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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

June 2014

Social Media Lessons from E3

Last week, when E3 opened its doors to more than 48,900 video game professionals, we commented here on the growing importance of social media in the industry. As the agency responsible for managing E3’s public relations, we credentialed more YouTubers than ever before and the day before the show opened we saw more than 900,000 videos posted.
Clearly social media, in all of its varied forms, has become a critical amplification tool and message delivery mechanism. Here are some of the other digital trends we observed last week.

Twitter

  • Twitter dominated as the social channel of choice for sharing information during E3 because the platform is fast, easy and immediate.
  • Driving the Tweets and the RTs were the gaming fans not at the show. Social media allowed them to experience the event real-time and clearly that is what they wanted.
  • One interesting note about Twitter is that Mashable was a top influencer on the platform. Technically a blog, Mashable functions as almost a hybrid of traditional and digital media with its full writing, editing and publishisng staff. The outlet’s authority and influence are undeniable across not only gaming, but all technology sectors.

YouTube and Twitch

  • Video views surged at the start of the show and then dipped while show goers were busy making the rounds of booths and exhibits. They surged again following Nintendo’s Treehouse event. As the media reported on the event, more people were turning to YouTube and Twitch, proving quality content will always be a top driver of views, shares and likes.

Facebook

  • Facebook lagged behind other platforms in share of voice and was the least active major social platform during E3. The platform just doesn’t lend itself well to the types of real-time, interactive conversations that were driving much of the social activity related to the show.

Instagram

  • Interestingly, Instagram generated more impressions (over 30 million) than Facebook (approximately 25 million).
  • Clearly, at an event as popular and information-rich as E3, speed, authority, and visuals are the new currency for influencers.

“Traditional” media

  • And through it all, traditional media outlets from broadcast to print were steady in their reporting and coverage. These outlets still matter; still carry authority, reach and influence. But they certainly don’t dominate. No, it’s the consumer of of media that makes the rules, not the medium itself. Marketers need to meet their audiences where they are and they need to deliver their messages as appropriate – whether that’s a 60-second clip, 140 characters, an unfiltered image, or a 600 word op-ed.
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The Future of Marketing Is Upon Us And It’s at E3

I’m in Los Angeles attending my 16th Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. Would you believe I attended my first show at the age of 6? Anyway, Double Forte manages public relations and media credentialing for the show, and has for the last five years, giving us an insider’s view of who’s here, what’s hot and what changes each year.

Many things remain the same year over year: big production press conferences, new games, virtual reality, suspended reality (you should see some of the characters here), more press conferences and parties…and parties. But something’s different about the event this year.

This year we credentialed more YouTubers than ever before. And already we’re feeling the effects. Last year at this time just over one thousand videos were posted to YouTube. This year that number as I type this just went over 900,000…and it’s climbing.

There is no denying the ever-growing importance of social media as both an amplification tool and message delivery mechanism. In addition to the spike in videos, E3 has received more than double the number of tweets year over year so far (and the show hasn’t started!), and Instagram posts are steady. And so far there are 24 million views on the official E3 livestream at twitch.tv/team/e3! (again, the show hasn’t started!)

And just when you think social is the be all to end all, these trends wouldn’t be happening if the industry wasn’t all here at a trade event (no consumers allowed) focused on games, games and more games. Without a doubt these numbers show the importance of in-person, face-to-face, mask-to-mask, sound system to sound system experiences. So many of these videos are from people and companies already here, but a huge number are from people who wish they could make the trip to E3.

Gamers want their information and they want it fast and unfiltered. They’re not relying solely on traditional influencers like media and analysts – although those players still serve a vital role defining news, deciphering trends, analyzing information and providing perspective. But they are joined by a whole new army of arbiters whose opinions matter and are fueled by likes, RTs and shares.

It’s time to rethink outdated definitions of influence, impact and editorial. The future of marketing is upon us and it’s on display in LA this week.

  • Lee

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