As you might expect for a game born out of a social experience, brands operating online bingo games have put great emphasis on the community element of their offering, including chat boards. As a result they’ve also focussed on social media as a fundamental element in their marketing.

In a highly competitive marketplace that has seen a handful of brands come to dominate, social media is one way in which brands have tried to keep hold of their existing customers and lure new ones. It has become even more important as paid search is dominated by bonus and sign-up offers.

Our analysis, utilising social scorecard methodology has, however, shown that while some of the big names in this vertical are able to develop a large social media audience, they aren’t really seeing much traction in terms of engagement. The concern for these brands is that these findings show a potential risk in terms of customer disengagement, and means that the investment they’ve poured into social media is somewhat wasted.

The well-established Gala Bingo can claim the highest audience volume in our analysis, and has built up a good volume across the array of social channels. They lead the way on Google+ and Facebook, and take 2nd place on Twitter. Out of a maximum of 100 points on our index, they score 72.61, ahead of second-placed Jackpot Joy who have 67.66.

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Yet while they have impressive volume, the key to marketing through social media is engaging with an audience, not just having it sit there. With networks now developing and implementing content distribution algorithms that will benefit those companies able to deliver engaging content on a regular basis, this is more important than ever.

For Gala, that first place on our index in terms of volume only translates to fourth place in terms of engagement, suggesting they’re not fully utilising their channels.

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They’re certainly struggling when it comes to getting their Facebook content shared, languishing in seventh place despite having the number one volume position. It’s a similar story on Twitter, where they rank second for volume but fifth for engagement. Clearly they need to go back to the drawing board and look at a fresh way to engage with these audiences.

They’re not alone in missed opportunities – Jackpot Joy are ahead of the pack when it comes to YouTube subscribers, but fourth on views, suggesting their content isn’t hitting the mark.

One brand that’s certainly getting good value from their social media content is Tombola, who rank fifth for volume, but are in second place for engagement, with great results from Twitter and Facebook.

A multi-channel approach

Bingostars and Sun Bingo appear to have decided that certain social channels aren’t for them. Bingostars has no presence on Google+, perhaps deciding that its small user base means it’s unimportant. That may be the case, but we’ve seen some correlation between organic search rank and Google ‘+1s’ so it may not be the wisest course of action to ignore this channel. Sun Bingo, meanwhile, aren’t using YouTube. Our analysis concludes that a multi-channel approach can work the best, but only if the content you deliver is truly engaging your audience.