By Tim Youngblood
Facebook is a great way to get more eyes on your game, but there are some things to keep in mind to get the most out of your Facebook promotion.
How Facebook’s Monetization Works
First and foremost, it is important to know how Facebook makes their money and how that affects what is prioritized in people’s feeds. Obviously, Facebook makes their money through advertisements, and there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind that most online entities use to maximize traffic and profits.
Most online media outlets have a goal of keeping as many users on their site for as long as possible. For Facebook, this comes in the form of prioritizing content that keeps users on their website. This is why so much of our Facebook feeds are littered with those 1-minute videos that are just clips from Youtube videos with subtitles over them (Facebook also doesn’t care about copyright, so they are really screwing over Youtubers right now). Facebook now plays interstitial ads inside these videos because their greed seemingly knows no bounds…
This means that users have to scroll through several pages of these videos and memes to get to anything with an external link like an article. Facebook doesn’t want anyone clicking on your link, so it’s an uphill battle to begin with.
Facebook is a Pay to Play System
If your game or development studio has a Facebook page, you’ve probably seen the notifications where Facebook offers you credit to boost your page or a post. This is done to get your credit card information and get you addicted to those easy likes for just a few dollars a week. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but with hundreds of millions of Facebook pages throwing in a dollar or two a day, the money adds up fast for Zuckerburg and the boys.
With Facebook boost, you can buy clicks and likes…
Using the Facebook boost system can yield great results and defining your audience and maximizing your budget are a science within themselves. I will get to this in another tutorial later, but for now, I’m going to focus on some free workarounds.
How to Get Around Facebook’s Evil Algorithm
There are two things you can do to get around what is essentially a paywall for anything that takes users off of Facebook and on to other websites. The first is to post more content that doesn’t take users off of Facebook like videos, GIFs, and images (Facebook now treats GIFs as videos). Let’s say you want to post a link to your game’s website, Facebook is going to say “Haha, screw you, peasant, this won’t even make it on your mother’s feed!”.
Instead of just posting a link to your game, try making a GIF (Using Giphy is super easy!) and then adding the link to your game in the comments. When you do this, Facebook’s algorithm will say “Oooo, yes, thanks for keeping users on Facebook and making us more money!”. You can also post lots of memes to get more eyes on your page. Once somebody visits your page, they will see only the posts that you have made, and the ones with external links will not be hidden.
I made this GIF in like 2 minutes to promote Origin Story’s Dev blog
The other workaround, which I think is more important, is to utilize Facebook groups in the indie game community, which I alluded to in the tips and tricks for free indie game promotion article. Depending on a user’s settings, members of these groups can actually receive notifications when other members post in the group. Facebook groups make a massive difference between getting buried in a feed and having thousands of users alerted on their phones when you make a post. If you came to this article through Facebook, I bet that you didn’t come through Game Borough’s Facebook page and probably saw this in an indie game development or promotion group (If so, thanks for reading!).
Indie Game Development and Promotion Groups on Facebook
I’m putting together a list of indie game development and promotion groups on Facebook that I’d like to keep updating. If you know of any Facebook groups that aren’t in the list, please let me know in comments or through our contact page! Be warned, however, it’s very important to read the posting guidelines for each group so you don’t get booted!
- Indie Game Promo
- GB Gamers (Join our group! There’s like 50 of us!)
- There a lot more gaming groups on Facebook, but these two are specifically for promoting your games.