Using Twitter as a marketing tool > from a gaming perspective
For many brands who sign up to Twitter …the next step is ‘what am I going to use this for? When you have always used email marketing as your main communication channel with customers it can be difficult to adjust to life as a 140 digit pigeon carrier. The important thing about Twitter is figuring out how this channel is going to work best for you and for your customers.
Remember that users of Twitter tend to follow 100+ people and brands, this means that;
1. Your tweet will not stay on their visible timeline for long
2. Your tweet needs to stand out if it’s going to have an effect
3. You need to present a call to action if you are going to engage that customer further than just scanning over your tweet and forgetting about it
4. Your customers engage with you on Twitter for a reason, make sure you fulfil that expectation
For the purpose of this blog I’m going to take a look at some different poker brands and how they are using Twitter to achieve different social media marketing objectives through different techniques.
Party Poker: Social CRM Strategy
Party Poker use a friendly approach to engage in a 1-2-1 with their followers. You can see from the below images that they are positively responding to all tweets – even if they have not been directly aimed at Party Poker but instead have been aimed at individuals, with a @partypoker mention, they endeavour to reply.
Why do they do this?
It’s all about the associations that you build around your brand, all gamers will know of Party Poker as one of the biggest brands in Poker…this gives them brand value…but not necessarily loyalty. Party Poker is building a more personal image using their Twitter account. As Twitter allows real time interaction they can now communicate with their audience more, asking questions to get their audience involved and rewarding loyalty. By doing this they are developing a stronger fan base that is more likely to not only stay loyal but also be a promoter for their brand – and peer to peer recommendations are one of the most powerful marketing methods around.
Party Poker also recognises that online gambling can be overwhelming for customers with beginner level skills. Applying a Social CRM strategy helps to make the experience easy and enjoyable for this segment. Personification of the brand engages their customers and can help to drive sales in the future. At the same time, using this method reduces costs of call centres and improves marketing effectiveness.
World Poker Tour: Using multiple accounts for brand awareness and protection
World Poker Tour has set up and manages multiple accounts as seen below. They also clearly advertise all of the individuals who are involved in WPT and their own personal accounts. This way customers and fans can clearly identify who it is that they want to engage with, which means they feel a lot closer to the brand. Publicly promoting the individuals within your organisation gives your company transparency but it also allows for brand reinforcement from many different angles. The other reason for doing this is protection of your brand, if you have individuals tweeting about your brand it is easily traced back to that one person and any negative associations are more likely to resonate with that individual rather than with your whole brand.
888 Poker: Promotion
888 Poker clearly use their Twitter page to generate excitement around their games and tournaments as well as reinforcing positive associations with their brand. They RT lots of their ‘mentions’ to create the impression of brand ‘buzz’, it also shows that they are willing to engage with their customers which in turn only encourages more fans to interact. There is a very strong desire from customers and fans to gain RT’s from their idols due to the perceived relationship that this action symbolises so it acts as a reward system…and a cheap one at that!
Zynga Poker: Bring together Virtual and Real worlds
Zynga Poker has the largest user base of poker players out of any of the online players. They are not using Twitter for acquisition or for retention but it seems to be more important that, as a social giant, they just have a presence on Twitter. As they already utilised Facebook and email to achieve their main marketing objectives, Twitter for them has a different spin on it. Zynga have their own team of poker players that play in real world tournaments, so Zynga use Twitter to create support for these players. This is a really good example of a purely virtual brand creating links with real life gambling – these associations mean online players have stronger feelings towards Zynga Poker because connects them to the ‘real’ world, something which is difficult to generate through social network gaming.