Augmented reality and geographically-based games are sure to increase in variety and audiences in years to come, as technology and users advance and adapt. Pokémon Go is the most recent online gaming phenomenon, attracting just under 21 million daily active users in the United States, and being used for an average of 43 minutes per day – higher than Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger. Naturally, brands have been quick to jump on board to reach new users and audiences.
Some brands host ‘Lure’ parties, while others encourage foot traffic by promising rare pocket monsters within their brick-and-mortar spaces. Most encourage hunters to post screenshots of Pokémon found locally, paired with a promotional hashtag. Others directly incorporate their marketing materials with Pokémon Go media.
With social media an avenue to influence and communicate, it is also the best place to become ‘popular’ or ‘viral’ very quickly, whether that be from your own original content or by joining an already existing phenomenon. Just like the ‘ice bucket’ challenge, the white/blue dress, and that picture of Usain Bolt from Rio, Pokémon GO is a potential bandwagon to jump onto with your brand.
However, we know that not all social media fads suit all brands. Before joining the Pokémon Go craze, let’s go deeper and ask– what are your business goals, and will this help achieve them?
With social media’s unlimited scope and reach, communicating to the right audience can be a challenge. Businesses should know whether their audience can relate to a certain phenomenon like Pokémon GO, because each market requires a different approach. In this case, there are two audiences to consider: your intended audience, and Pokémon Go’s user base. If they’re similar, then proceed!
Executing strategies online can be cheaper than traditional media, but poor planning and execution can see a small investment go to waste. Target the right people by looking into demographics, and use the right platforms to get their attention. For example, Facebook offers paid ads that can be quite personalised.
Content publicly posted on social media pages are vulnerable to negative comments, particularly for brands with large followings. You can limit the amount of negative feedback if your message aligns with your audiences and business goals. To find out what social media is saying about your industry or business, enlist social media monitoring tools as part of your arsenal.
Below are some brands who have already used the phenomenon to their advantage...