Social Media For Mobile Games: The Basics (Part 1)

It’s undeniable that social media is everywhere these days, approximately seven out of ten Americans engage with some type of social media platform. If your game doesn’t have a presence on social media yet, you may wonder if it’s really even necessary.

Why Should My Game Have An Account on (Insert Name Of Social Media Platform)?

There is no easy answer to this question because every game is different, but here are a few benefits to consider:

  • A consistent presence on social media can increase your studio or game’s SEO.
  • If your game has baked in social-sharing elements, being active on those platforms serves as an extension to your game and an opportunity to keep your players engaged during the time they spend outside of your game.
  • It’s very likely you’ll run some User Acquisition campaigns on social media, so having an active account with compelling content may be more appealing to prospective players.
  • Depending on the type of game, you may find that creating or participating in online groups related to your game help to create a sense of community among your players (including the big spenders!)
  • It’s a great source of feedback: to listen and to join in the conversation.
  • It’s another channel for user support!

These are just a few ways in which utilizing social media can benefit your game, but how do you decide which platform to use? It helps to know the answer to this question:

Who is Your Target Audience?

It’s true, you could open an account on every single social media platform out there and see what sticks, but you probably can find a better use of your time. If you have some basic demographic information about your game already, it will be easier to select which platforms to focus on. This chart breaks down the main demographics for some of the major platforms:

If you don’t have any data on your audience, don’t worry! Do some research on other games similar to yours, or games in your genre, to get an idea of the demographic. If all else fails, based on the chart above, Facebook seems like a pretty safe bet to reach a wide audience. What you want to avoid is putting all of your efforts on, say, Snapchat (which primarily skews towards the 18-24 crowd) if your game is a better fit for the 25-34 age demographic. Likewise, if your target audience is mostly male, Pinterest - which is used by 45% of women online - probably isn’t the best place to focus your efforts.

What Is Your Game Like?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat all support similar forms of content; a mix of text, images, video, and in some cases live streaming of video. These platforms all work well for mostly any type of game, including very casual ones. However, does your game lean more towards mid to hardcore gameplay? Does it include peer-to-peer game play? Are tournaments or other competitions prominent in your game? Would watching others play the game make for engaging content? If so, platforms like Twitch and YouTube (yes, YouTube also falls under the social media category) might be a good fit for your game.

It’s Decision Time!

Again, when in doubt, start with Facebook for the largest reach! However, if your game already has some social-sharing functionalities, get started on those platforms to increase visibility to your players. The social media landscape is always evolving (remember MySpace? Friendster?), so staying on top of which platforms are being used by your demographic of interest is key. One of the benefits of working with Thumbspire is that we stay on top of the trends and analysis so that you don’t have to. So, what are you waiting for? Go set up those accounts and then come back in a few weeks where we’ll continue to tackle topics related to social media in games. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch.