Does Cross Promoting Games on Facebook Work?

Blogger Bret Terrill, who’s been doing some totally excellent analysis of the social gaming space recently, wrote a post recently on whether cross-promotion works for games. His take:

So how do you effectively cross-promote a game?

By genre. Make sure that players of one game will actually want to play the other game. For instance, there’s a significant overlap of users between Scrabulous and Scramble because they are both word games. Yes, it’s shocking. People who like to play one word game also like to play another word game. However, they are not necessarily going to want to play Chess. Or Speed Racing.

By demographic. Courtesy of the casual game industry, we know that women like card, puzzle, word, and quiz games. And men like action and strategy games. Obviously there are exceptions, but as a general rule, these stereotypes hold. Use them to your advantage.

These make a lot of sense, but they’re also not unique to the social platform world. Are there ways that knowledge of the social graph could enhance cross promotion conversion rates significantly?

Some initial ideas:

  • Synchronicity – “Your friend Jimmy is playing XXX right now. Do you want to join in?” This was a big part of what worked for us at Xfire in the beginning. (Would be a killer Facebook Chat API use case.)
  • Multi-player recruiting – “Joe, Jane, and Jim will soon need a 4th player to join their group so they can achieve XXX in XXX game.”
  • Endorsements – Simply applying the Social Ads concept to your game bar more explicitly

Will these get you offer some genre or demographic barriers, or will they only get you second order effects?