SWTOR Devs suck at social media. Yea, I said it. Just like that. That's a pretty bold opening sentence Mae, you may think, but every other opening I wrote just sounded...well...fluff. And since I’m probably going to annoy any Dev that actually reads my blog (oh wait, none) I might as well just cut to the chase. SWTOR Devs suck at social media. It doesn't take long to skim the posts across the Top 3; Twitter, Instagram, and that relic to the past Facebook, to see there is little to no effort put into managing those accounts. This is 2015, social media has to be in someone’s job description, right?
You may have noticed, I’ve been on a nice kick lately. Not because I’ve changed, per se, but because I was tired of being a pariah in SWTOR-verse and thought sucking up and holding my tongue would help me get more access and support from the Austin Devs. Boy was I wrong. I’m still where I was, the outside, and I just feel a little sick in my stomach for rolling over and joining the legions of head bobbers and sheepies. I am not a sheepie.
But seriously, why can’t someone get it together to handle social media over in Austin? It’s not hard, the audience is already there, and it’s the socially acceptable thing to do. Not just that, it’s something they NEED to do. Social media is a necessary evil and one of the most powerful marketing tools around, so why aren’t the Devs utilizing this tool to promote their game?
The Bare Minimum
SWTOR has over 200k followers on Twitter, 4.4k followers on Instagram, and 2 million likes on Facebook. On Twitter and Facebooks posts happen regularly and are usually a mix of News, In game event announcements, discussion prompts, and server statuses. The posts across Facebook and Twitter are identical. Instagram, on the other hand, had a short flourish of activity months ago, but no one has posted anything to the account for 8 weeks. For comparison, Star Wars Instagram posts at least once a day. But hey, it’s not like there has been anything visual to post in the last 8 weeks anyways, right?
The bone I have to pick is that other than the initial content posts on T and F, there is no activity on the sites from the official account. No favorites, no counter points, not even a “Wow that’s a great way to put it,” or “We loved all your responses.” It’s set and forget, and it’s a little insulting. They aren’t present on those sites and it shows how much they actually care about player feedback and interaction.
Here’s an example. The Anaheim Cantina is coming up and there is an event page for that. Again, since the initial page creation, the Devs have posted nothing on that page. In addition, one of the first comments you read on that page is a member of the 501st (the super awesome Stormtrooper Cosplay group that does events and fundraisers) telling the Devs that they had no idea they were supposed to show up at the event.
I don’t know, but isn't that bad publicity? Doesn't it make it seem like the Devs don’t have their act together?
Often times I think the SWTOR Devs operate in ignorance is bliss mode. If they just don’t deal with the issue, it will go away...right? RIGHT?! But social media isn't just about what the players see, it’s about what the potential players will see. It’s about impact, and outreach, and the spiderwebs of human socialization and how to capitalize on that...and in that SWTOR is failing. It’s too easy to find bad reviews on game play, harsh criticism of Community interactions, and take backsies of information. They do themselves no favors by standing apart and separate from the community. Which is why better interaction on these pages is critical! A potential player wants to see an engaged player and developer bond, it’s more welcoming and encouraging.
In conclusion, Social Media is not hard. My grandmother does it.