Think of that beautiful chime that rings for every coin you collect in Super Mario Bros. – isn’t the experience much more fun and exciting with sound effects on? Such cues are mere reminders that if users take those developed pathways, as the game wants them to, the user will be rewarded instantly. The reward? Acknowledgement of your ability and the skills gained through gameplay, or of your general competence.
Now consider that sense of popularity or importance when you hear your phone or message tone ring (don’t lie, you know you love it). In the social context, these audio cues have been conditioned with the intrinsic reward of relatedness, such as a sense of belonging, and connecting with others. So yes, the more phone calls and messages you receive, the more you feel safe and secure, perceiving that you have others that care for you.
This adaption of game elements in non-gaming contexts is called gamification (yes, it’s now a word). It doesn’t require turning everything into a game, but just an application of game design components or cues such as sound effects, point systems, levels and achievements. These buzzes are designed to suck you back in (and providing further distraction) and create a sense of urgency to take immediate action and re-engage.
For instance, how’s your LinkedIn profile looking?
LinkedIn thrives on accurate and complete data to be able to link relevant information to users. Thus, why not motivate their users to upload more information by ranking their profiles; the reward being that your profile will be prioritised in searches by employers and recruiters.
Or perhaps you felt a bit rejected when you didn’t get many ‘Likes’ for your recent Facebook status update/ Instagram selfie/ personal best on Runkeeper/ Zomato review/ release of the new issue of Dando Insights?
It’s like every ‘like’ gained is a point achieved towards popularity!
Social media has been painted as a means to create a new identity and present oneself in any way they want. And every alert for an interaction with your online presence is an acknowledgement and pat on the back of your virtual self.
But don’t feel inadequate or unworthy of your target audience if you’re not getting the engagement you want for your social media presence! Perhaps you just need a brand new game plan – and we at Dando can help you with that.
First, you should subscribe to our fun and useful Newsletter, which is chockfull of great articles and tips on how to get your digital marketing game on.
And if you’re keen for something new, give us a shout and we can help you get the ball rolling.