Social Media Strategy for a Gaming Website

As a Content Creator, I really want others to read my articles. One key element of the distribution of my work is through a Social Media Strategy.

In the past, Facebook was the core of my Social Media Strategy and it drove a lot of visitors to this site. In fact, almost half my traffic last year came to this website through a Social Media link.

Facebook brought in most of those Social Media visits. Since then, the algorithm that dictates what Facebook shows its readers has changed. Because of these changes, the number of visits from Facebook has dropped dramatically. Last week just 26% of my visits came from Social Media. Compare that result to 46% in the previous year.

In terms of real numbers, that change represents 53% fewer visitors from Social Media than what I had just over a year ago. Below are some pie charts from my Google Analytics representing the change.

Social Media Strategy
Comparing traffic sources from 2018 to 2017.

While my visits from Social Media are down, my numbers from Referral Traffic and Google (Organic Search) are up. The increase in those numbers has offset my declining numbers from social media.

The New Challenge

As we constantly want to grow the site (and our audience), the challenge today is to try and figure out how to share our content with more readers.

The old strategy of sharing a post to our Facebook Page followed by sharing that post to various related Facebook Groups is showing diminishing returns. To make things even more difficult, Facebook shares my content with fewer people than it once did and wants me to pay for them to share it with more of my followers and other like-minded individuals.

I do not blame Facebook one bit for wanting to monetize their platform, but it makes it harder for a young website to find new readers and gain more followers.

As a result of these changes, we are investigating other ways to get our content out there.

Future Plan

For the immediate future, we plan to continue to lean heavily on Facebook despite the diminishing numbers while we look at other solutions. We are currently on Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, and, as of yesterday, Instagram.

For the time being, it is the Instagram account that I want to grow the most. If you are interested and on Instagram, please head on over and follow our profile.

Why focus on Instagram? Because, like most of the posts on this site, Instagram is highly visual and focuses on images. We think there is a good fit there and want to see where it goes. We are also thinking of posting content not seen on our website on Instagram to give it an extra appeal.

Of course, I still plan to continue to heavily engage on Twitter and to continue dabbling in Reddit.

The Social Media Sites

For those interested in the information for their own sites or their personal information, below is my experience with each platform.

Facebook

Facebook was absolutely amazing when I started this site. By sharing a link to an appropriate group, you could easily drive hundreds of visits to your website (or even one or two thousand visits for your really good posts).

At first, the above strategy felt a little “spammy” but I got over it quickly because I actually had group administrators tell me that they liked (and wanted) me sharing my links in their groups as it gave their members content to read.

With the algorithm changes at Facebook, this type of content is now less likely to reach the desired readers.

For those that don’t know, the algorithm change makes it more likely that you will see content from your friends and family rather than from the Groups and Business Pages that you have “Liked.” It is not a terrible change, but, for those of us that drove high volumes of traffic from the above sources, it is a difficult change.

Currently, my pictures seem to perform better than my links. Because of this difference in performance, I plan to post more pictures to the platform to “tease” about upcoming posts. I also plan to continue posting links to all of my articles on my Facebook Page and various Groups.

 

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform that I adopted to easily. I like how easy it is to use and that they recently allowed more characters (letters) to your posts. Posts that I add pictures to tend to perform much better than the ones that I don’t. I also like that you can tag other users and companies.

As far as driving traffic, it doesn’t seem to drive a lot. It does okay, but I still see better numbers from Facebook despite the current changes. When Twitter does drive traffic, it seems to be for just a moment and can often be seen as a “spike” in my statistics.

Twitter is good for traffic in the moment, but it does not last. The upside is that it is very easy to tweet and re-tweet your posts. If you are serious, you can even buy access to programs that can automate the process for you.

Personally, I really enjoy re-tweeting the content that I like from others on Twitter so if you follow me there, you will see much more content and posts than just my own.

Reddit

Reddit is a platform that I have a love-hate relationship towards. It is great for sharing in that it brings in a large number of readers, but the administrators of the site do not want you sharing many links into their groups. The fact that they don’t like you sharing links makes it a hard site to gain visits from.

While they don’t want you sharing too many links, if you are active in their community and post comments much more than actual posts or links, then they won’t mind if you post a link once in a while. I haven’t figured out that ratio perfectly yet and I find myself commenting more into groups other than the ones where I want to actually post most of my links.

Please feel free to check out my Reddit Account.

Also, please feel free to leave feedback in the comments section if you have (or haven’t) figured out the perfect comments to posts ratio and please let us know of your experience on this platform.

Pinterest

Pinterest is the go-to platform that all of the “Pro-Blogging” websites tell me to go to for promoting my content. For them, this platform drives many more visitors than any of the other Social Media Platforms.

My experience with Pinterest is different. In my experience, it does not drive many visits at all. My guess is that is because of my niche being Games Containing Miniatures. It could also be that I don’t have many followers there.

That said, one would think there might be a lot of people on Pinterest looking up miniatures, but I haven’t found them yet. Due to a lack of visits, I have not given my Pinterest Account the love it deserves.

If you run a gaming blog and have had success on Pinterest, please let us know the secret of your success in the comments below.

Instagram

This is the newest Social Media Platform for Must Contain Minis. So far we are pleased with the result. It already has plenty more followers than my Pinterest Account and I really like that the platform focuses on pictures.

As an interesting aside, I did not use hashtags on my first posts. I had no idea how to use the platform, but one of my followers did me a huge service and Direct Messaged me the basics on how to use the platform.

You use Hashtags and At-Signs (just like twitter) to get your content out to targeted groups and hopefully that will help extend the reach of your brand and website.

