Board Game Developers Corner: Greetings, and Finding Customers with Social Media

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Hello everyone! Eugene here, writing for Game Creators Social Forum. We are a group to bring together game creators from various fields to discuss all things involved with game design in a relaxed social setting. Here on Giants, we will be writing about different opportunities and challenges game creators have, both virtual and physical. Hopefully, our tips will be useful to you!

Now that the introduction is out of the way, the topic for today is using social media to let people know about your game. I picked my language especially carefully for that last statement; when using social media, it is important to not push your product or your company onto your audience; much greater success comes from adding value to those you are reaching out to.

So, how does one add value? Put material on your website (or blog, or Facebook page) that will interest your audience and teach them something valuable. For example, Jamey Stegmaier, the founder of Stonemaier games, has been writing a post about what he has learned from his Kickstarter campaigns. These blogs are not promotional in nature- he is not pushing his games to those who read this blog- but he does use his games, and his experience, in creating these blog posts. The topics are wide ranging; from how to expand social media outreach to the intricacies of shipping a Kickstarter campaign.

In other words, you add value by talking not about yourself or your product, but the general ecosystem in which you reside. No matter what platform you make games on- physical or digital- there are themes that you can talk about and ideas you can put forth.

In the marketing space, there are firms that publish white papers. These white papers were long used by various governments throughout the world as a way to gauge public opinion and inform the populace about potentially controversial decisions before the legislature would vote on them. They were adopted by marketing firms for business to business marketing- describing a product, or a service, that the company reading the white paper did not know about. This allowed them to service an unmet need, perhaps one the customer didn’t know they had before reading the white paper.

This kind of marketing is a win-win scenario for you and your potential customers. You are adding value to them, and giving information that would be difficult for them to find on their own; in return, they are grateful and supportive of you and your projects. This has the added benefit of having more educated customers, which will allow them to give you more meaningful advice when you are creating and testing a game; the resources you provide can allow for a deeper understanding of the mechanics and design you want to bring across in your game. I hope this was useful, and good luck to all of you budding designers with all of your gaming projects!

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