Social media marketing in th egmabling sectorThese days, finding someone who isn’t connected to social media seems as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. According to a study done by Gambling Research Australia, 99% of adolescents and 86% of adults use social media. Those are some staggering numbers by themselves, but it’s also important to note that many of these users are frequenting social media websites multiple times a day. Let’s be honest, when you’re on your phone, what exactly are you doing? A small fraction of the time spent on your phone may actually be spent on phone-related things such as texting or placing a phone call. But, it’s a safe assumption that the overwhelming majority of your phone time is spent clicking back and forth between the same three or four apps. And these apps are most likely social media related.

It’s plain to see that our society has an obsession with staying in the loop, not only with friends and family, but with complete strangers as well. Social media continues to thrive in our technology-driven world, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With the success and prevalence of social media, it was only a matter of time before the booming market of online gambling used social media to their advantage. The marriage of casinos (online and brick-and-mortar) and social media is definitely beneficial to the casino companies, but it is yet to be determined if such overt exposure to gambling could have negative consequences in the future. As with anything, there are both pros and cons to social media marketing, and we here at wuuua have taken it upon ourselves to lay out some of the basic up and downs of the union between these two influential entities.

Casinos and gambling are enjoyed by millions of people around the world. The concept of gambling has been around in basically every society throughout the ages. Up until the inception of the internet and online gambling, a gambling enthusiast was limited to meeting other players at the local casino —and sometimes the closest local casino could be hundreds of miles away. But, the world has changed drastically over the past century, and now you can play your favorite casino games anywhere. If you have access to the internet, then you have access to online casinos. You no longer have to worry about taking vacation days or splurging for a hotel room just to get a week of fun at a casino. Now you don’t even have to leave your house. The internet has made the actual act of gambling much easier, and it has made meeting people with similar interests easier as well.

Online gambling enables players from all over the world to interact with one another. You can chat on websites or even find forums to discuss your favorite games. Social media marketing adds a whole new level to interacting online. In addition to interacting with other players, you can now interact with casino owners and developers. In the past, communication with casinos and customers generally went through e-mail and customer service representatives. But now, with platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can tweet or comment and have a response almost immediately.

Even something as seemingly inconsequential as a like on Facebook can have beneficial outcomes for both player and casino. If you like a casino’s page on Facebook, then that can be seen by anyone on your friends list. This benefits the casino by getting them more visibility, and it benefits you by sharing something you enjoy with other friends. Who knows, maybe by liking a Facebook page you could become connected with other friends who share a similar love of gambling. Another benefit of using Facebook is keeping your fans up-to-date. If there are any new bonuses or promotions happening at a casino, then Facebook is the perfect venue to inform followers. Gambling enthusiasts can now be constantly in the loop for any upcoming promotions or new, exciting games.  In fact Facebook has proved to be a viable marketing platform for many online gambling companies, particularly in regulated markets.  An example of a of a successful social media marketing campaign within the Austrian market was achieved by the casino portal ( ‘Online Casino Seiten’ can be translated from German to ‘Online Casino Sites).  And it’s not just marketing agencies that have had success, operators such as Paddy Power are leading the way in social media marketing on the Facebook platform, so much so, that they are often now a benchmark for businesses outside of the e-gaming sector.

Another benefit of social media marketing is added education. Perhaps you’ve always only stuck with roulette or blackjack because they were the only games you knew how to play. If you’ve secretly had a desire to branch out, but were always too hesitant to try and learn, casinos have developed a way to help. Through YouTube, another social media giant, casinos have begun to develop tutorials on how to play a variety of different games. All you need to become an expert at any game is a little spare time and an internet connection.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of social media marketing is just how popular social media is. A company needs their advertisements to be seen in order for it to be of any benefit to them, and putting your content on a social media platform is a guaranteed way to have people see your advertisements.

The powerful presence of social media, however, is a double edged sword. The same things that make social media a brilliant advertising tool are also the same things that are causing some mild backlash against the practice. Some critics are concerned that plastering advertisements for gambling and casinos all over social media websites could have some unfortunate ramifications. A study done by the Southern Cross University found that one in 10 survey subjects said social media advertising had increased the amount that they gambled. Of course this seems like the desired outcome. The whole point of advertising on social media is to encourage people to gamble more. But, sometimes gambling more can lead to problem gambling down the line.

One specific concern is the exposure adolescents now have to casinos and gambling promotions. The same Southern Cross University study found that 15% of adolescents had interacted with online gambling providers by clicking posts on social media outlets. In a study done by Gambling Research Australia they found that 28.4% of adolescents who played social media casino games stated that these types of games increased how much they gambled. This same study found that one third of the adolescents surveyed considered themselves to have a gambling problem and almost 29% of those with a gambling problem found that social media marketing exacerbated their problem.

Some legislators believe that restrictions should be put in place to regulate the types of advertisements and content that adolescents are exposed to. While no studies have been 100% conclusive in proving that social media marketing leads to a higher rate of problem gambling, there are still critics who believe it could cause problems down the road.

Whether you believe social media marketing is harmful or not, there’s no denying that it’s an effective strategy. One example of a gambling company making the most use of social media’s benefits is Paddy Power. Paddy Power is an online betting website, with real-life betting stores as well. They interact with players and fans through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They are known for their humorous tweets and controversial ad campaigns. Their creativity combined with their knowledge of the social media has made their marketing wildly successful. Their Facebook page alone has 1.4 million likes. Their Twitter account has over half a million followers, and their level of engagement with their followers is impressive. With their brand of humor at the forefront of all of their social media platforms, Paddy Power has carved themselves a successful strategy in getting the most online buzz, which then translates to real-life profits.

Social media obsession is the reality of our world today, and this obsession does not seem to be abating anytime in the foreseeable future. As long as there is the internet, and as long as there are people who are more interested in the lives of others as opposed to their own, then there will be social media. The ever-growing market of online gambling has had an ascension much like that of social media. The limited regulation and overhead of advertising online makes it a perfect place of gambling institutions to reach a massive audience. With a little commitment and time, a casino can establish a strong following of fans on a variety of different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The world we live in seems to revolve around likes and views, and if casino owners and promoters don’t understand the value of making their mark on a younger, more tech-savvy audience then they will only be hurting their own profits in the long run. The ramifications of such easily accessible advertisements and marketing are still unseen, but what is definite is the power of social media to influence profits and popularity. Wuuua is here to be a resource for all things social media and gambling. We hope wuuua can be a tool for you to understand the relationship between the growing sectors of social media and gambling.