By now, it’s hard to not know about games on social networks. Most people will tell you that they are a complete waste of time, but is that necessarily the case? Sure, games online or otherwise, can be a tremendous time suck – but that is basically if you are focusing just on playing the game and not the networking potential. If you focus on the networking and not so much on the game, these can be an amazing tool.
Someone introduced me to a terrible, terrible thing earlier in the year. It’s called Farmville. A Facebook app that lets you run your own online farm, Farmville is addictive, but it is also something full of possibilities other than growing a bumper crop of virtual corn. If done right, it can grow a bumper crop of an audience.I think there is a way to leverage games, however, and that is the point of this post. Gaming for the networking and not the game.
The odds are that here and there, now and then, you will get sucked into at least trying one of the online games. If you enjoy spending time online fooling with apps like Farmville, Literati, or any of the other time-sucks available, why not network a little? While you’re sending out those requests for virtual fertilizer or whatever else, you can also slip in a blog post, a little something for a client or whatever it is you are trying to get visibility for. When you send out invitations and requests, add your personal note, a word about your brand, or whatnot. That is also another great possibility.
What raises a lot of great possibilities in games is that you can often make friends or gather followers simply by joining in the fun, and you can use this to help you make new contacts and advertise your site in a friendly way – sort of like a signature tag – people will come to recognize you (oh, that’s the web design guy) and if you get to be enough of a player that you can help out newbies to the games, that makes you even more of a visible figure. let’s be clear – it isn’t about the game, it’s about the people.
This may not be something for everyone. It’s just a thought. You don’t want to spam or make people sick of you, but if you keep a low profile but do manage to plug yourself discreetly, you will keep that low level buzz going on and when any of the people you neighbor or play with need your product or services you will be the natural person to turn to. Yes, you will have to spend some time actually doing something with the game, but there is a payoff.
Why not try to join a few more networks and game playing apps just to see if you can drum some interest, and while I’m mentioning it – can you drop by and fertilize my crops for me?Just kidding – but seriously, if you find yourself puttering around online, it only makes sense to try and make something more productive come of it than a hill of beans. It’s a different approach, it may sound crazy, but how many times are the crazy ideas the ones that deliver a big payoff?
Happy Holidays all -this week is for goofing off and getting over the hangovers – soon enough it is back to business!