Who plays games on Facebook? What about other platforms?
Studies show that there is a vast market of social media gamers. Gamers utilize devices that connect to social media platforms in order to garner conversations between players in addition to needed goods for game playing enjoyment. It can be suggested that shared social gaming started as early as the 1960s. Internet based games started in the 1980s. Players were not able to socialize and share with each other as they do now, but they were able to play with each other on the same platform via several desktop computers connected to the same server via LAN or WAN ethernet connections. Now with the ability of Wi-Fi connections, users play games on their various mobile devices which include tablets, phones and laptops. People still play games on their desktop PCs but no longer have to rely on direct corded connections as again we have evolved to wireless connections to be able to connect from any room in a home and/or business/school/outdoor location. It also shown that games do not consist of just the very young and/or millennial age group. The vast majority of gamers at 78% fall between the ages of 18-45.
What does this entail for marketers? For one, marketers can know that most games in a social environment do not hold the victory aspect of traditional games like Donkey Kong, Pac Man or even Mario Bros. In addition, social games have virtual currency where players can purchase upgrades and/or earn upgrades by visiting sponsored material. This is where marketers can gain new consumers for their marketed product or service. When consumers don’t want to spend money for upgrades, they visit the sponsored sites that either require a trial purchase to be made or signing up for product information to be emailed to them. Either way, they are interacting with a business or service and learning more through these interactions made.
One of the most popular games online in which gamers meet, communicate and collaborate is that of Minecraft. Fans of the game communicate via Twitter, Facebook and the site devoted entirely to the Minecraft game. As I am typing this, in viewing the Minecraft website, there is a counter that continues to go up in number to show the number of individuals that have bought the game in a PC/Mac version. Last count is at 23,135,870 and counting. That’s nearly 7% of the entire U.S. population as the last count from 2014 was 319.8 million.
From a marketing perspective, social gaming platforms have large audience. Therefore, marketers need to know who their target audience is and the types of games that they play. With this type of information, marketers are then tapping into an area that their target resides and therefore have the potential of gaining an audience through their game playing experiences. Focusing on games is also a great way of driving traffic to their websites in addition to creating brand awareness. You are also tapping into new markets of consumers who otherwise avoid marketing tactics provided on other platforms. These ways and few others provide marketers with an advantage of gaining traction and increases in market share. They could have the potential of overcoming competitors that do not otherwise utilize this type of platform.
In conclusion, social gaming platforms have evolved in a manner of consumer interactions in addition to providing platforms for marketers and consumers alike that are non-invasive yet effective.