Let’s start with a non-academic definition of gamification: “the process of using game mechanisms in non-game context.” In other words, we take typical elements from games (the ones we know have worked in the past) and apply them to different areas.
Gamification is one of the most disruptive trends in the current Internet landscape, and numerous statistics show its unstoppable growth. Here are some impressive data points (source: Getmoreengagement blog):
– Over 70% of the largest companies in the world plan to have an application with gamification elements before the end of 2014.
– The market for gamification will exceed $ 5.7 billion by 2018.
– Gamification can increase between 100 and 150% of your users’ online engagement (including page views and average time spent on your website).
Impressive figures, right?
Gamification is an opportunity that companies should take to enhance the benefits of their online presence. Let’s focus on brand Facebook pages, which carry these common complaints:
– Users like the page, but they rarely visit it again.
– “EdgeRank” makes it increasingly difficult to contact our fans (except if we use Facebook advertising).
– It’s difficult to get loyal fans.
– It’s difficult to motivate our fans and increase engagement.
– Lack of measurable objectives.
Gamification is not a magic solution that solves all of the problems above, but it is a good tool to get better results from our online presence, specifically on our Facebook page.
So how can we gamify our Facebook page?
The first step is to define the goals we want to achieve: to increase the loyalty of fans, to consolidate our presence in social networks other than Facebook, to increase the number of visits on our website or blog, to get feedback …
Once we define and prioritize these objectives, we can use gamification elements to “reward” fans who take actions that are in line with our objectives. We can use, for example, some of the most common gamification elements: points, levels, badges and rankings.
Finally, we reward users. My two tips in this regard would be:
– Offer some kind of award related to our business. This way you will avoid the “professional awards seekers” who have no interest in our brand, and only look for awards.
– Obviously we use points, levels, and badges to give the corresponding prizes. To simplify, we have two options. We could give prizes to the fans who have a certain number of points or badges or have reached a certain level. The second option, if we want to be more restrictive, is to organize a sweepstakes reserved for fans who have earned points, levels and badges we mentioned above.
Because of the limitations of Facebook, the entire “gamification” action should be within a tab of our Facebook page.
Variations of the previous model are endless, and each brand can adapt the above concepts to their specific needs. Typically, the objectives we can achieve are:
– Increase the number of visits on our Facebook page (e.g. giving fans x points for each visit, and subtracting z points if they don’t re-visit during a given period).
– Increase virality of our website (giving x points to fans who share our page on your mutual accounts on Facebook , Twitter, Google +, etc.).
– Get more social followers (award x points to fans who follow us on social networks other than Facebook).
– Increase the number of visitors on our website (assign a certain number of points to fans who visit our website).
Gamification is a trend that is here to stay. Do not miss this opportunity.