Ever heard of SongPop, The Ville, The Sims Social or Bubble Safari?
The social gaming industry is taking more than the lion’s share in the game market, with more and more players switching to online gaming to snatch a moment of fun during their busy lifestyles.
Facebook is one of the many social gaming platforms and, thanks to its in-built social features (sharing with friends, ‘liking’ comments, giving gifts, etc.), has become a first choice for community interaction in the gaming industry.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Facebook’s number one language remains English, with more than 359 million English-speaking users in 2012. Spanish follows at 143 million, with the increasing prominence of South American users and gamers. Other significant languages include Portuguese (in part due to increasing numbers of Brazilian users), French, Turkish and Indonesian (the most popular Asian language at this time).
With Facebook becoming one of the main communication tools, how should businesses cater to the needs of this ever expanding, games playing public?
Think Global, Act Local
There’s nothing worse for a video game community than a lack of information. Efficient communication can only happen if you’re using the specific lingo of your users, in their native language. The message needs to be properly adapted to the needs of your audience. Website translation and using native speakers for content, ensures accurate, well-targeted localization for all communities. What works for one country/region (language, image, storyline, taboos) will be very different in another region, and this can be seen with the growing importance of game rating guidelines.
Engage and Discuss
A thriving community needs mutual respect and a firm understanding of the backup and support it will receive from the development team. Part of the international community management process involves keeping players interested in your game, whichever part of the world they live in; giving them up-to-date news and teasers for upcoming additions and changes.
Facebook excels at allowing a huge level of interaction between users, but also demands lots of investment from the team. With this is mind, it’s important to consider time restrictions when responding to community demands on a daily basis.
39% of companies do not track their social media responses at all, and 55% ignore all customer feedback on Twitter and Facebook, largely because they have no process in place to respond. This may be due to time constraints or a lack of resources, meaning a community may feel overlooked, unsupported or ignored. One way to help rectify this issue is by making high quality support available for the community, ensuring players feel you are there for them to address their concerns and needs, whenever issues may arise.
Retain and Entertain
Creating a loyal fan-base is one of your top-priorities as a community manager. Fans can support you through times of instability and will help your game grow by spreading the word. Fans will also give you invaluable feedback about your game, helping you improve it for everyone. This is why it’s important to provide them with the support they need in order to ensure their loyalty, and to listen to what they have to say.
Taking community feedback and end-user perspectives into consideration are important when deciding on how to plan and implement your marketing efforts and game specifications. It’s important to reach out to each audience with international copywriting services – words in their own, native language(s). This will make sure that your fan base feels deeply connected to your game. Incentives range from one-day specific events to month-long contests, where players take on challenges to unlock special prizes. Once the community matures and grows, you will begin to notice players themselves beginning to take a more active role in the management of the community. Volunteer moderators in Forums are a great help when dealing with online communities on a larger scale. They can assist with the customer service experience, connecting fans to the actual community support team – learning is a vital part of the process for both managers and the community.
Community management is a challenging, yet exciting profession. Social interaction across multilingual platforms can be a challenging activity but there are always solutions, and the work is, ultimately, very rewarding. It’s important to interact with your community to retain a loyal fan base, as many rival communities are vying for their attention! To help you tackle this challenge, MO Group International has a selection of packages available for your Community Management needs. We provide rapid responses to all user questions; be it through a Facebook page or dedicated side channels (e-mails, forums). We’ll follow up this process by reporting back to you with any prominent issues and frequently asked questions. With our community management services, you can be sure that your community will be nurtured and grow.
About MO Group International
MO Group International is an award winning online marketing and customer service provider. With linguistic expertise in over 40 different languages, MO Group International delivers high quality community management services and web content, written by native speakers. MO Group International has experience with both small and large-scale projects, catering to the cultural and linguistic needs of both gaming, and non-gaming clients.
James Norman, Copywriter, MO Group International