Nov 29, 2018 IN Game Dev Talks
Community Management: Know your community, grow your influencers
TALKS WITH EXPERTS
The 9th episode of the Talks with experts is here. Today we are going to discuss the topic of great importance, especially if you are free-to-play game dev and offer the game as a service. Yes, our today’s focus is the community management, the support, or the customer service. Call it as you want, it’s about listening to your players, speaking with them through all possible communication channels, taking care of their community, sharing with them on the Social Media and much much more. Find out what it takes with our lead community manager Tomas. If you are more into watching than reading, check out the video on our Youtube channel. And let us know your insights in our knowledge sharing group Free to play game developers.
Could you tell us about the Community Management, what it’s all about and how does it work here in Pixel Federation?
Our support system consists of two teams- Community management and Social media. Social media team handles our FB fan pages, Instagrams, LinkedIn, Youtube channels and Twitter accounts. As you could learn all about it in this amazing video or the blog with our social media guru Eva, I will address the community management part :)
We have dedicated CM team for each of our games. You receive our reply whether you contact us via ticket system directly from the game or through the Facebook and you may even see our replies in all of the app stores. Our main job is to answer all support tickets, moderate the forums and fill them with needed content. It’s also necessary to be present and active in international or national Facebook Fan groups. Besides that, we work a lot with our hardcore players - the influencers. For us, community management is the link between our players and the dev team.
Can you tell us more out our CM strategy and approach?
It is important to find the balance between our appreciation of data and our love for the players. We embrace the idea and advantages of data-driven community management but we also want to keep our relationships and service in the community as personal as possible. We have found that the answers that provide solutions directly earned higher satisfaction scores from our players than those that redirected them to an FAQ or forum links. It just feels far better to receive an answer and direct help from a real person. Of course, in some cases, it may be faster to find a solution by yourself, but many of the issues are more complex and it is necessary to solve them personally.
Ok, that's for our ticket system, FAQ and forums but we also have a dedicated Facebook page for each of our games. Do you still think that Facebook is a good platform for communication with our players?
Yes, for us, it is still true, as most of our games started on Facebook and organically grown their communities there. Our players started to create their own game-related Facebook groups, where dedicated players gradually became the community leaders or influencers. And our job is to keep their community alive and maintain good relations with them.
What is the trick? How do we approach them?
We always try to reach out to admins of the groups. We communicate with them about upcoming changes, updates or plans. And it works both ways as in return they collect the necessary feedback from the players and keep us informed about the mood in the community. This is very important because if we would only deal with sole tickets, we would never fully understand the community or learn about the actual background of the players and the community mood. You have to understand that Facebook and especially the groups are the place where players get very spontaneous and you can easily pick up what going on. It’s very quick feedback :)
Let speak a little bit more about the Facebook admins, or as you call them, the influencers. Why it is so important to work with them?
An influencer is the buzzword of today’s social media world. It may be annoying but it is important to recognize their power. The influencer marketing content delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. Around 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer. Influencers are authentic, engaging and good at creating a content that fits different demographic needs.
Our influencers are the players dedicated to the game and to their players' community. They are the community leaders, the voice of the players and you can even help them to increase their level of influence. For us, they are the ambassadors, the communication partners and the allies in talking to our players. They actually provide a lot of free content for you and more importantly, the content in line with the demographic needs and specifics of the fan group. It may be guidelines, gameplay videos, playthrough, best practices and other content that is appreciated by the community. Your goal is to increase the number of satisfied and loyal players bonded to the game. And influencers help you to create this bond and strengthen a sense of membership.
Can you share some tips or keys to the community success in the CM area?
First of all, learn about the community as much as possible. Try to find out what they like AND what they don’t like. Never underestimate the negative feedback and the wrath of the irate gamers but also never underestimate your own strength in a dire situation. You can always handle the storm! And most of all, stay calm, communicate with your community honestly, transparently and clearly. Be fair to your players, take responsibility where needed. And last but not least - be proactive. Plan your activities ahead and create your own influencer program.
So that is how the Community Management works in Pixel Federation. And now it's your turn. How do you handle your community? Tell us about your approach. Don't hesitate to ask further questions and discuss this week’s topic in the Facebook group called Free to play game developers. Please feel free to invite your fellow game developers as well :)
With Pixel since 2014, grew from Community management, through Social Media to Public Relations. Hates pizza but eats it anyway.