Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

16Mar/10

Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page

By Sebastian Sujka

Most developers are aware of the importance of Facebook fan pages. If a game reaches a certain stage of success it almost automatically attracts a certain number of fans. Surprisingly, only few games have a fan site that is both interesting for the fan and highly useful for the game developer.

For the developer, the fan site can generate valuable feedback which can be gained very easily. People who become a fan give a strong signal that they care about the game and are willing to communicate on the fan site. By simply asking the users what they think about certain game aspects or whether they have any suggestions or criticism on how to improve details it is possible to get very valuable feedback. Responding to this feedback can turn the user into a fan for life, as he will be given the feeling of really being part of the game development. It does not matter whether the feedback is good or bad. If it triggers changes of features of the game the fans will feel highly appreciated and it is very likely they will talk about it and thereby actively promote the game.

For the same reasons a fan page can also be very useful for testing new features and even new games. One possibility is to give fans access to a beta version of a game to test it. This approach will provide free and fast feedback. This works as well if you ask fans of game A to test the new game B – fans will value being asked for their opinion and will enjoy being exclusive testers.

The more a fan feels involved, the more he will be willing to comment on a game. Involvement can be increased if fans get a feeling of knowing the real people behind the game. A good way to personalize the fan site is to post pictures or short clips from the office and especially the team behind the game. Such elements create trust and build a real relationship.

Other elements that can increase the fan’s involvement are custom graphics with every post. Characters from the game, if there are any, can be used here. Graphics or videos of this kind are certain to increase the number of likes and comments because they simply stand out from text only posts on the personal Facebook homepage.

Video guides for difficult levels can be equally valuable for fans and especially interesting for power users. If fans send game play videos that are funny or entertaining they should be posted. On the one hand side it will be entertaining for the fan base and on the other hand it will motivate fans to send in more material and comments hoping for a post of their achievement.

There is a lot of other ways to design an attractive fan page for both sides. Many aspects depend on the characteristics and genre of the game. However, there is one thing that applies to any fan page: Viewing the page as communication channel rather than a one sided advertising platform will lead to higher fan involvement and generate more valuable feedback.