Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Facebook 500

We hit 500 Facebook "fans" last month, or at least I think they're called fans; perhaps likers. As a reward to our loyal fans, we provided a generous 40% off coupon. The catch was we wanted to know what games you played. I was hoping to increase our understanding of our Facebook customers. It's no use telling people about some fantastic new card game if they hate card games. We want to tailor our marketing to our community, which is what social relationship marketing is all about; being useful. So with a coupon that you simply cannot ignore and asking for just a small amount of information, we received 79 coupons back. Here are some of the results.

The general game store rule of thumb, one which I spout off about all the time, is that our customers are generally mono-gamers, interested in just one game. The RPG people don't visit the miniatures, the card players don't care about board games. One game store owner in a seminar talked about how he once put a sheet over a display. It generated more interest from customers across the spectrum than any product could have. The general impression is that a display needs to literally be on fire for a customer to cross genres and check it out.

Perhaps that's true, but our Facebook crowd, those that actually pay attention and are regular customers, are multi-disciplinary gamers for the most post. 65% are cross genre gamers, playing more than one type of game. If it is true that most gamers are mono-gamers, then our active Facebook crowd is something else, a group far more engaged in hobby gaming. They would have to be.

Imagine not being a cross-genre gamer and listening to use on Facebook. There are roughly five categories of hobby games, which means if you're a mono gamer, 80% of what we're saying is garbage. You certainly won't find us interesting and you'll likely ignore us after a while. Facebook is really not a very good medium for communicating with those people, unless they're very good at adjusting their filters without tuning us out completely. That's very different from say, a comic book shop or a potato chip company.

So let's look at what they play:

Here's a break down of what people play. 65% fit into more than one category. Mono gamers tended to be from across all the categories, although very few RPG players only play RPGs, according to the surveys.

So what did we learn?  16% is a fantastic response rate. Direct mail coupons usually return 2-3%. Those who want to follow the stores activities are for the most part (84%), only mildly interested in what we're doing, and are unlikely to act. Perhaps having the coupon more prominently displayed for a longer period would get better results, although that's hard to do with Facebook. The method in which the coupon was displayed, on the wall, posted a couple times, rewarded those who were more actively participating in the forum. Those listening were obviously more interested in what we had to say. For every type of game you play, I become 20% more relevant to you, so it's not surprising.

I should also mention that those 500 fans (now over 600) are not all local customers. One hundred are friends and family, with some store overlap. Probably another 50 are remote fans, game industry people, or otherwise not likely to visit. That should put a damper on excitement over raw fan counts, but it also reflects well on the coupon response rate. I would love to hear your observations about this.