How are online gaming and bingo companies using social media?

Online gaming and bingo companies are behind the curve in terms of social media marketing. How could they improve performance?

Social Media Plan

Online gaming and bingo companies are behind the curve in terms of social media marketing. At the Online Bingo Summit in London, OST Managing Director, Luke Brynley-Jones, highlighted the challenge and cited opportunities for improvement.

A recent industry report by WhichBingo.co.uk is damning about the state of social media within the online bingo industry, saying: “the online bingo industry is getting social media all wrong. Our research suggests that online bingo brands are tweeting, posting and broadcasting messages several times a day and no one seems to be the slightest bit interested“.

Although fairly scathing, this situation is, sadly, still reflective of many industries around the globe. Posting collateral designed for advertising campaigns up as Facebook posts; publishing corporate news on Twitter, as if it were actual news; posting a blurry picture of a sunset taken from the office window (just to have something to post)… the list of social media crimes is endless.

Too few Social Media Managers take a step back, look at their posts and ask: “Now, would I share that?”

But, as I pointed out in my presentation last week at the Online Bingo Summit in London, the quality of content being shared is just a symptom of the ailment. Most of the problems relate to a lack of strategy, failed planning and a misunderstanding of the role of social media in modern business communication. Here’s a quick summary of my diagnosis:

  • Strategy – Little analysis of how social media fits into the marketing / customer experience mix.
  • Content – Heavily branded, random topics, too frequent, low technical quality, legal issues (copyright).
  • Skills – Lack of training, poor use of tools / misuse of features (#/@), poor customer service training.
  • Budget – No lack of money but a campaign mentality and under-spend on building community.
  • Measurement – Chasing Likes/followers, lack of measurement frameworks or connection with business goals.
  • Priorities – General lack of belief that social is a channel that can drive positive ROI. (And for 3% of website traffic – the average amount generated directly by social media – who cares?)

Critical to this is the latter point about Priorities. If a customer sees a Facebook post on their phone, then closes that app and opens up your online bingo app, that visit won’t be attributed to social media – yet this exact sequence of events is likely to be happening millions of times every day.

The video below includes an interview with me about my session at the Summit [apologies for the auto-play].

There remains a significant opportunity for online gaming companies to learn from their peers at brands – such as Yorkshire Tea, Hartley’s Jelly, Sun-Pat Peanut Butter – which take social media seriously and are targeting a similar demographic, only much more successfully.

In my presentation I cited an example of Sun-Pat driving driving nearly 4,000 organic re-tweets over the course of a few weeks around a competition to win a years supply of peanut butter and Hartley’s Jelly attracting 1,500 competition entries in just three days – both off the back of strong, active social media communities.

If the online gaming and bingo industries want to capitalise on the power that social networks provide, they really need to study parallel industries and learn how to play this particular game an awful lot better.

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1 comment

  1. BingoFly Reply

    This is an excellent article and brings up some hard truths that bingo companies do have to face. As you say, they do invest a portion of their marketing budget in to social media, yet the returns for most companies are mediocre at best.

    More strategy, more imagination and (excuse the pun) more balls are needed by most companies. Paddy Power are one company who have hit the nail on the head with their use of humour – get that in to a well built bingo community and bang – you have a recipe for social success!

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