A number of industries have been early adopters of social media, and consequently have managed over the years to not only identify what works, but also how best to ensure that their brand message is consistent across both traditional off line marketing avenues and online social media channels. One such industry is the online gambling and casino sector, where companies such as Paddy Power and Sportingbet have not only recognised the significance of social media marketing, but have also become benchmark cases which other companies in other sectors aspire to. What is clear is that marketing functions within many businesses I have worked with have a constant battle with senior management over the issue of social networking. It’s not surprising either, as probably around 80% of blue chip companies I have worked with have either no social networking strategy in place or have such a stringent policy that their social networking efforts appear stagnant and fails collectively to connect with their existing and potential customers.
My advice in these situations is always direct and to the point. Companies interested in social networking must embrace social networking fully, and have a clear yet flexible strategy. If senior management can’t agree to this then it’s best for the business to ignore social networking completely. Yet, within the online casino sector social networking has worked, as seen first hand in a recent free pokies promotion that was run successfully within the Australian market by a major casino operator last year. The most simple advice when attempting to formulate a social strategy is to keep it simple. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and don’t hesitate to look at other business sectors such as online gambling, where blue chip online casino operators such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Australia’s Sportingbet, continue to connect with their customer with highly effective social media strategies, particularly with promoting the latest iPad pokies games. I’ve only just returned from a trip to Australia to assist a major Australian firm formulate their social media strategy for a planned launch of a new online casino promoting some of the latest online pokies Australia. In preparation for these meetings, I spent some time researching Social Media strategies devised by consultants such as James Hanson, in addition to reviewing what has and hasn’t worked for online casino operators within both the UK and European gambling markets. What is clear is that the approach used by the various casino operators changes depending on their geographical market.
Facebook posts that work for Paddy Power in the UK market don’t have the same impact in Europe, where a more local approach appears to be the norm. This was probably the most important message I had for my Aussie clients, who were keen to use a similar strategy as Paddy Power to push and promote free pokies via a concerted and aggressive social media strategy. Their aim was to make Australian’s aware of their new brand through the promotion of free cash prizes and no deposit pokie bonuses. What is clear is that Aussie’s really do enjoy playing the pokies, and judging by a recent article in the Guardian newspaper, Australian’s appear to be the world’s biggest punters. Yet what is really exciting about social media within the e-gaming sector, is the ability of casino and gambling operators to swiftly and dynamically alter their strategy to reflect technological advances, and a change in consumer behavior. This can be no better shown with the growth in tablet devices such as the iPad.
Gambling operators have been quick off the mark in recognising the move away from desktop and laptops towards tablet devices, and in doing so have been able to launch a new breed games built on the latest web standard (HTML5) that have proved incredibly popular with players. The online casino sector certainly offers a number of best in breed operators when it comes to social media, and they are certainly a good starting point in attempting to devise a suitable social strategy for your business.