Surfing the web and visiting most sites today is, to me, very much like the social interaction I get with people. There are lots of different people out there and the same is true for websites or blog sites on the internet. Both have a lot of things in common, including the entertainment value.
Let me elaborate with a fun example. This is fictitious, but you may have a real like example of your own:
A buddy of mine, named Ralph. who comes over for a visit,
He’s a nice guy, but he will talk your ear off about whatever subject.
He talks fast and rarely pauses, except for a brief second to inhale.
He speaks in the same tone and his face, hands, body remains still.
His cloths are as dull as his essay like dissertations.
After a few minutes I am searching for an exit strategy!
When he is done and has departed I am relieved.
How many sites do we go to that are like Ralph?
Too many! The sites are all about “How To…”, or “Learn this…” or “You need this…”
Usually in a long dry essay style dissertation. Block after dry block of text! Boring, right?
Ways to Win the Social Game!
Provide a reward for people to keep coming back.
Give people a reason to return and remain on your site for long periods of time. There are many ways to keep people on your site and let them have fun. They most likely will tell other people and get them to participate with them so their experience is richer. Pun intended.
That is what today’s popular sites do to keep people coming back over and over again. People love to interact and be rewarded for their efforts. It’s all about the instant gratification factor. You do this and you get this cool badge or this extra tool to learn about improving your online social score.
Take for example a company called Empire Avenue. It’s social fun mixed with a serious element of social networking that demands social interaction take place if you want to be successful in their program. How it works is you set up an account, and then provide social connectivity to Empire Avenue on all of the social groups you normally participate, like Facebook and Youtube. Then you must to invest in people with game money. The goal is to get people to invest in you and to expose everyone you meet to your Brand, whether that be You or a product you represent.
The trick that a lot of people make with Empire Avenue is the “shout outs”. This is something like Facebook’s way of virally spreading information from one person’s sphere to another. The only difference is, instead of “needing” an invite to access another person’s sphere, all you need to do is buy or invest in that person. You are then immediately allowed the right to shout out to everyone in their sphere on their ‘wall’ whatever message you wish to leave. Most people skip this part! Fear or ignorance is the reason but that part is the serious part of the game. The other serious part are the “missions”. You can do “missions” to get game money from other players.
So, let’s say you have this product you think is the hottest thing in the world and you want people to see it. You design a mission and the requirement is for others to be exposed to the message of that product’s sales page or video, or to “like” your article, or leave a comment on your blog. All are link love creations.
Want to know more about Empire Avenue? Check out this article I wrote.
You win the game by getting plugged into these social groups, games and platforms and using them to interact with other people and while you are interacting…and assuming you are a smart player….you are integrating your own unique brand into the mix. Those that like your brand will send you some “link love” your way and your site will get the votes. All while having a blast playing the Social game, discussing a topic, answering a question, and helping people.
Have you be Gamified?
No matter were you have gone, I bet you have been gamified in one way or another. Gotten a free gift or some kind of reward for your actions.
Are you a member of Facebook? Then you are in the game and there are tons of little rewards being offered to you. It’s a bombardment of “like” this or “like” that and comment while you are at it on the subjects other people are tempting you to be engaged. Each time you do, you open your own sphere of friends to your participation in the viral game of information exchange…right under your nose!!!
Tell you a little story.
We had a kid go missing in my home town a while back. It got twittered, facebooked, and who knows what else…but the point is about how fast information travels. By the end of the day everyone in town was buzzing about the boy. The next day, the police issued a request for volunteers and expected a hundred. Instead thousands showed up from all over the county.