Last year myself and my coworker PJ Oxendine made our debut as part of the digital item trading industry when we joined OPSkins to better define their approach to social and community. Even as individuals with experience building a company’s online presence in the video game industry, this particular instance posed an interesting challenge as OPSkins already had a sizable audience. However, even with Like and Follower counts comparable to that of their competitors, something was missing. The following is a short case study I put together detailing how we gave their social strategy a complete makeover and set them up for success moving forward.
The Problem: A Loyal Community Did Not Exist
While OPSkins as a brand was recognizable in the digital skins industry, their social presence lacked a committed fan base and was mainly comprised of people looking for free stuff. The strategy during this time was to pump out a lot of giveaways of CS:GO items (Dragon Lores, Dopplers, Hyper Beasts, etc.). Unfortunately this approach leads to a false perspective on your brand’s standing within an industry, and never really establishes a good foundation for a community to be built on. With the future that OPSkins envisioned for themselves in the digital item trading industry and their crypto technology, WAX, that was in development, something had to change. In the Fall of 2017, PJ Oxendine and I were hired to figure out what that change would consist of.
The Solution: Create a Loyal Community
The best way to grow a community is to be a part of it. We made an effort to do so by communicating with our fans beyond giveaways and site update posts. While I love being able to play Santa Claus year-round, we were never going to build a meaningful presence that way. With that in mind the first 2 decisions were made were to 1) cut giveaways, and 2) end paid promotion on Facebook and Twitter until we better defined what our original content approach would be.
In addition, rather than focusing on attaining a higher follower count, we shifted the focus to engagement, impressions and social media driven sales.
Over the next few months we tested different methods of showcasing members of our community and allowing them to be more engaged with us. From cross posting popular content, to poll-styled posts, and in-depth patch breakdowns of the games we support to dank memes, we readjusted the tone of OPSkins content to be more in line with that of their users. Here are some examples of that in action:
The Result: It’s Raining Analytics
After a few months of our plan in action, OPSkins experienced social media success like they never had before. The average impressions per month went from 150k to 14 million from August 2017 to February 2018 (OPSkins requested that specific month-to-month analytics not be shown in this article, but you can find them with a google search). With consistent execution of our fairly simple strategy we met and exceeded the KPI goals we set for ourselves in a short amount of time, and laid a strong foundation for the brand moving forward.
While 14 million is a cool stat, the most important part of this improvement was how much the engagement and social media driven sales scaled with the new heights we were reaching with impressions. At the end of the day I don’t want to give the impression (pun intended) that impressions (am I saying this word too much?) is the metric you should judge the success of your social efforts on, because the majority of the time, it isn’t. You’ll never get a good gauge of how effective your strategy is in community building if you don’t pay attention to those other two metrics. Any social media manager can get more eyeballs on your posts, especially if you give them a Facebook Ads budget, but a truly effective social manager will build loyalty and trust within your community that will benefit your brand for years to come.
The moral of the story is that throwing money at your social department isn’t always the answer. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll spend all the money you give us, but those of us passionate about our jobs will always be striving to find a way to naturally fuse brand with community.
I hope you enjoyed this short breakdown of how PJ and I approached social for OPSkins late last year/early this year. If you have questions or want me to dive further into any of the above information feel free to get in touch.