November 27, 2012

Gamification: So Hot Right Now


Gamification. So hot right now.

If you're like most people, you might have heard the term once or twice, but don't have a strong hold on what it means. That's OK -- you're not out of the loop!

Simply put, gamification is the process of turning something into a game or a competition in order to achieve an end goal. You'll better engage your audience by adding a competitive element to your brand or product,, whether you're referring to customers, social media followers, leads, or whatever else. After all, it's human nature to compete, and everybody likes to win. Gamification is an easy way for both you and your audience to do just that!

If you're an avid Contactually user, you may have noticed a few of the things across our site that we've implemented to keep you engaged with our product. For those of you who aren't as familiar, or want a better explanation, let's take a look:

1. Measuring your follow-up progress

Contactually records the number of system-generated follow-ups you complete, right in the middle of your Dashboard. We show this to you with text as well as with visual components, including a progress bar measuring your weekly follow-up goals and a bar graph representation of your daily contact trends. Additionally, we allow you to adjust your own follow-up goals for the week so that you can best tailor our product to your needs. Just click the number under the progress bar and type in the number that best suits you. We know there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for contact management, so try to make the experience as customizable as we can.

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2. Actually designing a game

We're well aware that initially sorting hundreds or thousands of contacts into Buckets (Contactually's way of saying categories) can be an incredibly daunting task. But in truth, that's why you're here: to manage your contacts. What better way to do this than turning it into something fast and fun? Enter the Bucket Game. With just the click of a mouse or a keystroke, you can effectively categorize your contacts. Our favorite part? The timer, which turns it into a race. You can even Tweet the time it takes you to bucket 50 of your contacts, which is how many each Bucket Game session prompts you to bucket, to show your following how you've improved from game to game.

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There are a lot of things that we do to gamify the Contactually experience outside of the features we've built into our product. If you're new to the gamification process, here's one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to get started.

3. Run a social media contest

Offer your audience something in return for engaging with your brand on social media. It could be something as simple as Liking a Facebook post, or asking them to leave a comment. If you want to make it competitive, ask your audience to submit the funniest or craziest video about a topic related to your product or brand. Then, you can pick a winner for your contest, either at random or based on the quality responses, and announce it in a following post.

[caption id="attachment_1973" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Go ahead and Like us on Facebook while you're thinking about it."][/caption]

Which methods of gamification have you found that work best for your brand? We're always looking to improve our own and would love to learn from you. Leave us a comment, or tweet us @Contactually!