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18 Apr 2014

When Your Social Media Tactics Simply Don’t Work

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All this week, we have been discussing how to use social media to improve brand awareness and get more people than ever before to pay attention to your indie studio and your games as a whole. There is a lot of great advice in the posts (so if you haven’t read them yet, I urge you to do so) – advice designed to earn your indie studio more followers on the most popular social networks more than ever before.

However, what can you do whenever your social media tactics simply are not working? What can you do if you follow the advice in this week’s posts down to the letter, yet you are not seeing the results you want. Is there anything you can do to fix this predicament? Absolutely. The following tips are designed to help you to correct some of the social media mistakes you have likely made along the way, thus setting your brand up for success.


Audiences differ between different social media sites

According to a Pew Internet study from 2012-2013, the amount of adults that use a social media website is approximately 73%. However, the amount of adults that use multiple social media sites is only 42%. That means your audience on Twitter is probably quite different from your audience on Facebook.

Unsurprisingly, you will find most adults on Facebook (71% of adults surveyed stated they had a Facebook account). As for LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram? None of those sites broke over the 22% mark.

Thus, promoting your indie studio on Facebook is an absolute must. End of story, right?

Not so fast! Believe it or not, some social media sites are tailored more toward certain interests than others. For example, a recent infographic on Mediabistro shows that when it comes to interest in tech (i.e. one of your primary audiences) between Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, approximately 44% of tech-related activity is on Twitter. On Pinterest? 33%, with Facebook in last place with 31%. Thus, even though Facebook has the most adult activity between the social media sites listed above, it potentially has less activity aligned with your indie studio among the top three social networking sites.

The moral of the story? Marketing your brand broadly across multiple social media sites may not be the best approach for your indie studio. It could be one of the reasons why it seems your social media tactics are not working, meaning you may want to consider focusing on a smaller yet more specific audience.


The best activity may not be on a social networking site at all

I had an interesting interview with Ryan Laukat for this week’s edition of Game Academy Radio. The interesting thing about Ryan is he is board game designer rather than a video game designer, and the best way to spread the word about his board games? It isn’t on Facebook, nor is it on Twitter, Pinterest, etc. It’s on a site called Board Game Geek. The community is so passionate and tight-knit on this site, that they can make any indie board game become a success or failure. Ryan admits that if you want your board game to sell well, it’s almost mandatory to reach out to the community and tell them about what you are offering.

Now, most of the time you are going to find the most engagement at a place like Twitter or Facebook. But if your game has a specific audience? You may find that plugging your game on an appropriate forum will help you to gain more followers than trying your luck on Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Sure, we live in a time where social media is all the rage, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town either. For example, if you are releasing a visual novel, there are multiple forums that consist of hardcore fans of the genre. Think about it: active forums are the place to go to find a community that is passionate about a particular niche.

The same goes for subreddits on Reddit. While it is technically a social media site, it has the aura of a forum from yesteryear. The best subreddits have passionate fans frequenting them daily, so again, if your brand appeals to a certain niche, consider marketing to those fans of the niche directly instead.


Try different things, pay attention to your biggest fans

Post a variety of different posts/Tweets every single day. Post cartoon images with appropriate headlines related to your brand. Post videos that have something to do with one of your games/your brand. Ask questions to your followers, post statements – post various types of media/posts that tie in with your brand. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

Then? Sit back and watch what happens.

Eventually, you will notice a few individuals commenting on your Tweets, Facebook posts, and the like? Pay attention to these fans! Catch patterns in their comments, and see why they are engaging with your comment versus other types of content you posted. Keep an eye on the content that is getting the most engagement versus other types of content. Moreover, mix up the time of day you post different types of content. Did an image not get a lot of traction when you posted it in the morning? Post an image in the same vein during the afternoon and see if you get more traction that way.

Write down your findings, and see what is working the best with your audience and what is not. You don’t want to keep posting irrelevant content, do you? Of course not! Try different things, see what sticks, and when you get a response? Figure out why you got a response in the first place, and tweak your social media gameplan to those findings. It’s a great way to improve engagement.


Do you have any other tips for fine-tuning your social media game plan when it seems like nothing is working? Let us know in the comments below!

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