Thursday, September 2, 2010

Game Companies and Facebook

Someone recently pointed out to me that when my website was linked on Facebook, the text mentioned we were still in Walnut Creek. The website page text said no such thing, but the meta tags I had written six years ago, when we opened the first store, were still embedded in the page. Meta tags were useful at one time for Google searches, but Google has advanced and most people have learned to skip tags, at least until recently. Facebook uses those meta tags when people link to your website. Check out this article on the details as well as this one for images. Game companies need to get with the times and provide this information.

Why is this important? Companies like mine, the 3,000 or so US retailers that are delving into Facebook, are pimping your games. Some companies do a good job and have scrambled to get their sites Facebook ready, while others have clearly not woken up to the reality of where people are spending their online time. It takes some commitment of resources to get Facebook ready, but I think it's worth it.

Besides technical content, there is also context. If my only link to your product is your e-commerce page, well, I might decide to just skip your product all together, especially if you discount. Yesterday this happened with six companies in a row, all smaller, web saavy companies that should have know better. Nobody is denying you your direct sales channel, you just need to have some commerce neutral information about your product we can link to. The alternative, which happens more often than not, is we link to boardgamegeek or some bloggers review page.  Bloggers. Sheesh.  Do you really want other people controlling how your product is presented?

 Here's a survey of some of our top companies with a sample import:

Wizards of the Coast: Castle Ravenloft. The images import, the title is alright, but the text (tag) is generic.

Games Workshop: Island of Blood. Yeah, it's like that. GW is clearly the most web hostile game company I've encountered. Their website is a sophisticated travesty.

Fantasy Flight Games: Deathwatch.  Some FFG pages have links to share to Facebook, but many of their product pages are just not compatible for import. FFG gets high marks for their online forums though.

Paizo Publishing: Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide. Close, but wrong metatag. In fact, most product pages have that same bad Drunken Heroes metatag. Paizo is clearly the most advanced game company in using social media and creating their own online community. They're extremely active on Facebook, with a company page, a product page for Pathfinder and game designer pages the Paizo luminaries actually use creatively. Paizo gets it for the most part.

So who does a good job? Check out Purple Pawn.

Green Ronin Games does a pretty good job as well as a variety of smaller companies. If you've got one you want to share, post it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment