Top image: How gamification can help boost your social media strategy

Mrwa Abbas, Content Marketing Manager, Emplifi

How gamification can help boost your social media strategy

At a time when users are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of social media content, one key ingredient stands out as a game-changer: gamification.

By transforming the mundane into the extraordinary, gamification brings life into social media marketing (SMM) campaigns, turning them into immersive experiences that ignite competition, the desire for rewards, and forming connections within their online community. There’s an opportunity to tap into people's innate desire for challenge and achievement. 

With successful brands already having incorporated gamification, a survey revealed that investments in gamification are expected to grow to a total value of $13.94 billion by 2024. Here's what you need to know for your next campaign if you're looking to gamify it. 

Why use gamification in your social media marketing strategy?

Gamification in social media marketing brings a multitude of benefits to the table. By infusing fun and interactive elements, you can enhance the user experience, making your brand more memorable and enjoyable, ultimately boosting engagement and cultivating brand loyalty. For example, Organix’s WonderDen campaign consisted of sharing content from the WonderDen section of the website, which acts as a resource hub for parents filled with games, activities, and recipes for parents and children. Organix leveraged gamification to lift spirits and bring joy, while enabling parents to entertain their youngest ones. In large part, it also embedded Organix and their products into the new rhythm of quarantine life. The campaign managed to gain 34x greater engagement efficiency results compared to their previous campaigns.

If you’re looking to learn more about your audience, gamification provides valuable insights into user behavior and preferences, informing future strategies. It empowers you to influence behaviors and drive desired actions, while creating an immersive and exciting environment for your audience.

5 ways to gamify your social media campaigns


User-generated content challenges

By combining user-generated content challenges with gamification, brands can effectively engage their followers and tap into their creativity. This approach offers a dynamic means to connect with the audience. 

To heighten the excitement, emphasize and acknowledge the top submissions, generating a sense of recognition and exclusivity. Introducing gamification features like public voting takes engagement to new heights, enabling the audience to actively participate by voting for their preferred entries. This not only fosters a sense of community involvement but also encourages healthy competition among participants. 

Leaderboards

Incentivize participation and foster healthy competition by implementing leaderboards and badges to acknowledge and showcase the standout participants or most engaged users. Publicly highlight their accomplishments on your social media channels or website, fueling motivation for others to increase their involvement. 

Influencer collaborations

Tap into the power of collaborators by involving influencers or brand ambassadors in your gamified campaign. Their endorsement adds a crucial layer of credibility and authenticity, effectively motivating their audience to participate. 

This collaborative effort sets off a ripple effect, with their engaged fan base encouraged to participate, share their experiences, and spread the word. The involvement of influencers or brand ambassadors adds an undeniable allure to your gamified campaign, elevating its impact and establishing genuine connections with a broader audience. 

Contests and giveaways

Excite and reward your audience by organizing captivating contests or giveaways that offer participants the opportunity to win enticing prizes through specific actions on your social media posts. By encouraging actions like sharing, liking, or commenting, you foster engagement and extend the reach of your campaign. Participants are motivated to interact with your content, amplifying its visibility and generating buzz.

Virtual events 

Engage your audience in captivating virtual events, webinars, or live streaming sessions that seamlessly integrate interactive elements. By incorporating features such as polls, Q&A sessions, or mini-games, you ensure participants stay engaged throughout. This fosters a strong sense of community, empowering attendees to actively contribute and shape the conversation. 

4 successful brand examples of gamification

Starbucks 

Starbucks Rewards is a loyalty program that allows Starbucks customers to earn and accumulate stars for their purchases. As customers accumulate stars, they can redeem them for various rewards and benefits, including free food and drinks, customization options, and other exclusive offerings. Starbucks Rewards aims to create a rewarding and personalized experience for customers, incentivizing customers to choose Starbucks for their morning coffee. The program not only rewards customer loyalty but also enhances the overall customer journey, making it easier and more enjoyable to engage with the Starbucks brand. In the third quarter of 2022, the Starbucks reward program stood at 28.7 million members, which is up 16% year-over-year

Sephora 

Sephora Beauty Insider is a program where customers earn points, which can be redeemed for a range of rewards, including exclusive products, samples, and beauty experiences. Customers start at the Insider level and can progress to VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) or Rouge status based on their annual spending. Each level offers increasing benefits. Sephora also hosts online challenges and interactive games on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, encouraging customers to create their own beauty content to show off their makeup skills. Sephora's Beauty Insider program encourages customers to engage with the brand, make repeat purchases, and actively participate in Sephora's social media community, ultimately fostering loyalty and building a strong connection between customers and the Sephora brand. With 17 million members in North America, the beauty insider members make up 80% of the company’s sales.

Traeger Grills and Yeti photo contest 

In an Instagram photo contest, Yeti, the renowned cooler brand, joined forces with Traeger Grills. Contestants were invited to share a photo of their barbecue setup, while ensuring they tagged both Yeti and Traeger and included the hashtag #YETIxTraegerBBQ in the caption.

The Instagram contest garnered an impressive 1,300 posts under its dedicated hashtag. When it comes to enticing new customers, few marketing approaches can match the remarkable influence of user-generated content.

Spotify

In Spotify's captivating "Find Your Feels" campaign, a group of five influencers shared their personal stories in a series of short films, delving into the profound impact of three songs on their lives. As a delightful touch, Spotify curated dedicated playlists based on each influencer's choices, granting audiences the pleasure of immersing themselves in these songs at their own convenience. The campaign boosted 91K monthly active users and increased brand awareness among their UK’s Gen Z audience. 

The takeaway

As brands embark on their digital journeys, they must recognize the transformative potential of gamification. It’s not merely a tool to captivate and engage, but also a gateway to forming meaningful connections with their online community. Gamification invites individuals to embark on exhilarating adventures, where their voices are heard, their efforts are celebrated, and their loyalty is rewarded. It empowers brands to evoke emotions and foster communities via shared experiences.

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