Social Media Best Practices for Developers
Infiltrating Gaming Communities One Discord At a Time
Strap yourselves in because everyone’s favorite rogue Terminals Account Coordinator has been let off his leash to bring you the first blog post of 2023! This time we’ll be going over developing a social media presence as a game developer, something every dev has or will eventually experience as they hope to network with peers and consumers. [Most] players don’t bite [much], so to assuage your doubts, I can happily confirm that having a social media presence definitely won’t stress you out too much. In many cases, it’s the window to meaningful connections and new opportunities!
Why Should Developers Be on Social Media?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Discord are all home to the discourse and dissemination of video game content. If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to participate. Being on social media isn’t just about promoting yourself or your title; it’s about creating a connection with your audience and your peers. When it comes to measuring the success of a game. sales are often king, and when accounting for the regular discourse in gaming opinions there is often a direct correlation between trending news stories and an increase in-game sales, so being present in that space may end up being a positive for you.
Then again, even with all that in mind, it’s important to remember that good marketing and community building go hand in hand. Social media and community management is in many ways a type of organic marketing and in many ways your goal should be the marriage of making the sales pitch and making the brand stick with people in a way where they enjoy the product as much as the community it builds What you may not realize is that there’s no real cheat sheet to success, so you’ve got to be prepared to invest the time, care, and patience that it will take to nurture a community and become the talk of the net!
So Where Should You Get Started?
Good question. Take a quick gut check and ask yourself what you have to offer, or what you’re looking to accomplish on any given platform.
If you want to focus on marketing your game as a product, but also want to grow your social following, you’ll want to look at platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The built-in advertisement creation and management systems have easy-to-understand analytics suites and allow you to expand your reach and track growth.
With Instagram, developers can take advantage of the lifestyle-oriented social space to show off what their day-to-day experiences are like. A lot of people enjoy seeing reels (sometimes comedic, sometimes informative, 30-second to 1 minute video shorts on Instagram) of “Bring Your Pets to Work Day” at Devolver Digital or office pranks at Annapurna, so feel free to use this space to share what makes your office culture unique and help your audience see things from your perspective.
If you’re looking for active, minute-to-minute conversations with your audience and constant engagement with a community, you’ll feel right at home on Twitter or Discord. In 2023, not having a Discord or Twitter as a game developer is like being stranded at sea: the severe lack of vitamin C (for communication) will kill you. On Twitter, you can build a following around shared thoughts, musings, and ideas, representing yourself in a public forum and giving your once faceless public persona a relatable representative; while on Discord, you can actively chat with your community, share exclusive content, and use a suite of bots to moderate and add cool interactions with your following to foster a community and even help with game development.
Finally, if you want to show what makes your team and titles unique with creative visual gags and remixable trending media, then TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch are the places for you. For developers who are eager to show just as much as they can tell, getting on YouTube and Twitch allows you to find a home for trailers, gameplay videos, and developer diaries while connecting with content creators who want to show off your work. On TikTok, you can be part of the next big trend. You never know what is going to end up being the next viral hit, but if you want to show off short snippets or live streams of your next big hit, then this is the place to show it off.
With all that being said, don’t be afraid to jump in. Remember what I said in the beginning about connections? When you decide to join social media as a developer you need to be clear about the kind of connections you want to make. If at the end of the day, you only want to make the big sales, your audience will be able to tell, but if you want to make genuine connections and grow with a community, then make sure that presence is felt with all the content you share. Social media is all about the community, and if you go in with a solid understanding of your goals and you’re consistent and creative with your content, then you’ll be off to a great start.
Published February, 10 2023
Last updated February, 10 2023