Why Candy Is Crushing Your Social Marketing

by · August 6, 201412 comments

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.

Divine

Candy_CrushSometimes, 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.

Evolution

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

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.

Evaluation

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?

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About Matt Hollowell

Matt Hollowell

Matt is a lifelong student of design, marketing, publishing, and content creation. His passion sits at the intersection of content and design; in fact, you can often find him there with a cup of coffee in one hand and a notepad in the other. As SME's Creative Director, he supports both the brand and clients, which helps to satisfy his lifelong love of never knowing what's coming next. When not at his desk, you'll find Matt serenading his two amazing daughters, reading gritty British poetry, or obsessively listening to podcasts. Send him your podcast reccs here: @mhollowell.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.socialidentities.com Hugh Briss

    Good stuff, Matt. Most Pages try to do this with memes and contests but those get old fast. Now, if we all made round cookies with creme in the middle that we could make funny pictures with that would then make everyone want to run out to buy a package, that would be nice.

    Excuse me but I need to go write my next post about 18 cats that don’t realize how small they are.

    • http://www.hellosocialmarketing.com Matt Hollowell

      Thanks, Hugh! Totally agree re: memes and such. It takes real (and hard) work to surprise and delight, and many of us need to reimagine our tactics, for sure. And I’m at the top of that list. While I’m working on it, definitely send me the post on the cats! :)

  • http://ladylack.storenvy.com Randi Carlton

    Thanks for writing this! I am working on content, and completely agree that I need to work more on surprising my audience.

    • http://www.hellosocialmarketing.com Matt Hollowell

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Randi! Surprise is hard, but it is totally worth the effort when done well. Btw, I was just checking out your quilled art; how amazing! I look forward to learning more about what you do with that art form. Very, very cool stuff.

      • http://ladylack.storenvy.com Randi Carlton

        Thank you so much!

  • Lee

    I really enjoyed this post, thanks Matt:)

    • http://www.hellosocialmarketing.com Matt Hollowell

      Thanks, Lee! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know!

  • Icy Sedgwick

    I read a lot of marketing blogs as I write fiction and I’m always looking for ways to sell that don’t involve shouting BUY MY BOOK on Twitter every day, and I find the best way to keep people coming back is to post a short story on my blog every week. They’re always under 1000 words so they only take about five minutes to read, and I do different things every week so regular readers come back to see what I’ve done this week, and hopefully new people will find something they like to provide the distraction!

    • http://www.hellosocialmarketing.com Matt Hollowell

      This is a great idea, Icy! Can you post a link to your blog? I’d love to check out what you’re doing!

      • Icy Sedgwick

        Hey, it’s http://www.icysedgwick.com/ – the stories are in the Friday Flash category!

        • http://www.hellosocialmarketing.com Matt Hollowell

          Thanks! Will definitely check it out.

  • http://www.karmatechnologies.asia/ karma

    Candy crush has great intent to engage users and it teaches online marketers how to engage with our visitors.