Not a social gaming expert.
Therein lies the problem with much of the strategy, training, discussion and thinking around social media. People mistake "social platform" expertise for "social engagement" expertise.
Here's a good test for your "social experts" -- ask them to put together a social engagement campaign that does not take place on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine or Tumblr. See how well they can harness social dynamics and consumer psychology to encourage social behavior.
That’s a whole different ball game.
You can't simply throw money at a lack of consumer strategy -- unless you are using the money to bring in someone that actually has the strategy chops. If you throw money at lack of strategy without fixing the strategy, you are just throwing the money away.
Just look at Zynga. The company has more than $1.5 billion (BILLION) dollars in cash reserves. But it can't figure out mobile gaming. After all, this isn't the first round of layoffs at Zynga. It also cut around 150 employees last fall in addition to the 520 people this week.
Zynga needs help at the top. It needs better strategy that takes into account the changing psychology and habits of digital game play, NOT the changing dynamics of social media platform integration.
It's a good reminder for all of us in the industry. How much are we augmenting our skill sets by understanding platforms that are most definitely going to change, versus taking time to understand deep-rooted consumer psychology that is likely to hold true no matter the changes to platforms?
I’m not saying we should ignore platform-specific strategy. I’m just saying we often put too much emphasis on platform dynamics and not enough on consumer dynamics.
I’m guilty as well. Here are the sources I turn to for more understanding of people rather than platforms:
Social campaigns are so much more powerful when they begin with psychology instead of platforms
The next time you’re putting together a campaign, try this: