We have been trained from a young age to perceive games as a fun way to seek gratification for a completed task. When we are rewarded, we feel satisfied with the effort we put in to win the game. As society becomes increasingly gamified — think of charity programs like FreeRice.com and fitness products like FitBit — the prevalence of games in social media marketing has grown.
Promotions that promise a reward to customers who relinquish their information, such as Uber’s free rides for passengers who shared the app with a friend, are included in the trend of gamification. Potential customers are motivated to spread the company’s message if they feel they will receive a reward for their effort. Posts that encourage users to like, share or comment to receive a reward helps to raise brand awareness, and customers feel that they personally gain from it as well.
You can also engage users in a gamified way by offering the opportunity to accrue points or gain special privileges if they interact with your social media pages. For example, gym members can receive a free smoothie if they follow the gym’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, or for every 10 posts liked, gym members could be given a free personal training session.
Creating a sense of urgency is imperative when trying to interact with potential customers on social media through gamification. If your audience does not feel that they need to act immediately, any urgency to participate in the game or challenge may diminish. A sense of urgency fuels excitement, and makes people more motivated to engage with your brand.
If users feel gratified when they participate in gamified social media challenges, then they will be more likely to engage with your business. Once you have pinpointed the best strategy for your company, creating some friendly competition among your followers will increase traffic, engagement and more customers through your doors. Let the games begin!