Social media has risen to become the accepted outlet for news, views and opinions in the modern world.
Print media has certainly become less important, but the Daily Iowan would argue it isn’t dying. However, they accept that social media and the internet is becoming the preferred way to digest the news, which is the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, seven out of ten Americans use social media daily to engage with news content and share information, remain in contact with others and entertain themselves. In 2005, fewer than 5% engaged with such a platform; 16 years later, 72% use it regularly.
The most popular platforms are YouTube and Facebook, although, to a slightly lesser extent Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn all have influence. All of these platforms have something in common; sponsored posts and adverts. You cannot navigate social media these days without adverts of some description, often targeted to your specific interests.
Those interests can range from garden furniture to a sports team, luxury items, and online poker. The latter is a really interesting example, as online poker is only available to a small number of states but is still a growing market. Indeed, thanks to the 2021 World Series of Poker and the perfect storm of closed casinos and relaxing legislation, online poker is a growing industry here in the US. Online poker providers triple their revenue in 2020 and will see another increase this year, according to Business Insider.
Part of this rise has been helped by their successful use of social media to ensure they remain relevant and visible. It might seem obvious how such companies leverage social media for increased market share, but perhaps the nuances are not quite as glaring. Here are three ways the online poker industry uses social media to its commercial advantage.
Social media is a great way to create hype. In the days before such technology, if you saw an ad campaign you liked, you’d maybe tell five people. Even if they told five people and so on, it would take a while for the campaign to reach many people. In 2021, the opposite is true; you can see something you like and instantly share it with friends. Even if you have a modest 150 friends or followers, the average for some accounts, you’re reaching many people almost immediately. If just ten per cent of those share with ten of their friends, you’re reaching many more people instantaneously. Therefore, online poker companies can quickly create hype by partnering with huge global brands. Top soccer stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo have partnered with online poker companies, instantly tapping into a 150m-strong market. That’s real hype.
Once an online poker company has a gateway into your home via social media, it must make the most of that opportunity. Is it enough to just say ‘hey, we’re here’ and be done? No, probably not, because there will be multiple providers doing just that. They have to tell you something unique, something you might find useful, and many do that by producing online guides. Online poker can be tricky; there are many tricks and tips that you might not be immediately aware of. An online poker brand will likely use their tunnel into your home to help you get the hang of the game; after all, if you’re good and winning, you’re going to play more. Many providers will have areas of their site dedicated to blogs on the subject of poker, online and offline, which they’ll promote using their social media reach.
Simple hype and brand exposure are often not enough to convince someone to go with a provider, but clear support for their platform is. That is another way online providers use social media, often by having support accounts or pages set up which are operated 24 hours a day. The world of social media is global, and therefore players will be online every hour of the day and night. Y having, for instance, a Twitter account with open DMs and a person waiting all day to offer a response, a customer will feel as though they are being looked after well. Some physical locations might not even have a helpdesk manned all day, but you can immediately feel in touch with a real person using social media. Online poker providers certainly use that to their commercial advantage.