There’s no question that social media has taken the world by storm. More than 67% of Internet-connected users around the world actively use social media. Even businesses aren’t exempt from the revolution. 30 % of small, 32% medium and 56% of large companies maintain a social media presence. Chances are: If there’s something or someone that you need, you will be able to find it, send it a message, like it, and post to it. As a game developer, you will interface with the community in two ways – through yourself, and your company.
49% of Australians use social media daily, and there’s a chance that you’re among them. Social media is an elegant way to communicate with friends and family that are separated by distance. As a creative professional, there is a line one must consider as they become better known and employed – where and when they should sever their personal social media and adopt a professional online presence. As a game developer, the principles are largely the same as a business. A game developer can announce a new game, and provide their pitch, a video, and some marketing assets to build anticipation and stir discussion. The more discussion about the game, the more likely the product is featured in “trending” analytics on the platform, and the product may appear higher in search results. The developer has the additional option to interface with the community – answering questions and addressing concerns.
Social networks are heavily aimed towards connecting people, so why would a business need a social media account? Simple – correspondence. A company that can connect with its audience has a better chance to obtain and retain its clients, as well as keep them in the loop with promotions and offers. Being able to connect directly to an audience enables direct customer interaction. For example, if a client at a restaurant reports to the company that a meal they received was not satisfactory, the company can go to whatever length to satisfy the customer – and may be seen visibly assisting the customer, to improve relations. Similarly, a restaurant with a new menu can advertise it on their social media platform, to build anticipation for the product, as well as answer customers’ questions and concerns. Social media strategies such as this enable a business to interface with its customers and make them a cog in their machine.
The critical aspect of social media correspondence is to be professional. In the games industry, many gamers know the tale of Phil Fish – the disgraced Fex developer who famously cancelled Fez’ sequel and disappeared from the games industry. The vast majority of people who you ask will affirm that he is an “asshole”. Social media enables people to interact both ways – in a way, social media will reflect what you project. Phil Fish made the mistake of being profane in online disputes, which ultimately lead to his public perception being mostly warped against his accolades; Fish was a talented designer and artist, which is a truth few people want to hear. His perception was distorted by the way he acted in the spotlight.
A robust social media presence and strategy will open the door for your game’s or your personal success. Networking is an essential professional cornerstone, and the ability to connect with your fans and customers will paint your presence in the minds of new and old gamers.
Danskin, I. (2014). This Is Phil Fish. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmTUW-owa2w
Sensis Pty Ltd,. (2016). Sensis Social Media Report May 2015. Melbourne: Sensis Pty Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.sensis.com.au/assets/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2015.pdf