Facebook has 2.45 billion active users around the world. With about ⅓ of the world active on Facebook, there are sizable opportunities here for you and your new board game.
I’ve been a huge proponent of Facebook ever since I entered the workforce as an Advertising Manager years ago. Between the different social platforms, Facebook was the one that was best able to track and categorize people’s interest in a way that made it simple to reach the most relevant people. You might have qualms about Facebook’s privacy issues, but there’s no getting away from it: Facebook has reached far corners of the world and is crucial to the success of your board game.
Yes, there are paid tools within Facebook too (hello paid advertising), but today we’ll cover the low-hanging fruit: the free tools available to market your board game.
This guide is divided into 5 parts:
- How To Use Facebook To Market Your Board Game
- The Big Debate: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
- How To Get People To Notice You On Facebook
- What Content To Post On Facebook
- How To Manage Your Marketing Content On Facebook
How To Use Facebook To Market Your Board Game
As I mentioned earlier, Facebook is a huge contender in the social media space. And on Facebook, people are sharing unprecedented amounts of information about themselves – their age, location, interests, relationship statuses, and so on. This alone makes Facebook the most attractive place to market your game: everyone is already self-categorizing themselves into what they’re interested in. People in my Kickstarter Board Game Marketing Facebook Group, undoubtedly, want to know more about marketing their board game for Kickstarter!
People over at Facebook have also made it incredibly simple to tap into these interest groups. This let’s you get into the minds of potential customers and makes Facebook the best way to target very, very, very specific audiences. As the marketer for your board game, you now have the power to tap into this vast social network with just a few clicks.
To get us started, here are four ways to use Facebook to market your board game.
It’s a huge arena to see what works and what doesn’t work. As a game designer, you can find your way into multiple Facebook Groups to see and hear discussion not only on how to best create games, but also how backers are reacting to different games. You’ll be able to gather huge sums of information about what backers like or dislike about certain games, themes, mechanics, pieces, characters, etc. so that you can take that information back and hone your own game before releasing it to the world.
As with any social media site, it’s not just about pushing your business and selling things. Facebook has poised itself as an online water cooler of sorts so that you can meet people and make online friends who have the same interests.
Find An Audience
Since there are so many people on Facebook searching for new ideas, you have an opportunity to find people who are interested in exactly what you’re creating. By sharing your ideas, your approach and your point of view on certain topics, you’ll be able to discover a group of people who are fascinated in what you have to say and actually follow you.
This is a little sneak peek into the post about using paid tools on Facebook to market your board game.
Since Facebook has done such a great job categorizing people and their interests and creating an advertising platform to target those interests, it’s become a cinch for any beginner to test ideas (and tap into new audiences) with just $5 per day. Here’s a quick experiment you can run if you have more than one idea for a game and need to determine which idea to pursue:
- Set up landing page for each game idea
- Create ads for the different games
- Put the same amount of money on each idea (just $5!!!)
- See which game gets the most clicks
- The idea that has the most clicks has the most interest! What better way to head towards success than creating a game you want to create that people already want to buy?
The Big Debate: Facebook Groups vs Facebook Pages
You’ve probably heard about Facebook Pages, but what’s this new thing about Facebook Groups?
Do you need to have both for your board game? The short answer is absolutely! Let’s dig into each feature to better understand why they’re both necessary to successfully market your board game.
Use The Facebook Page As A Storefront
Facebook Pages have been around for years and acts more like a storefront for your board game business. The main use for a Facebook Page is for advertising. The ads you see on Facebook have a very specific look and feel to them, that is only possible when powered by Facebook Pages.
The image below is an example of an ad you’d see for a board game. The top left image that is within the circle is the exact same image this board game designer uses for their Facebook Page.
As such, if you don’t have a Facebook page, you actually can’t run ads on the platform. There are definitely benefits to getting more people to like your Facebook page, which I will dig into while talking about the hows and whys of using Facebook advertising to market your board game.
Head directly to Facebook to learn how to create your Facebook Page.
Use The Facebook Group To Create A Community
And now Facebook Groups. Honestly, out of every free marketing tool that’s out there, I don’t think there is anything that is more powerful than the Facebook Group. It’s everything a marketer can hope for, all rolled into one.
If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, just think of Facebook Groups as an internet forum hosted on Facebook. There’s a Group for every interest; I’ve even found one about Kazoos! Within these groups, people choose to join ones that are the most relevant to what they want to talk about.
The most important factor to consider is that the Facebook algorithm pushes any post from the Facebook Group much higher than any other type of update. So if you have a Facebook Group for your board game, members will be much more likely to see content from there compared to anything you post on a Facebook page.
Let’s go back to the crux of any crowdfunding campaign. The point of a crowdfunding campaign is to get a crowd of people to help support your idea and bring it to life. These people may be located all around the world. Facebook Groups enables you to form a community and communicate with people all around the world. The Group acts as a forum for them to voice their ideas about your project too.
Head directly to Facebook to learn how to create your Facebook Group.
