Is Gamification A Solution For Social Businesses?

via Kris Duggan @kduggan,

In the rush to become social, marketers often focus on pushing customers to the social networks. However, this strategy alone results in forfeiting customer data and insights, and ultimately having to rent back access to those same users via paid campaigns on those same social networks. What’s worse, your audience data is also being used to allow your competitors to target your hard-earned customers.

Enterprises need to not only focus on becoming “social,” companies must apply social solutions that directly increase user value, activity, and retention. While one cannot ignore traditional social media marketing, smart businesses must take the next step in driving real, sustainable value around their brand’s owned online assets. Through gamification, businesses can measure and influence user behavior across their web and mobile experiences.

Over the last year, gamification has gone from an unknown term to one of the top tech trends. Through gamification, a business can drive specific user behaviors that align with key objectives. Behavior analytics, core to gamification, track user behaviors and provide insight into what motivates them to continually engage with the company.

Here are five reasons why your business should consider adopting a gamification strategy this year.

Gamification increases user behavior 20 percent or more

Social rewards create an authentic connection between a brand and its customers. In the same way we are motivated to work harder for status in our organization, or to run a marathon for a medal, users are motivated by a series of rewards and positive feedback loops embedded into your user experience. Businesses that integrate gaming into their campaigns see an increase in user behavior, including user-generated content, social referrals, retention, and other key activities aligned to business objectives.

Gamification adds a social experience to any web property

Social experiences are no longer limited to interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and similar platforms. Gamification and related social techniques democratizes the power of Facebook, enabling a business to expand its online community by adding social experiences to their owned online experiences. Instead of pushing customers to a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ page, a business can draw customers to its site and encourage repeat visits by offering an interactive platform that rewards behaviors with status and achievements.

Gamification adds to lifetime user value

When users connect with a brand, it is typically because the company makes it worthwhile or desirable to be a part of the experience from the beginning. Creating lifetime user value proves difficult for most businesses, especially in such a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. What most companies fail to realize is the expression of user loyalty today is not limited to transactions. Instead, users define their loyalty with interactions they have with the brand outside of the transaction. Gamification enables businesses to reward behaviors tied to lifetime value that occur beyond transactions.

Gamification is relevant to virtually any industry

Whether you own an e-commerce site, or a health and fitness property, gamification can help increase behavior across your web and mobile experiences. The reason gamification is so powerful is partially because it can be applied to such a diverse range of industries and experiences to drive behavior. The techniques are proven to add measurable value to your web and mobile properties.

Gamification provides unique insights into the health of your community

Behavior analytics technology allows a business to define which user behaviors it wants to track and reward. Once defined, these behaviors can be analyzed and businesses can key in on repeated behaviors based on user identity, not just traditional metrics such as page views and traffic. Understanding these behaviors and how customers are motivated allows a business to better engage and retain customers. These modern analtyics techniques, popularized by the social gaming industry, are now available for any smart business leader through smart gamification programs and platforms.

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