The use of game mechanics in non-entertainment environments is Gamification. To enhance social media engagement, gamification is very important, as it helps to keep the users motivated to participate in an ongoing competition through friskiness, transparency, and challenge. Users often get enticements for participating, e.g. in the form of badges. Concepts like missions, levels, and leaderboards are collaborative ways to keep users involved with the games. Good games will tempt you to continue playing. Furthermore, it also encourages you to share stories of how you stack up against competitors.
Repeated traffic for a brand’s social media is very important, brands must make sure that this happens. Unquestionably, the responsibility is on brands to make sure their followers have a good reason to come back. Gamification, if applied well, can turn out to be an epic strategy for brands to entice repeat traffic, enhance interaction, and gather crowdsourcing abilities.
Scope of gamification
The objective of gamification is not to have another game on social media for users to waste time gathering points. Through gamification, companies can stop chasing for likes and shares on social media channels. Instead, gamification can help companies identify their genuine and loyal followers, who appreciate their brand. Gamification allows followers to express, share their own stories, and validate feelings. Brands can also use gamification on social media platforms to align with their business goals and objectives. A perfect game is that which can motivate users to achieve, win, and finally line up their behavior with the goals of a brand. Moreover, gamification also helps in fostering brand loyalty, united with prospects to garner user-generated content (UGC).
How to use the power of gamification for social media victory?
The time factor is a huge component of gamification. The main reason why we all find sports games exciting is the time constraints involved (generally in the form of a big overhead clock). To increase urgency, enthusiasm, and engagement, apps, and website offers can be gamified with a time element.
It is very simple to understand this concept by analyzing your own behavior towards anything with and without time constraints. You often tend to get very enthusiastic and excited when you have a time constraint, whereas, in the absence of time constraint, you become laidback and tend to procrastinate. It is clear that urgency is a motivator – and in a world of Tweets, Facebook statuses, and Instagram stories – motivation will surely increase engagement in many ways.
The concept behind gamification is to create an emotional bond with a brand’s audiences or solve a business problem. User experience is extremely important, which is why any game on social media must focus on guaranteeing a special experience for users. Consequently, if a brand offers an appealing game, it can trend among others, and go viral soon.
To make you understand this concept better, I would like to give you an example of what Starbucks has done to enhance the emotional connection with their customers. Dedicated to the customers’ loyalty and staff commitment, Starbucks has launched the “My Starbuck Rewards” program. Depending on the number of purchases, the level of loyalty of a customer increases, and this rewards them with free products and other perks.
The rewards that customers get through these games gives them a feeling of achievement. Achievement is one of the most powerful psychological driving factors of human behavior. Everything we do, we do to achieve something. If someone’s on your website or using your app, they’re trying to achieve something. Learning code, managing money, or getting fit, for example.
If you can make your user feel like they’ve achieved something, they’re going to come back. Something as simple as saying ‘good job!’ when a user completes a task helps create a milestone and create the sense of completing a level. We all know that something like ‘learning code’ is a huge undertaking. Thus, you’ve got to break it down and create this sense of achievement at regular intervals.
Once a brand is into gamification, it should pay attention to encouraging users to inspire others to join the game. And what’s a better place to create awareness than social media? Nevertheless, the integration of gamification must be done with appealing features to attract friends to join the game and compete. Essentially, turning users into ambassadors is the best way to allow them to motivate others to join.
Some time back the BBC permitted users to create small leagues for people to predict scores in the Euro soccer tournament. It had families hooked, checking the BBC website multiple times daily to see if they got their scores right and check if they’d overtaken people in the league.
This one literally doesn’t need explaining. Who doesn’t love rewards? We’ve already talked about generating a sense of achievement. But, why not go one step ahead and offer a real, tangible reward?
The obvious example is Starbucks, which has already been explained above. Another example is Recyclebank, who offer their members rewards for recycling. Members can gather points to exchange for deals and local discounts. Most people will go out of their way to get their hands on a reward. The coffee stamp is a classic example. You probably wouldn’t spend nearly as much in Cafes, if there wasn’t the lure of a free coffee.
The most significant factor that is often ignored in implementing gamification is who to focus on. Instead of trying to reach out to a new audience, it is important to focus on the already engaged users. In gamification, it is domineering to keep the games fresh and updated. The reviews of engaged users help brands with perceptive information for nonstop updates, bug fixes, and the addition of features.
An example of this would be Zomato. Every time a user reviews the order quality, he moves up the leaderboard on the food ordering app ‘Zomato’. This helps Zomato to uphold ratings for food suppliers and share helpful information on social media channels.
I don’t think anyone doubts the significance of gamification. The point I am trying to show here is that gamification is not just a tool for education and corporate training sessions. Relatively, it can be used by any company or brand that has a social media presence. Whether it’s rewards that inspire and encourage sharing, increase urgency, or give away points, gamification can surely intensify any social media campaign.
Hence, brands should focus on feedback, reviews, and referrals by listening and tracking social media discussions. To intensify a brand’s social media visibility and to create a healthy brand image, it is vital to respond to audience feedback. Lastly, it is vital for a brand to examine the psychology of human interaction, and to know why followers participate and engage with the brand.