Promoting your game with Twitter

Promoting your game using Twitter

Twitter is the next platform in this series on using organic growth to promote your game.

Twitter launched in 2006, It’s best described as a micro-blogging site and a social network. It’s well known for it’s 140 character limit on tweets, as Twitter posts are called.

Twitter has around 192 million daily users, of which roughly two thirds are men. Twitter also appeals more to the older user, with 63% of users being aged 35 to 65.

As with Facebook, Twitter does operate a paid for ads service, but I have never used it and won’t be covering it in a later blog, or this one either.

Strategy

I cannot stress how important it is to have a strategy with social media posting. You need to have clearly defined and measurable goals, as well as a plan as to get to achieve the results you want. Failure to do so will drastically reduce your chances of success.

I know I said all of this in the last post as well, but I think it is really important, and may very well write an entire blog post dedicated to the subject at a later date.

Twitter is quite fast paced compared to Facebook, your average tweet has a lifespan of about 20 minutes and the number of views drops off considerably after this point. Expect most of your interactions during this period.

Using one or two relevant hashtags on your tweets is another good way to draw attention to your posts and increase interactions. Using too many hashtags will have a negative effect on your post.

I’ve found that making short videos or gif’s of your game works quite well on Twitter. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule, always experiment with content types to find the one that works best.

Things to not do..

The only real thing not to do on twitter outside of the obvious things like not spamming posts and over-using hashtags is to not fall into the “GameDev” trap. Game developers, especially indie developers have a large presence on Twitter. There are lots of hashtags like #indiedev and #screenshotsaturday which draw large audiences. It’s probably an incredibly small chance that these are your target audience for your game so although it’s easy (and welcoming tbh) to get drawn in, any effort spent here would be better used elsewhere.

Outro

This post is slightly shorter than the last because I felt like I was just repeating myself in places, but if you hadn’t already, please read the previous post about Organic Facebook Growth as a lot of the information in that post can be applied to Twitter also.

I hope you enjoyed the post and now feel more knowledgeable about Twitter. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them on the Dev with Dave forum.

Promoting your game using Facebook

Promoting your game using Facebook

I’m sure there aren’t many of you out there who don’t know what Facebook is. It’s one of the oldest and most popular social media networks in the world! For the last 15 years it’s been changing how humanity interacts and shares information.

Almost a third of the worlds population has a Facebook account (2.79 billion people approximately) so that’s a lot of eyes to put your game in front of.

In this post, I will be discussing how to utilise Facebook to promote your game for free using organic reach. Facebook does offer a paid advertising service, but I’ll discuss that in another post.

Organic reach

Now, before we begin, I have to point out that Facebook organic reach has been shrinking slowly over the last few years. This is due to several factors, things like the ever increasing amount of new content posted, changes to the Facebook algorithm etc.

According to HootSuite, the average reach of an organic page post is around 5%, or roughly only 1 in 20 people who like your page will see your post..

Now this doesn’t mean that organic reach is dead. Quite the opposite, however it does mean that competition is fierce.

Strategy

This is one area of social media marketing where there are no shortcuts.

First of all you need clearly defined and measurable goals, so you can determine if your posts are having the desired effect.

I’ve spoken before about knowing your ideal customer/target audience; and your customer avatar will be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal for generating organic reach in your posts.

It’s important that your ideal customer demographics match the demographics of the platform you are using, but you also need to know what kind of things they like or they are interested in so you can create social media content which they engage with.

It’s also important that you don’t just promote your game. One of the keys to a successful marketing strategy is to connect with your audience and build a relationship. 80% of your posts should provide interesting content or value of some kind to your audience, and the remaining 20% should promote your game.

I find it to be quite helpful when developing a strategy to spend a few hours on Facebook snooping around what your competitors are doing with their social media, just to see what is performing well and what is not.

Remember to keep checking your metrics to see how your own posts are performing as well, and don’t be afraid to try something different if your first attempt didn’t achieve the results you were hoping for.

Pages vs. Groups

Facebook offers two choices when it comes to places to post content to, those are Pages and Groups.

A Facebook Page is very similar to a Facebook Profile, only it’s always public. When a user likes or follows your page, they will get notifications and updates on their news feed when you post stuff.

I find it’s best to create a page specifically for your game, rather than a company page where you share content relating to all your games. This way you can narrow down the focus of your content and hopefully create a lasting relationship with your audience.

Groups tend to be more user oriented, with much of the content being created by users. If your game has elements of user created content and a strong existing audience, then a group might work well for your game.

I find however, the best way to utilise groups is to join groups which are on theme for your game (Angling groups if your game is targeted at anglers, skateboard groups for a skateboarding game etc.) and then interact with them. Get to know the posters and the feel of the group, and contribute where you can; then occasionally and where it’s relevant to the post drop a link to your game.

You should never just join a group and then spam 30 identical posts a day promoting your game. This kind of behaviour is usually frowned upon by the group admins and will 100% not result in any kind of good result you may be hoping to achieve.

Other helpful advice

When setting goals and targets for your social media campaigns, remember that when audience building you want to build a targeted audience who interact with your posts and have an interest in your game. Just collecting likes isn’t a sound business strategy.

Don’t rush your content. Whether it’s text, images or video, it deserves the same amount of attention to detail that your game did.

Remember to interact with you audiences comments on your posts. This will help foster relationships as well as make it more likely that your post will be seen by more people.

One of the most impressive ways I’ve seen to get Actual players to like your social media page is to offer them the chance to join you on social media from in game in exchange for a small amount of in game currency or some other reward.

Lastly, although I highly recommend looking at competitors pages and content for ideas and inspiration, your social media strategy should be unique to you, so avoid copying directly.

Outro

And that’s about all for this time round. I hope you have found this post to be informative. Don’t forget that if you have any questions about it then please feel free to post them on the Dev with Dave forum.

Promoting your game

Promotion

In this post I’m going to be talking about some of the ways to put your game in front of potential players.

I’ll cover each thing in more detail in upcoming blogs, but I wanted to just give you a brief rundown of them today.

I’d also like to take this time to say that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to promoting your game, some strategies work with some games, other strategies work with others.

Knowing your audience

Knowing who your ideal user is makes getting your game in front of them a lot easier. Spend some time thinking about your ideal user – their age, sex, location, interests etc.

I find it works best to create your game with your ideal user in mind, rather than creating a game and then trying to determine who your ideal user would be.

Having a “Customer Avatar” (a representation of your ideal user) can save you a lot of time and potentially expensive mistakes. If your game is aimed at teenage girls who like kawaii fashion, k-pop and tiktoks; then you’ll be wasting a lot of effort and resources by trying to build an audience for it on Twitter. In the same way that if your game was aimed at middle aged men who enjoy catching fish, then using TikTok to promote it would probably be unsuccessful.

The more you know about your ideal customer the better.

Social Media

Posting on social media is a great way to raise awareness, as well as building an audience of fans who love your game.

When trying to grow an audience on Social Media it’s important to have a strategy again. It’s highly unlikely that posting random content at random times will produce the results you are looking for.

Use your customer avatar to decide which type and style if content would appeal to your ideal user, as well as what social media platforms to post it onto.

Regularly posting content which appeals to your ideal user is the best way to grow an audience for your game for very little money.

Adverts

Advertising is another solid method to grow an audience for your game.

You can use adverts to help grow your audience on Social Media, to build more of a buzz about your game prior to release, as well as to get people to download your game when it is released.

I highly recommend learning more about how your chosen advertising platform works before you start running adverts, as it is very easy to waste your budget and not see any returns if you just jump in feet first with no clue as to what you’re doing.

As with Social Media, there are a variety of different advertising platforms, each showing ads in different place and formats.

Game Expos and Fairs

I know it seems hard to remember what with the last 12 months of lockdowns and social distancing, but Computer Game Fairs are a great place to show off your game and connect with audiences.

Having a stall with a couple of PCs or Consoles where players can try out your game is a great way to not only introduce new players to your game, but also get some face to face feedback.

You could also create some merchandise to sell or give away.

Obviously you might have to wait for the pandemic to be over before this option becomes viable again.

Some final thoughts

As I said earlier, there isn’t a One size fits all solution to marketing your game. It may take you several attempts before you start to see positive results. Remember to set clearly defined goals, and monitor how well (or not) your attempts are doing.

Some things to watch out for though, NEVER ever ever pay for likes or installs. These are often not genuine, and will often have negative consequences. I would rather have an audience of 1000 genuine users who interact with my posts and play my game, than 10000 fake users who never do anything.

I’ll be covering each one of these subjects in more depth in later blogs, so stick around 🙂 Either bookmark the site, or follow me on Social Media 🙂

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