By Claire West

Social media and online gaming are now the two most popular activities of regular internet use. With this in mind, brands should take advantage of these two popular trends in order to achieve effective brand-customer relations, according to Sony Ericsson.

Recent figures illustrate that social media and online gaming are the first and second largest respective consumers of online time. American internet users spend 23% of their time on social media sites, with online gaming coming in second at 10%. The two even proved more popular than email, which has dropped to third at 8.3%. Social media has become so embedded into many internet users’ lives that a study released by Retrevo in March indicated that 48% of online users log on to Facebook or Twitter during the night, or when they first wake up.

Social media and online gaming can clearly dominate many peoples’ lives and routine so businesses should take advantage of these trends to engage with their customers. Facebook in particular hosts a number of entertaining
features, such as built-in games, which encourage users to return to a page on a regular basis. With this in mind, brands should consider incorporating a gaming element into their social media strategies to help with customer
engagement, as with Sony Ericsson’s free online pinball game, Emusicon Pinball.

Emusicon Pinball, a free pinball game available to visitors to the Sony Ericsson Facebook page, utilises a combination of the two most popular internet activities - social media and online gaming. The computer pinball game allows the user to pick an ‘Emusicon’ character before they play
the game and launch three balls. Once the game is over, the user can post their high score to their Facebook profile, thereby encouraging their friends to play whilst promoting effective brand-consumer relations.

Ben Padley, Head of Digital and CRM for Sony Ericsson, said: “The popularity of both social media and online gaming is a great opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers. Emusicon pinball, the Sony Ericsson internet pinball game, exemplifies how the two can be brought together to allow fans to interact with a brand in a manner that will encourage them to return to the brand’s profile.”

For more information on Sony Ericsson and its products, please visit www.sonyericsson.com