Social Gaming A phenomenon of fashion or marketing revolution?

All users of social networks have faced at one time or another, throughout their digital lives, the concept of Social Gaming . In fact, who did not receive an invitation on Facebook for Farmville, La Granja, Castleville, Mafia Wars or another similar application? Who has not downloaded a game application on their mobile in which you could play both offline and online?

We all have more or less the idea that it is social network applications with which users play with others and manage to build a community, a city or another goal, sharing the achievements. The Cloud model that makes the games of a console or any type of terminal independent is a revolutionary element that gives the new generation Social Games a potential never achieved in this industry, until now.

Behind its entertainment purpose,  Social Gaming  is a business model based on networking and fun. In this way, companies can promote products and develop a part of their communication and marketing strategy.

According to an infographic made by “Mashable” and published last month in , this type of games does not stop growing and converting more followers. According to the website Reportarte , in 2011, no less than 250 million Facebook users played Social Games on the social network and reported no less than 12% of their income.

If for the platform the Social Games are an obvious source of income, brands can also take advantage of this medium, to achieve some of their marketing objectives, knowing that they have to be where their publics are.

How can Social Gaming interest brands?

The games are positive experiences and in the case of the Social Games theymanage to create communities 2.0 in which the brands can promote their recognition, associating their name to them in a non intrusive and playful way. Companies can give visibility to their brands and products in a concrete way, inserting advertising in the game, making explicit references to them or giving away (or selling) items or services in the game, valid in real life. In these cases, we talk about advergaming (from English advertising and game , advertising and game). However, from a more global marketing point of view, these games can have even more purposes, such as data collection.

As often the key is simple and following the popular philosophy, you always have to create bridges instead of building walls. That’s what it’s about here, building bridges between the virtual world and the real world.

The creation of virtual businesses with offers that can be exchanged in real stores allows you to move from a virtual and fantasy world to a real world, to the store or the corporate website of the company. Then the imagination and creativity of marketing departments, agencies and developers have no limits to create up to whole games around a brand. Companies provide entertainment in exchange for our attention. The Social Games have several advantages over any other medium, among others, the high contact time between the brand and the potential client (according to Reportarte, it is estimated that some 81 million people play on Facebook at least once a day, dedicating it to total 9.5 hours a week.) and the fact of relying on social networks, where the segmentation oftarget is so precise and monitorable, it allows targeting potential clients very receptive and predisposed.

Several indications make us think that we are at the beginning of a phenomenon of expansion of this market. The first social network in the world, Facebook, is currently carrying out a development strategy of diversifying alliances with Social Games suppliers , strengthening this area just before its release on the stock exchange, scheduled for the month of May 2012. The boom in Smartphones also help in this development, since connections are carried in your pocket, anywhere.

We can also mention that during these next weeks, several events are organized around the phenomenon of Social Gaming . On Tuesday, April 24, at the BBVA Innovation Center in Madrid, a conference will be held in which they will try to explain very interesting aspects, such as how to launch a marketing strategy in social games, how much is involved or how measure the return on this type of investment.

At the international level, at the “Kalkscheune” in Berlin, on May 24 and 25, 2012, the 2nd Annual Social Gaming Summit will take place ,  where this symbiosis will be discussed between games, the Internet, new generation mobile phones and tools social. An event that will bring together a wide range of visionary and pioneering businesses that are driving the industry and that will share their knowledge and points of view on the current state of this market that is only beginning to achieve relevance …

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