We, humans, are biologically competitive. In fact, the rules of survival of the fittest have put all living creatures in a competitive stance against rivals – rivals for food, love, and territory. The advanced development of the human brain has extended that natural instinct for competition to more sophisticated areas like business, politics and even just fun games.
Many of the best marketing strategies and techniques rely on appealing to our core biological instincts to subconsciously attract us to a brand or product; gamification is the strategy that plays off of our natural instinct for competition. It’s a strategy that’s commonly used in education as well. Few children would choose to read from a history book for two hours, but inject the same information into a game model with incentives, prizes, and a competitive edge and they’ll be more than happy to play all day.
The same principle applies to business and marketing. No one besides an investor wants to hear the academic pitch for your product, your brand and how it all works. But adding incentives, rewards, and competition through gamification can not only increase interest in and awareness of your brand but also boost engagement on social platforms, where a vast majority of brand outreach is happening today – the arena where businesses themselves compete for the attention of consumers. Here’s how.
The real key is to understand the two different types of social media users – members of your online community that can be reached and motivated with different forms of gamification, but who all play an important part in organically growing your brand and increasing engagement on social media.
- Socializers –Once upon a time, people used to meet in person to discuss things. But, with access to the entire global community online and all the varying ideas and thoughts they can contribute, a vast majority of the population are on social media just to socialize. The best way to reach this audience is to start a conversation through gamification. Ask questions in your social media posts and maybe even add incentives and rewards for answering correctly or giving the most thoughtful or most popular responses.
- Achievers – These users represent a much smaller portion of the online community, but they are also among the easiest to motivate with basic gamification. That’s because they’re instinctively ambitious. They want status and recognition as valuable members of your community. Give public shout-outs to the individuals who contribute the most or create a hierarchy of users so they can continuously have a goal to aim for and compete with each other in levels of engagement.
And these represent only the most straight-forward and obvious methods of gamification. Some brands build proper games. What’s certain though is that some form of gamification is going to help keep your audience engaged, loyal and interested in your product.
And why is social media engagement so important? Well, that’s probably a topic for another post, but let’s just say that a million followers on social media mean nothing if they don’t interact with and show an active interest in your posts.