Building communities from the ground up is no easy business. But having recently created the company’s first Snapchat channel – for @nonstopknight – and seen record engagement figures for some excellent creatives from our studios, it’s a good time to be leading the social charge at flaregames.
To reflect on the last few months and discuss what it takes to build engaging content across multiple social channels, meet Jona, our social media team lead and a former community manager.
Don’t worry, he doesn’t only communicate through memes and emoticons…
1. Firstly, tell us about yourself and what you do at flaregames?
As flaregames’ Social Media Team Lead, I’m responsible for all our games’ social media channels in terms of strategy and content. Facebook and Twitter take up most of our time right now, but we are constantly looking into exploring new channels as well. For example, we have taken first steps in the (slightly crazy) world of Snapchat recently with Nonstop Knight.
2. What’s it like managing so many content channels and how do you manage your time?
It’s difficult really. Each game and their respective channels are all pretty close to our heart. Of course you want all your channels to become widely popular community hubs. But once you start juggling a certain number of channels, you realize that managing the time you can realistically invest into each one is key. Our wider strategy at the moment is to keep our players entertained with a steady stream of content between updates and ramp up activity more and more as we move closer to the new version. This way our content has a natural cadence and ensures we can continually engage players over a long period of time.
3. The Royal Revolt 2 Facebook channel now has over 850k likes. How do you go about devising content that you know will appeal to such a wide player base?
Knowing your audience helps a lot with this. In the case of Royal Revolt 2’s Facebook page, we found out that the page’s most engaged and active followers are veteran players that have been part of the community for a long time. This definitely influences our decision-making process when it comes to planning content. As it turns out, a tutorial about a basic in-game mechanic is not that interesting to somebody who has been playing for years (shocking, I know). Realizing which phase of its community life-cycle your game is currently in goes a long way to help you come up with the right kind of content.
4. Can you give us some examples of the most engaging content in your experience?
As a lifelong gamer myself, I know that playing a game can be a powerful experience. That feeling you get when you manage to pull off a successful raid against one of your rivals is great and really tends to stick with you after you put the game down. Social media plays into this nicely, since it lets you share your achievements with others. We often ask our players to tell us their stories or have them to react to a specific in-game situation that they might run into. This goes a long way to not only create a sense of community among our players, but also to foster an emotional connection to the game itself.
5. What are some of the newer channels you’ve recently explored, and how are they effective?
Like I mentioned earlier, Snapchat is a channel we have been investing more time into recently. Diving into a new channel head first is always fun. Having this immediate way to interact with your players is an amazing tool and engagement has been extremely high as a result. it’s also a great place to simply be creative and try out slightly off-beat content that wouldn’t work for more traditional channels.
6. What are some best practices you would share with social media managers starting out in the gaming industry?
It’s called social media for a reason. Listen to players and their feedback. I know it sounds obvious, but when I started out working on RR2, I had been playing the game for a while and thought I knew all there is about the game. Oh boy, was I wrong on that one. Also, make sure not to turn your social media channels into one way streets. You might not be able to reply to all comments, but a helpful word or funny remark at the right time goes a long way!