So far I am happy with my Instagram Account and think it will be fun to use regardless of whether it drives more traffic to this site.

There I plan to post more pictures than I do to my Facebook account. I will also post more unique pictures on Instagram simply because of how easy it is to use with an IPad.

Direct Visits

While Social Media is great to reach readers and draw them back to the site, we encourage you to bookmark this site directly and to come by regularly.  We have made a commitment to post content two to three times a week and there is already a good deal of content up on this site.

At the end of the day, it is this site that we hope you will return to the most and the Social Media accounts are all there to help keep you engaged and to bring you back to this site.

Our home page is… https://mustcontainminis.com

Wrapping it up

Must Contain Minis is on a number of Social Platforms to reach and engage its readers. We have found the most success with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and hope that you will follow us on those platforms.

How about yourself? Do you have a gaming related website? What is your plan for Social Media?

Update (February 3, 2018): Please Read the Comments. There is some great content there in continuation of this subject.

Until Next Time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

 

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2 thoughts on “Social Media Strategy for a Gaming Website

  • January 31, 2018 at 11:51 pm
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    Comment from Facebook…

    Rob Manuel: I’m not sure what’s the story here. Facebook isn’t working for them, but they’re also doubling down on Facebook. With Twitter, they talk about retweeting, but not interacting with people. They just started with Instagram. There’s a bit of Pinterest and Reddit thrown in. This doesn’t feel like a strategy as much as just a laundry list of what they’re doing.

    I would be curious to hear more about their experience on Reddit. From their profile, they seem active both in posting and commenting. I know Reddit is, well… Reddit, but hearing more about what works and hasn’t worked for them in the community would be beneficial. And on top of that, include BBG into the list. Again, this seems to be something that gets hammered on this FB group often, utilize BGG to reach your audience. I don’t think merely posting on the site is enough and further study is needed to understand best practices. The new layout may help with discoverability, but again, I don’t have anything to back this up.

    For their other platforms, I would suggest more interaction with the people there. Twitter is a great way not just to talk to people but talk to groups. Share in other people’s successes. One of the things that worked for me was “show us your shielfie” where players posted pictures of their gaming library. Collect them, share them, and shine a light on the creators. I think they could do the same with a Mini Monday to see the progression of everyone’s minis. Do the same on Instagram and include short videos to highlight minis.

    Each platform has their own language and their individual needs from the audience there. Interaction is a great way to start learning how to speak their language. Start thinking about programming for your platforms. What brings in a community? Is it showcasing what others are doing, teaching new techniques, or keeping people informed in other ways? There’s a lot you can do with your social platforms, but you need to find the stories and services you are trying to provide your audience.

    Reply
    • February 1, 2018 at 12:52 am
      Permalink

      Hi Rob,

      Thank you very much for this well thought out response. I will be honest. I was thinking of my Social Media Strategy as my website being a Magazine and the various Social Media Platforms as ways to distribute my newest articles to my audience (readers). In essence, I was thinking of each Social Media platform as a separate funnel to help drive people over to my site. Perhaps that is outdated thinking.

      I can fully appreciate how actively building a community on those platforms would be more beneficial than just posting links to my newest articles. Thank you for the constructive advice. I will take that into strong consideration and think about ways to create a community around my Blog and Social Media Outlets.

      In answer of your request about my experience on Reddit, I have been on the platform twice. The first time, I posted links to my site too often and the administrators didn’t like that. Many of them seem to want you to post links just twice a month across all the sub-reddits. I wanted to post a little more often so I decided I wasn’t getting what I wanted from the site and deleted my first account.

      As an aside, the request to reduce my number of posts came in well worded and with a personal touch from the administrators of the sub-reddits in question (it was in a group or two specifically related to miniatures games). They talked about how they really liked my posts and that my Battle Reports are beautiful, but the frequency was just too much. Now back to your question…

      It was a mistake to delete my first account. When you delete your account in Reddit, you can’t come back and get your old username back. I should have just quit posting and taken a break from Reddit but I figured I wouldn’t be using it again. Later, several bloggers were telling me about their successes on Reddit. So I went to reactivate my account and take my old user name. I couldn’t, so I had to create a new username.

      Once I got my new account, I followed the platforms guidelines and was mindful of the rules of each group. I have a few posts up on the site and comment on many of the current discussions. Even though I am following the rules, the first time that I posted to the sub-reddit Boardgames I had an administrator send me a warning form letter stating… “As the majority of your posts to /r/boardgames are promotional, we would like to inform you of our rules on promotion and our expectations around participating…”

      This message bothered me as the post was the very first post in that sub-reddit. It was my only post there. The Administrator deleted the post.

      I figure I will give it some time, comment on some more posts in that group and eventually try posting a link to a Review. The last link I submitted was a link to a showcase of painted boardgame minis and it was getting up-votes at a good rate before it was deleted.

      You also asked about my experience with Board Game Geek (BGG). I think Board Game Geek works better for video producers than those that create written content. The reason for this is that you can embed videos right into BGG.

      To submit links for written content, there are two methods of which I know…

      One… Go to the “links” section of the game you are writing about and submit a link to your website review there.

      Two… Go to the written reviews area and copy and paste your review. Then modify the review as you lose the pictures and add your links in as the original source of the review. I also modify the reviews to make them slightly different and shorter than what is on Must Contian Minis. The administrators of BGG have allowed me to post my links up using this method.

      I find Option One for BGG generates no direct traffic. I heard it helps with SEO, but I don’t know if that is actually true. Option Two generates some traffic, but not as much as I see from Facebook, Reddit or even Twitter.

      Thanks again for the Constructive Criticism. It is much appreciated.

      Reply

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