One of the topics at CGDC (the Christian Game Developers Conference) this year was on social marketing. Seth Crofton taught us about using social networking to maximize our marketing opportunities for distributing our Christian and family friendly games. He has identified dozens of marketing opportunities in the social network. Some that I am already using are facebook, twitter, myspace, shoutlife, youtube, tangle, community forums, ning, homeschoolblogger, and of course wordpress. Chariots and Visions each have their own pages on Facebook, Chariots and Visions each have their own websites, and they share a community forum on our website. Visions has a ning page too.
There are some nice tools that help us integrate some of these tools too so that they are connected to each other, to improve our effectiveness at reaching our audience. For example, this blog post is being sent via email using a special plugin that is available to wordpress users. There are similar tools for other social networking sites as well. I hope to get some of these other tools implemented as well, so my twitter and facebook can be updated every time I post a blog!
One of the advantages of using social networking as a marketing tool is that it gives us as developers direct access to our customers. We don’t have to go through a 3rd party to rely on sterile reports and charts and diagrams. Our customers can talk directly to us through comments and feedback in a more personal way than ever before. Websites are still the front page for people to find us, but social networking will keep us connected and build relationships. We can make the Christian games, and the family friendly games, but if people don’t know about us, how can they buy our games? Social networking is one method to get the word out that we have exciting new games to play!