Gamification: Making Your Social Media Strategy Invincible

I love games and gamification. As a nerd, I’ve had a console controller in my chubby little hands since birth.

There are actually quite a few benefits to playing games. According to the American Psychological Association, video games can actually help with problem-solving and learning. It’s also been proven that playing Tetris can curb cravings for food and cigarettes.

Millennials play a lot of games, so it’s no surprise that various organizations and brands have tried to capitalize on this. Does anyone remember those slightly unsettling Burger King video games? The process of using gaming elements in other environments is commonly referred to as gamification. It’s been used to reach students in schools and tutoring programs. Companies like SAP have also used gamification in their training materials.

gamification, content strategy, marketing strategy

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How does all of this relate to your marketing strategy in social media? The principles of gamification can easily be implemented into any content strategy plan to garner amazing results. Here are a few common examples of gamification done right.

Comment Ranking is one of the simplest ways to add gaming concepts to your content. Made popular by sites like Huffington Post and Reddit, comment ranking allows users to vote for the best comments on an article or page. Users who comment often or for extended periods become veterans or super users. This ranking system can easily be added to any WordPress page and will give your users a sense of competition and fulfillment when interacting with your blog or website.

Quizzes have become a large part of our social media landscape thanks to sites like Buzzfeed. Quizzes are not new to the internet, but their popularity continues because they allow users to discover and explore in order to gain more data. Quizzes are also helpful to web traffic for the brands that use them. These quizzes can easily be added to a brand’s Facebook page or website. They can also be used to acquire emails from potential customers.

Facebook Games started small on the social media site, but the addition of Farmville dramatically altered the field. Now, a large part of Facebook is devoted to these games. Facebook games are popular due to their innate fun, but also due to their social features. Facebook players can easily share their scores, trade game items with others and invite friends to play with them. Social features make these games quite attractive to players.

Pins fulfill a need many gamers have to complete tasks and earn reputation. Perhaps the greatest example of pinning in social media is Foursquare’s extensive badges. Foursquare users can gain badges for visiting beer breweries or completing a certain number of check-ins. Brands can easily create badges for their customers through Foursquare’s advertising platform.

What gamification elements do you use on social media? Have you tried any of these systems for your own brands? Please tell us about it below!

Social HR: Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Top Talent Through Social Media

Will 2014 finally be the year Social HR comes into prominence?

Several indicators point in that direction. The world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn, with some 250 million members, continues to grow and add new features and functionality. Social recruiting heavy-hitter Bullhorn also announced its best quarter-to-date at the end of 2013 citing significant growth of its Applicant Tracking System. Furthermore, results from Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey revealed that 94% of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts and 78% have been successful in doing so thus far.


So what should organizations and HR managers have their eye on this year?

  • Social referrals. Leveraging employees’ social networks to acquire top talent is a trend that will grow in the months to come. Take a look at this infographic highlighting the level of trust individuals have in different media channels.  Not surprisingly, “Social recommendations from people I know” leads all others with a 92% trust rate! The connection is clear: if John works for XYZ Corp and endorses them on his various social media profiles, his friends and followers are likely to trust his review and thus, consider XYZ Corp as their own employer.  HR professionals should exercise caution however, suggests Laura Schaulat, Director of Customer Strategy and Insight at Oracle Corp. In this blog, she recommends following the Golden Rule and easing into social media conversations when interacting with potential candidates.
  • Employee Engagement. The level of employee engagement within a company directly impacts its profitability, customer satisfaction scores, employee absenteeism and turnover. These are pretty significant implications and a recent Gallup survey paints a bleak picture of the current employee engagement scene.“70% of American workers are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ and are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces…” Gamification and enterprise social platforms are two potential ways going social can enhance an organization’s level of workplace engagement.
  • Social Education. If you’ve ever completed a “mandatory training” hosted on a traditional Learning Management System, you know how much mindless clicking goes on just to arrive at the inevitable pass/fail quiz. Why not consider a more stimulating and engaging approach to continuing education? You could have employees complete a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). You could also encourage employees to follow and contribute to industry relevant tweet chats. With a quick search, you can find MOOCs and tweet chats on practically any subject area with credible industry leaders as hosts. The benefits of these education “venues” are powerful—help employees obtain the information they need to grow in their roles while being actively engaged, maybe even entertained!

What are your thoughts about the future of Human Resources and social media integration? If your organization needs help getting social in 2014, Contact us today!