In an age were social networking dominates every day life, it’s hard not to notice it’s influence on the work place. We live in a time where almost every imaginable business or company has their own Facebook page, every key employee or employer has a Linked In profile, but arguably the medium which has the most presence in terms of the world of work, is Twitter.
As of June 2012 Twitter reached 500 million users worldwide and even though it’s still another 500 million shy of Facebook’s 1 billion, more companies are beginning to have a stronger presence on Twitter than the older Facebook. Not that this blog is suggesting that companies are entirely neglecting Facebook, it just appears that Twitter is where more customer engagement and promotion is occurring.
Take Starbucks for example; they are to date the number one most social engaged of the Interbrand Top 100 according to CNBC . They have over 3 million followers and are constantly communicating with their audience, participating in threaded discussions and posting new offers which sees their audience growing daily. One could just argue that people like coffee and like getting in on deals, but regardless, you can’t deny that Starbucks keeping their finger on the buzzer with Twitter is only good for their business.
So where does Twitter come into play as far as aspiring games developers are concerned? Because not taking advantage of Twitter is something that up and coming developers can’t afford to miss out on. Twitter is not just a format for promoting your product or service, it’s a medium to gain a much more extensive insight on the developments within your industry, it’s a way to find out from your community and your target audience what you’re doing right or wrong and it’s a way to keep track of what your competitors are doing so you’re never too far behind them. But most of all, it’s a way of getting noticed.
Let’s look at some examples, starting with “love-em or hate-em” game developer tycoon’s Electronic Arts. EA have an incredibly strong Twitter presence, with over 1 million followers to date, their feed includes all of their sub accounts and accounts for some of their games such as Battlefield or Medal of Honor which have at times had their own promoted tweets dominate Twitters trend sections. They also regularly engage with their followers with retweets of their comments and photos relating to EA. Because they are keeping themselves engaged with their community they are getting themselves noticed and because they are getting noticed, their investment in Twitter is paying off.
Successful uses of Twitter as a business tool in the games industry isn’t just limited to the companies however, key figures within the companies have found success also. Markus Persson of Mojang and mastermind behind the immensely popular sandbox game Minecraft currently has around 950,000 followers and is known to have an extremely vocal and at times controversial presence within the Twitterverse. While Minecraft has become a driving force of indie games due to its compelling gameplay and word of mouth buzz over the internet, Persson’s presence on Twitter and no-publicity-is-bad-publicity stance doesn’t exactly hurt Mojang’s brand awareness. If anything, it makes it even stronger.
Similarly, Cliff Bleszinksi, formerly of Epic Games, is another individual who is known to taking quite an unusual stance on Twitter with his particular humorous and laid back approach to dishing out tweets to get himself (previously his company) noticed. Just recently, he made the headlines for offering to “fix” the declining Resident Evil franchise after the polarized reception of Capcom’s latest installment to the franchise “Resident Evil 6”.
These are not the only approaches to getting yourself noticed on Twitter, just some examples. You don’t have to be quirky or break the trend to get yourself noticed, but you do need to know your audience and the type of people you want to sell yourself to. That is something which the listed examples can say they have got covered. (well perhaps not EA after this year’s Mass Effect related controversy which aided in their awarding of “Worst Company in America“!)
This guest blog was written by Ryan Edwards (PR intern) – Ryan is a former International Journalism student from Liverpool John Moores University, with a working background in PR and Marketing. *All views are his own.