I admit it: I play Candy Crush Saga. For some reason, this admission is harder to make public than my last. But now, it’s out there. Since embracing my love of the five-minute game breaks that CCS provides me, I have spent a good deal of time wondering why it has become my go-to distraction. And if you want your fans/followers to pay attention to you and your brand, you should ponder this, as well.
Now, you might be a CCS player or you might be someone who’s super annoyed at your friends asking you join in (don’t worry, I won’t), but either way, there is no denying that King is doing something right. And that means that those of us involved in Social Media Marketing can learn a thing or two (unless you already have over 71,000,000 Facebook fans). Sure, it’s unfair on some level to compare your brand and your Social efforts to a simple game, but is it really? During the sporadic times of the day when I need a 5-minute break, ask yourself where you want me to turn my attention: CCS or your Facebook Page? If it’s the latter, then you need to do some work.
Sometimes, I simply swap a red piece of candy for a blue one, and all serendipity breaks loose. If you’ve played, you know the phenomenon, and it’s immediately rewarding. Should I be that simple? I don’t know, but it is. How much serendipity can I find via your brand? Does your Twitter account employ pleasant surprises? If so, awesome! Send your Twitter handle to @mhollowell, and I’ll jump right in. If not… why not? What about your Facebook Page? Is there anything there for me to stumble upon? Are there any hidden gems? Is there any reason at all for me to explore and to keep exploring? If not, I challenge you to make an effort to inject serendipity into your Social channels. Don’t lose your brand and its image in the process, but think about ways to delight and surprise your fans. Facebook itself employed the Konami code for a while; if they can work in an Easter egg, you can, too. Give your fans/followers an opportunity to discover and play, and they will reward you for it.
I actually haven’t been playing CCS very long. I’m a newbie by all accounts, but one of the reasons I continue to spend my downtime with the game is the amount of new levels, abilities, and challenges that I am constantly presented with. So ask yourself, what are you adding to your Social Marketing efforts to keep me coming back? When is the last time that you truly worked on adding newness to your mix? After your audience has followed you for a certain amount of time, is there anything that tempts them to stick around to see what happens next? If not, I challenge you to spend the time to really work on your Social efforts. Find something new to do, find a new use for an old trick, or offer your audience something unexpected to get involved with. Give me a reason to pay attention and keep coming back, and I promise that I will.
Distraction is a necessary part of everyone’s day. We don’t always have time for it, but when we can take a few moments to get away from the grind, most of us do. And if you can’t get outside for a walk, there are a million digital ways to satisfy the need for simple distraction: news sites, forums, games, social channels, and the always-alluring YouTube rabbit hole. These days, it seems that almost every website I visit dangles the distraction carrot, fighting hard for my five spare minutes. In fact, I am currently fighting the urge to click on “17 HUGE Dogs that Don’t Realize How Big They Really Are!” (mental note: check that out later). Bottom line: Your brand has an unreal amount of competition for my distraction time. What are you doing to win the battle? Yes, providing me with updates about your brand might be important (maybe), and yes, I might visit your Social Channels for education and curated content from time to time, but what are you offering me that satisfies my need for a quick escape? How are you battling distractions like oh-so-tempting headlines and addictive games like CCS? Don’t expect that your audience will come to you for no reason. Because they won’t. Offer them a quick, well-positioned distraction, and they will actually pay more attention.
If your brand’s Social Channels aren’t producing the numbers that you would like, and if they aren’t getting the attention that you desire, it’s time to take a good look in the mirror. Try and add some spontaneity and serendipity into the mix, spend the time necessary to grow and evolve your Social presence, and figure out absolute reasons for your audience to spend their five minutes with you every day. Five minutes might not sound like a lot of time, but it’s five more minutes than you are currently getting from the majority of your audience. Fight for your audience’s attention, give them a reason to be addicted to you, and you might just find your own serendipitous moments.
If your brand does a good job at surprising and delighting your fans, leave a link in the comments; I’d love to check it out! And if you love (or hate) 5-minute distractions like CCS, tell me why. What angle am I missing?