Pro tip: Be sure to choose the “Private” option when you hit the privacy level. Remember that you’re building up a dedicated group of fans. They’re the people who are enthusiastic about backing your game, not just any rando surfing Facebook Groups for a fun thing to join.
How To Get People To Notice You On Facebook
There are various ways to begin populating both the Facebook Page and Facebook Group for your board game. Let’s go over them in detail below!
Invite Your Facebook Friends
The best way to start populating these channels is to invite your existing friends to it. They already know you, they already trust you, and they already want to support what you’re doing. Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups have this option integrated into its features. This way, when new people come to your Facebook Page or Group, they’ll be more likely to join it; no one wants to join a party of zero, but everyone wants to join a hopping event.
Promote Your Page And Group On Your Other Social Media
If you already have other forms of social media, or are already active in other channels, it’s useful to drop your new Facebook Page and Group into those channels to drive people there.
It might seem redundant to you, but people love following the same brand across different channels. The technical term for this is “cross promotion”; you’ll be cross-promoting your own board game across each different channel so a Twitter follower also becomes someone who likes your Facebook Page, etc.
In the more advanced stages, since each social platform has its own unique culture, your brand can actually post very targeted content across the different social platforms.
Invite Your Email List
People on your email list are those who have already expressed interest in your board game. Direct them to your Facebook Group to give them a place to chat about it and learn about your developments!
Oh also, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start building your email list since it’s crucial to your launch success.
Use Paid Advertising
As I mentioned earlier, there are also paid tools that you can use on Facebook to market your board game. For one, you can use paid advertising to get more likes on your page. You can also use paid advertising to populate your Facebook Group. I will go over this in more detail in another post.
What Content To Post On Facebook
I know board game designers who can talk for hours about their game: how they came up with the idea, playtesting stories, changes and updates they’ve made along the way… the topics are endless. There really isn’t a lack of content. Let’s put this all together in a systematic way to let your stories market your board game.
Post General Game Information To Your Facebook Page
Remember how the Facebook Page is essential for advertising your board game?
Since this is the main use for a Facebook Page, it’s helpful to populate the page with very general information about your game. People will be able to access this if they’re just initially browsing your project.
The typical user would see an ad and either click through to the landing page or to the Facebook Page to learn more. That’s why it’s worth populating the page with information like:
- Who you are, including your background
- What is your board game business
- What is your board game
- Other interesting industry or board game news
Naturally, you’ll want to tweak this to what your audience responds to. By now, you’re probably following the Facebook Page of many other board games, be sure to model what works and roll this out for your own page.
Post Exclusive Game Content To Your Facebook Group
People who choose to join your Facebook Group for conversations and updates are your superfans. They want to know everything there is to know about your board game.
The Facebook Group will be the core connection point between you and your potential backers. While there, you want to be as open, transparent, and authentic as you possibly can be.
Oftentimes I talk to creators and they’re afraid to share anything behind the scenes. They hesitate to open up to anything below “perfection” when they see big brands roll out polished images and carefully curated content (ahem, looking at you, CMON). While all that polish might be great for big brands, it’s awful for someone just starting out.
Just think, these people are the diehard fans who are so eager to get their hands on a game that they’re not opposed to backing it even before it goes to their nearest retail store. They’re excited to see the messy middle where you’re still figuring out the artwork and honing down the character names. They want to vote on meeple colors and card mechanics. Give this all to them in your Facebook Group! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Behind the scenes
- Sneak peeks
How To Manage Your Marketing Content On Facebook
A lot of people who begin their foray into social media marketing quickly become overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.
I know I was when I got started.
Finding the right images, resizing images for the right social platform, writing copy for a post, posting, responding to comments… The list goes on and on. Don’t lose hope! There are tools that will help you manage your social media presence along with everything else you have to do.
Create Your Content In Batches
After weeks being overwhelmed with social media posting myself, I’m a firm believer in the concept of content batching. Content batching means spending a few hours at the beginning of the month creating a huge batch of posts that you can roll out throughout the month.
Think about switching between putting something up on TTS and going back to work on your video for Kickstarter – there’s a lot of “brain” that needs to be switched from one task to another and a lot of things on your computer as well. There’s just a lot of wasted time when it comes to task switching so do certain tasks all at once!
Automate Posts To Your Facebook Page And Facebook Group
Next, there are already tools on Facebook that help you save time by allowing you to schedule posts ahead of time.
Personally, I recommend using more robust tools like Later since it allows you to have one place to manage all of your social media channels from Facebook to Twitter and beyond. The automation will allow your Facebook Page and Facebook Group to have constant presence at all times no matter what else you’re doing or where else you’re at in the world.
Every month, you can come up with a bunch of posts and schedule them for release. This will free up your time to do things that can’t be automated like building relationships and making connections with other people! I’d recommend still checking your posts every few days to respond to any questions or comments people might have.
Before you go, be sure to join the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing Facebook Group to learn the most up-to-date marketing methods for your board game!
Nalin is a tabletop gamer and marketer. She’s here to give you the tools, training, and resources to market your game. In her free time, you can find her playing games, reading books or running around the soccer field.