A recent posting on Online Media Daily reports that research over the past year shows that social networking has risen to rival gaming on a per-minute basis.
Comparing the average time that smartphone users spent across app categories between the first quarter of 2011 and 2012, researchers found that gaming dropped by 4% — down to 24 minutes per day — while social networking increased by 60% — up to 24 minutes per day, said the report.
So, you’re thinking, why is Ara bringing up this interesting fact that is completely unrelated to technology for insurance and financial services? The answer, of course, is that there is a relationship. In fact, there is a very good reason why social networking and gaming are now finding themselves on equal footing. It’s because social networking IS a game. And this is an important point to make, because marketers in our industry tend to think that social outlets like Facebook are a good place to do business.
Why do I say social networking is a gme? Because for the most part, the reason we network socially is for entertainment purposes (I am exlcuding business-oriented sites like LinkedIn for obvious reasons). This being the case, the social networking experience is the adult version of the “game” we used to play in grammar school called “show and tell.” Social networkers can’t wait to “show” everyone else how smart, beautiful, hip, astute, angry, happy, rich, etc. they are. And of course, they also want to “tell” everyone all about it. Sadly, this exhibitionistic frenzy is what passes for entertainment these days in many circles.
Be that as it may, do you want to promote your more serious businesses in a gaming/social environment like Facebook? My view would be that IF your business involves gaming or entertainment, the answer is “yes.” If, on the other hand, entertainment is not what your business about, you’d be better off hawking your wares in a forum that matches what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Marketing 101, my friends. Don’t let the social media hype fool you.