If you’re developing a game and looking to build a community from day 1, you’ve probably heard about #screenshotsaturday. If not? Well, this article has everything you need to dive in right away. We’ll cover what #screenshotsaturday is, why it matters for game developers, and how you can create a winning #screenshotsaturday tweet. Let’s get started, shall we?
What Is #screenshotsaturday?
Every Saturday, Twitter is set ablaze with new tweets sharing information about in-development video games. Of course, tweets like this are posted every day. But what makes the posts on Saturday so special is that they have an accompanying hashtag: #screenshotsaturday.
If you’re new to social media marketing, a hashtag is a word or phrase beginning with the pound symbol (#) that can help group related posts together. A blogger used the first hashtag in 2007 on Twitter. Since then, hashtags have spread like wildfire on all social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
As you will learn below, creating posts on Twitter with the hashtag #screenshotsaturday is your first port of call with your community. You can do it before you’ve even set your marketing budget or spoken to a video games PR agency. And it can make a huge impact on your success. Let’s talk about why below.
Why Does #screenshotsaturday Matter?
#screenshotsaturday is a key tool to help you achieve several things.
- Join the Conversation: Remember that we said before that hashtags “group related posts together.” By using the #screenshotsaturday hashtag, you’re joining the entire conversation happening on Twitter on this topic.
- Be Discovered: Hashtags are searchable. So, when you use a trendy hashtag like #screenshotsaturday, more people will be able to find your post and learn about your game.
- Increase Engagement: The more people who can find your post, the more engagement you will enjoy in likes, retweets, and comments.
- Build Your Community: As people learn about your game by searching the #screenshotsaturday hashtag, those interested in your project will become new followers. You can continue the conversation with them in later tweets.
- Network With Developers: Developers like nothing better than to support other developers. You can bet that other developers are searching the #screenshotsaturday hashtag. If they like what they see in your post, they’ll likely comment or retweet to their community.
- Do Research: When you use #screenshotsaturday in your post, you join the conversation around this topic. So don’t just post and walk away – check out what others post with that hashtag too! Doing research like this is essential for finding your audience and discovering what resonates with potential players (and the press!).
- Connect With Publishers: Using the hashtag can also help you get noticed by publishers who are looking for new products to sign. Almost every small, mid-tier or large independent publisher has someone scouring Twitter on Monday morning looking for the coolest games shared with the #screenshotsaturday hashtag.
This list of benefits makes it abundantly clear that if you are developing a new game, you need to be posting teasers on #screenshotsaturday. Read on, and we’ll share some advice for doing just that.
Tips for Creating a Winning #screenshotsaturday Post
Here’s the irony of the #screenshotsaturday hashtag: a cursory glance at past #screenshotsaturday posts will quickly inform you that there aren’t many screenshots.
Most of the posts that include this hashtag are animated gifs or embedded videos. But these assets work even better than screenshots because they can better communicate key points of your game or even small elements you’re working on to get feedback from other developers or the community.
Some key things to remember when creating a #screenshotsaturday tweet:
- Pick something interesting from a game or cool tech you’ve implemented. The content must capture the attention of your target audience.
- Don’t be afraid to show the engine, not just the game. As you’ll learn, posts like these perform well.
- If your game is based on or related to another game, consider tagging that game or fans using the @ symbol. Remember, one of the goals of posing is to build your community!
- You can add more than one hashtag to your tweet, so think about what related ‘conversations’ you want to be part of. Some popular hashtags to consider include #gamedevelopment, #gamedev, and #gaming, but you can also use genre-specific hashtags. Don’t go overboard with hashtags, though. Most tweets use a handful of hashtags (although Twitter recommends no more than two!)
- Don’t be afraid to A/B test different tweets. You’re not limited to one post, so try a few different types of posts (scheduled at various times throughout the day) to find out what resonates with your audience.
- Before you hit publish, here is a good test: Will the gif or video you share stand out and ‘stop the scroll’ of people browsing the #screenshotsaturday hashtag? Think vibrant colors, action/movement, and quality graphics.
Consistency and Planning
Like any other social media marketing, consistency is key if you want to participate in #screenshotsaturday. Games that perform well are those that take part in the conversation regularly. Once a month might be ok, but you’ll likely see your performance increase if you post each week.
Try to think ahead too. Knowing your development schedule, is there something cool you could show off from this week? Or can you bank two or three assets to be ready to use throughout the month? You can create a content calendar specifically for #screenshotsaturday posts or incorporate these posts into your larger social media efforts.
Finally, anything you use for #screenshotsaturday, store it. You can use these assets again as you head toward launch.
Part of a Larger Marketing Effort
#screenshotsaturday is probably one of the first things you should consider as you start developing your game. Simple posts like these can become one of your best community-building tools. Publications may create content based on your activity, and if you’re lucky enough, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, might even include you in their weekly roundup.
While #screenshotsaturday is an excellent marketing strategy for the start of your development journey, it’s also important to think long-term. As you get ready to launch, you’ll want to explore traditional video game PR and marketing tools. Posting a #screenshotsaturday tweet is simple, but getting publicity from the press, building strategic partnerships, and using influencers are more complex marketing strategies. When you get to that stage in your journey and want some help, reach out to us at Uberstrategist!