocolate!):
Minnesota Twins announces the music album giveaway for a retweet:
A useful tip: include the picture/video of the reward—it’s more attractive to users and they’ll react quicker to your offer.
#2 Let’s level up!
Playing games, we usually have to level up in order to win/complete the goals, etc. And though it’s virtual, we actually like the feeling of getting stronger, smarter, and faster. In many games, building up new skills can be the core goal that motivates players.
You can actually use this in the messages that you share across social media channels—say what skills your users can improve after reading/watching some particular piece of content. State real benefits, such as:
- Polish your content writing skills
- Learn how to create better converting pay-per-click ads
- See how to create amazing photos for your blog
How-to headlines are a good fit, too:
To make these posts popular, you should really know your target audience, so you can run some surveys and questionnaires to check your knowledge of users and followers.
#3 Challenge, surprise, and shock
Another reason we can spend hours playing is that we commonly like challenges—this is how we can test the skills and prove that we can cope with a variety of things.
How does that apply to SMM? Well, you can add a bit of challenge to your posts:
(Ann probably adds a bit of humor, too—what a skillful SMM!)
LG records and publishes quite a challenging advertising experiment with the “falling floor”:
The important thing is, as usual, not to overdo—do not shock your readers with rude words, explicit pictures and lie—these things can lead to a single traffic spike followed by a huge decrease.
#4 Give me the cheat sheets
At some point, we got stuck with the game and simply cannot advance to the next level. You keep trying, then you ask a friend to come and help, and then you google it: “gamename cheat codes.”
It may surprise you, but cheat codes are often created by game developers—this is how they try to ensure you won’t give up in the middle of the game and will still enjoy playing!
“Cheating” (in its positive meaning) can be attractive, as it helps save time and escape routine. Why not talk about it on social media?
So it’s not really about cheating, but more about making things in life easier.
#5 Add more humor. And even more!
Some video games became tremendously popular, thanks to the humorous bits here and there. Humor and irony are the tools that you can smartly use in your SMM strategy:
Stephen Totilo, a video games blogger, knows how to tell a good video game—it should present “a series of interesting choices for the player to make.”
Try to share different content with your followers, so they do have the choice when reading your updates. And use these techniques to make your social media channels smart, attractive, surprising and visually appealing—just like a perfect video game we keep playing over and over again!