One Way to Make Social Engagement More Fun: Gamification

By Justin Lafferty Comment


For most brands, users probably don’t want to engage with your social posts unless they hate them, love them or are getting a deal out of it.

How can you make it fun for someone to respond or participate? By making it feel more like a game than a social media campaign. Postano works with brands such as Oreo, Popchips and Nike, as well as colleges and sports teams including the University of Oregon and the Dallas Cowboys to present social media in a fun way that generates honest engagement.

Postano president Justin Garrity has seen brands use gamification both in live events and in campaigns, making it easier for people to engage. For instance, football fans will tweet a hashtag to vote for their favorite player at a game, with the results being shown on the jumbotron. Postano has also worked with teams to bring Periscope to the big screen.

Garrity told SocialTimes that this type of interaction really strikes a positive chord with fans:

If I’m tweeting something and then I see that show up on a screen, and let’s say I’m voting for a hashtag or I’m involved in this group experience to guess at something or move the needle on a vote, all of a sudden instead of social networks such as Twitter or Instagram being just merely contribution networks, I’m contributing in a way where everyone involved is interested in the outcome. There’s suspense and it’s exciting.

Postano powered social interaction at this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship in Arlington, Tex., between the University of Oregon and Ohio State University. Fans could vote for their alma mater with #GoDucks or #GoBucks on Twitter and Instagram.

Setup Shots

Postano found that throughout the game, the two hashtags were used 322,032 times. Altogether, between voting and in-game hashtags, there were 568,035 posts from Twitter and Instagram, leading to more than 118 million social impressions.

To illustrate how effective gamification of social data can be, Postano developed a fun tool, Tweet Fighter. Plug in two brands and see who was the most effective at engaging around a certain hashtag. The winner emerges victorious like the combatants in the Street Fighter video games.

But just because making a game out of your social campaign is fun doesn’t meant it should be done all the time (or by everyone). Garrity talked with SocialTimes about when to gamify appropriately:

I think it has to fit the theme, has to fit the brand and it has to be aligned with what the brand stands for. If it’s generic, it’s not going to work. If it’s aligned, like with a sports team or with the Kentucky Derby and superstition, that’s something that people are already talking about. It’s very easy to use that as the way to get that going.

Readers: Have you ever participated in a game-like social campaign?

Images courtesy of Postano.