Social Gaming Popularity

Social gaming is one of a wide array of activities people turn to throughout the day for entertainment, networking and mastery of mouse-clicking skills. These games can be found on just about every social networking site on the Internet, and encourage friends and other website members to work cooperatively with each other, or even compete, in a global network of farming, gambling, treasure-hunting and other games. With over half of the Internet population playing socially-based games, these web applications are popping up all over the web.

The top three social games online are Farmville, Mafia Wars and Bejeweled Blitz, each with the ability to play against Facebook or other network friends, as well as the Internet world at large. As the integration of smartphones and mobile devices able to access the Internet in the daily lives of the population continues to climb, the number of players within these gaming networks also continues to grow. Many corporations are including social games within websites and applications in an effort to use these games as a way to broaden the exposure of products and brands.

For the game developer, the social games may be considered simplistic, with many of the basic skills needed to produce a social game acquired through a game design degree program. Video game producers are experiencing a loss in sales and profit from standalone gaming devices like the X-Box or PS3 as people’s engagement with social gaming continues to grow. For the entry-level video game designer, this trend is a benefit in the ability to join smaller companies scrambling to create the next big social game for the Internet.

As the accessibility of the Internet grows, social gaming will continue to be a large factor in not only the success of a company, but also in the popularity of the overall social experience online. For the end-user of a social game, the benefits are literally held in the palm of the hand, bringing a sense of competition and entertainment to people juggling the rigorous responsibilities of life, work and the all-important downtime needed to relax and rejuvenate the spirit.

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Social Media and Customer Service

Customer service may be the most important part of doing business today. Finding and retaining customers is a challenge for any business owner, whether small, medium or at a large, corporate level. Because of the importance of customer service within a business or organization, many of these entities are turning online and becoming dependent on the use of social media and networking in order to find a way to reach and directly interact with customers, typically in the comfort of their own homes.

Since a large amount of business is conducted online, and with the ever-growing popularity of social networking websites like Facebook, it is a logical step for any business or organization to include social media within a customer service plan. The benefit of customer service through these social websites cannot necessarily be measured solely in customer satisfaction by resolving issues or providing product support. This transparent means of communication with customers also provides a general Internet audience with a feel for how a company does business, and how it treats its customers when problems arise or questions need answers. Depending on the overall message portrayed through a customer service exchange via social media, a company can easily benefit from the viral, “word of mouth” type of networking that is one of the strongest foundations for obtaining and retaining customers.

Unfortunately, social media can have a negative impact on customer service, as well. Irate customers and poor resolution tactics are also visible to the world at large, and can negatively impact a business’ reputation and brand. The implementation of a social media-based customer service strategy is also dependent on the ability of a web developer to strategically connect a website within the appropriate social media channels. With the evolution of these networks, and the continual advancement of web programming like HTML and CSS, recent graduates with an online web design degree can easily help a business determine the best strategy for providing a seamless customer service environment through social media channels.

As with the way business is done in general, technology is drastically impacting the world of customer service today. Providing a way for customers to easily access a business and ask question or get problems resolved not only benefits the business through standard means of customer satisfaction, but it can also be a great way to reach out to new customers and increase profit.

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