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VK Publics about Video Games: What Format to Choose?

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At the very stage of creation, it is necessary to make it clear what community we want to create and what idea to communicate.

Out of all community types presented on VK, 'Business' is the least appropriate one for game developers, while other types meet the case as it may be:

  • 'Associations, groups of people' are more suitable for communication of followers: the 'Discussions' section clearly stands out, and users may post to the feed themselves (unless it is prohibited by the administrator). This community type will become a great interest group for people and a platform for discussion of common topics.

For example, the group CS:GO COMMUNITY is created to look for a team and players to play together. There are more than 92,000 group followers who daily make dozens of posts on the community wall. Such communities are mostly developed, firstly, by means of ads. Secondly, users can invite friends who are also on a hunt for a team to play in. Only VKontakte groups have this function.

The fan community GTA 5 on VKontakte is developing in the same way. There are more than 100,000 group followers there who are most often looking for a team, share their screens and streams, ask about arms, locations and so on, or seek help of more experienced and leveled players.

  • If, however, you are not going to create a platform for general discussions, but only want to communicate relevant information to followers, then you can create a public page: 'Thematic community', 'Public page', or 'Brand and company'—all these are, in fact, public pages with the same functionality (for the time being at least).

Unlike in groups, there is almost no UGC in these communities. And, again, please note an important distinction: you can invite friends to a group, but you cannot to a public page. As for discussions, gamers actively dispute about various topics on public pages, too, but they just do it immediately under posts. An excellent example of a well-developed public for gamers is VK Dota 2 with about 1.2 million followers.

  • To organize and promote a game event, you should choose an 'Event' type. You can invite other users to an event and promote it by means of internal ads. It is impossible to transform an event into a group/public (and vice versa). A great advantage of events is that information about them is displayed one day before and on the day of the event on the user's main page next to friends' birthday reminders.

It is best to decide on and choose the type that suits your very purposes at once because the options to change the type of the created community are limited. Changing a community type from a public into a group occurs easy enough for its content, but no more frequently than once every 30 days. A reverse transition incurs partial losses of information, that is why you need to give it some thought and consider all pros and cons.

Community Type Choice Factors

Access to information

Group

It can be:

  • open - everyone interested can join it, the information inside is available to any web user;
  • closed - users can join it if they receive an invite or send a request to an administrator, all information is available to group members only;
  • private - it can be joined only when being invited by the management and cannot be found in VKontakte search.

Public page

Public pages and information on them are available to any web user. Anyone who feels like it may join or, rather, follow it. Public pages are not divided into open, closed, and private. They are open for everyone.

Event

An event can be open and closed. Depending on this, ways to join the event differ (in a similar manner to groups).

Inviting options (inviting friends to a community)

Group

You can invite your friends to a group and, what is interesting, even to one where you are not a manager (administrator, moderator etc.).

Public page

A public page gives no way to invite friends.

Event

You may invite your friends to an event.

We recommend creating a group at first as it allows for friend invitation. This opportunity will let you fill your community with first followers. This is particularly topical for those whose friends are a target audience of a product/project.

Community wall

A wall is one of the community's key elements since all the content is posted on it.

Group

A group wall is configurable. It can be:

  • open (any group member can leave their messages and comment posts on the wall);
  • limited (posts can be published on the part of the group only, and members may only leave comments);
  • restricted (only the group can create posts, commenting is disabled).

Optionally, if a wall is open or limited, commenting of all or separate posts can be disabled at all.

Besides, all group members and not only them may like and repost. A closed group is an exception: commenting is available to community followers only, and there is no way to share a post from there with your friends.

Public page

On a public page, posts on the wall may only be on behalf of the community, but users may suggest their post using a so named button at the top of the wall. Such posts are pre-moderated by page administrators and can be posted on the wall later (again, on behalf of the community but with the author's name if desired).

As for comments, the situation is the same as in a group—they can be disabled optionally.

Event

An event wall is identical to a group wall.

Community followers

Group

You can remove any user from the group.

Public page

You may not remove users from the public page.

Event

You can remove user from the event, just like from the group.

'Following' section

On their profile pages, VK users have a section named 'Following' under the 'Friends' section. Public pages most visited by the user and pages that he or she has followed recently get into this section. There is room for 5 communities there.

A page getting into this section is one of free ways to promote it as any visitor of the user's personal profile can see it on this Top 5, find it interesting, go there, and even follow it eventually.

Groups do not get into this section because they are shown in the 'Personal information' section that is under the cut 'Show full information'. On top of that, a user can hide a list of their groups in their profile privacy settings.

Promotion

Promotion of all three types of communities does not differ from each other. An exception is the 'Following' section for publics and inviting to groups and events.

Interest or brand?

Now we have come to the most intriguing question: at the end of the day, what should we dedicate our community to? Should we only make it around our game or devote it to the discussions of the game and the genre in general? What community will it be easier to popularize?

The answer is simple: if your game and its brand is already familiar, it is better to use its name as a group name and to build communication around your IP. Otherwise, you can create an interest community and learn what users like in one or another genre, what they are looking for; in so doing, you can use a community not only as a platform where you can tell about your game, but also as a source of ideas for its perfection and improvement or, maybe, even for creation of a brand new game. This decision will be particularly suitable for products that are still at the development stage, and it is too early to make a brand community. As for ready-made products, we would actually recommend dedicating the name and group communication to the game and discussions of in-game processes.

If you want to create a community on VKontakte, but do not know where to start from, consult experts of the RMAA Games marketing agency. We will help you form an active Russian-speaking community around your game.

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva
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