Social media at its best is an experience that is highly interactive and lots of fun. The question for businesses is: how do we create that experience for our audiences?

Sometimes great content isn't enough. Sometimes the answer is simply to play. By "gamifying" the social media experience, you create a playful online environment in which your audience will want to participate. Note: even more "serious" B2B companies can achieve great results through gamification.

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

1. Show it - From caption contests to selfie uploads, utilizing images as part of the game can be highly effective. When those images also involve interaction with your products/services (eating your food, shopping at your store, demonstrating your software in action), then your audience is doing your marketing for you.

2. Think it - Challenge your audience with riddles, brain teasers, puzzles that they just can't resist solving.

3. Stretch it - Games with multiple parts prompt ongoing engagement. Whether moving through levels or seeking treasures in scavenger hunts, there's something to be said for making the experience last.

4. Work it - Your employees can be your greatest advocates. Give them incentives to engage, and make it worth their time.

Don't forget to identify a reward that will create an additional incentive for participation. Rewards can be physical (gift cards, products, etc.) or virtual (points, badges), whatever will drive your audience most.

Work and play don't have to be mutually exclusive. Throw a little fun into your social media mix, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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