Four Tips for Using Social Media and Gaming at Your company
1) Ask the Right Questions: Is Your Industry Ready?
This applies to any social media effort you might want to tackle. Technology and web companies like 37signals and Dell have had great success using social media. They benefit from their industries proximity to the space. Dell sells computer hardware at a time when people are spending a lot of their ‘computer’ time on social networks. Same thing goes for 37 signals. The founders of the company are relatively young (gen x/y). They’ve likely seen how social media impacts their lives so using a blog for their business isn’t a leap of faith for them.
But for public companies that rely heavily on SEC regulations (ie. financial and mortgage companies) it might be more difficult to implement social media initiatives. That’s why it’s important to think about whether it is feasible for your company to pursue them. However, the SEC’s move allowing public companies to use their Web sites and corporate blogs to meet Regulation FD’s public disclosure requirements is a step in the right direction.
2) Get Entrepreneurial
Koelling, Bendt and Bernoff credit Best Buy’s support of its entrepreneurial-minded employees in helping the company pull off BlueShirtnation. If your employees are excited about social media tools for your business provide them with support . Best Buy’s support of an unconventional approach to problems was key to their initial success with Blueshirtnation and now their social game, Orbit.
3) Hire Good Help
If you don’t have the capabilities to produce a game in-house then you should look into hiring an agency or a game developer to create it for you. Catalyst Studios did an great job for Best Buy. They punched out an awesome game that fit Best Buy’s specifications in under four weeks.
4) Employ a Bottom Up Approach
The worst thing you can do is develop a social network, game or wiki for your company without involving your employees in the process. If you’re going to move forward with social media tools you will need your employees’ support to ensure success. Get them involved, ask them questions and give them some ownership of the project. Jared Lukes said it best last week: “Best Buy’s success with the site was based off the idea that, fear of what you have in open forum shouldn’t outweigh what you can gain”.