How to Create Positive Social Media Engagement with Game-Based Promotions


For the past few years the conversation around social media has been all about growth.  Getting more followers, more likes, more shares.

But bigger isn’t always better.

Many brands are seeing their social pages turn into negative echo chambers of customer complaints.     

In fact, customers are more likely to post a complaint than they are to share a positive experience [1].

And it kind of makes sense.

Customers expect good experiences from brands.  It’s not entertaining or interesting to have your expectations met. No one posts “I expected this to happen. And it did.”

As a result, consumers tend to share experiences that don’t meet their expectations.  And brands end up with social pages inundated with customer complaints.

The thing is, you can’t avoid negative feedback. Your customers aren’t always going to have positive experiences. And while responding properly to negative feedback can diminish its effects, you can’t stay on the defensive forever.  

Sometimes the best defense against negative comments is a good offense. And that means creating content that prompts positive engagement.  Content that goes above and beyond consumer expectations.

Content like game-based promotions.

1) Create Positive Engagement Cycles with Addictive Games

To transform your social pages into positive spaces you have to encourage consumers to share favourable content. According to a New York Times Study people share on social media: [2]
  1. To bring valuable or entertaining content to others

  2. To define themselves to others

  3. To grow and nourish their relationships

  4. For self-fulfillment

  5. To get the word out about causes and brands

Game-based promotions typically appeal to the “bring valuable or entertaining content to others” motivation for sharing. They create cycles where consumers play the game, find it fun, and share or post about it on social.

Some of the best game-based promotions at producing these engagement cycles are Advergames. Advergames are casual games that deliver brand messaging during game play.

Think candy crush but customized to deliver your brand messaging.  

And they generate almost entirely positive feedback across the board.  

That’s because if well-designed, advergames are incredibly fun.  People love playing them. So those players tend to share the game with their friends and family. Who also find it fun. And also share. And so on and so on.

All of this engagement results in consumers sharing positive feedback on your brand’s social pages. People post happy comments like “I love this game.”  And that helps turn the conversation on your pages from complaints to compliments.

2) Offer Value to Drive Engagement

Companies tend to post brand-centric messages and sales-focussed updates on their social pages. But people get tired of seeing standard brand messages shared over and over.

Just ask anyone who is Facebook friends with a Farmville enthusiast.

In fact, posting boring and repetitive self promotional content is the number one reason people unfollow brands on social media [3].

So unless your goal is to annoy consumers with spammy posts, that shareable content has to offer value. Value for the person sharing the message and value for the people who are going to see it. That can include:

User-Generated Content: Part of the reason social media even exists is because we like to see what our friends and family are up to.  Prompting players to share pictures or videos can help drive positive engagement on your social media pages — you just need to moderate it. Otherwise you might end up with inappropriate or negative content getting published to your pages.  

Game Codes: You can drive positive social engagement by posting game codes on your social pages. Hide codes in images or puzzles and challenge your followers to find them. This type of post has value for both people playing your promotion (because they can redeem the code for rewards like extra game plays) and your other followers who will still enjoy the challenge of finding the codes.

The Promotion: Your game-based promotion itself is high value shareable content. People like games, and they like winning prizes. Just make sure to keep the messaging focussed on your promo not your brand. Words like “play” and “win” have high value to consumers, so make sure they are in your post copy.  

Conclusion: Better Engagement = Positive Social Media Spaces

To transform your social media pages from negative echo chambers to positive spaces you have to prompt engagement. And that means creating and sharing content like game-based promotions that go above and beyond consumer expectations.

A well designed game-based promotion helps change the conversation on your social pages from complaints to compliments by offering value to your followers. And it creates cycles of engagement that foster more positive feedback the more the game is played.

Don’t let your social media pages be a feeding ground for unhappy customers. Prompt positive social engagement with well designed game-based promotions.