7 Social Metrics Every Social Game Maker Should Be Measuring by Kontagent’s Albert Lai

albertlailogo[1]Albert Lai, c0-founder and President of Kontagent, a leading metrics platform for social games, presented the 7 deadly social metrics at the New Yorker Hotel for Social Gaming Summit East. The presentation included a interesting insights into the key metrics that every game developer should be tracking.

1. Customer Acquisition Cost

The CAC is trending upwards and is a current state of $1 to $4. The reason for this is that big brands are entering the advertising ecosystem, and driving up the cost for small developers to buy ads in the Facebook ecosystem. To look at this, Albert looks at the traffic k-factor, the traffic x-day retention, the traffic ARPU and the CPM/CPC/CPI. To test this, you need to do A/B testing and more.

2. K-Factor (The Viral Loop)

The overall K-Factor has dropped to 0.3, on average. And this means that for every user entering the game, there are 0.3 new users signing up for the game (or that for every 3 new users, you’re getting one more new user). Albert clarified that this is a critical element to consider within your social application or game.

Don’t just A/B test the landing page, the game play and text, but A/B test the timing of offers and viral requests for sharing. Albert emphasized that hitting the user when they are fully engaged is something that is typically glossed over, and shouldn’t be.

3. Sessions/User & Avg. Session Length.

Do you want to drive frequency of visits or length per visit? These are answers that will fundamentally change your game design. We’re seeing 10+ minutes per session and 1.7-2.2 sessions/user/day in the most successful Kontagent applications.

4. 1 Day + 1 Week Retention

Day 1 and Week 1 retention are actually similar, with 25% to 35% retention. Enhance this using A/B Test game mechanics. The one day is cohorting all new users that come back to your user within one day of playing the game for the first time. The week-over-week retention is looking at how many will come back in week 2.

5. Average Lifetime Per User

This is trending upwards, as customers are far more focused on retention than before. It varies significantly between games. Ensure that you have an engagement loop, the understands the user’s psychology as they enter the game, interact with game mechanics, and leave the game with a reminder to play again. Focus on the loop, according to Albert.

6. ARPU, ARPPU (Average Revenue Per User, Average Revenue Per Paying Users)

Trending upwards as companies learn more about virtual goods models. The ARPPU: $2-$10 and ARPU: $0.01 – $0.05. Measured through Revenue/DAU, Transactions/DAU and $/Transactions. Albert mentioned that Facebook Credits have reduced friction and definitely increased the key measures above.

This is a key factor that can be tweaked, and it’s important that game developers create a solid model that complements the engagement loop to understand and tweak your ARPU and ARPPU.

7. Percentage of Paying Users

The economics of social games are becoming more like a free to play game. Production and acquisition costs are higher, and it forces developers to get a higher percentage of paying users. The demographics of users is key to fine tune the traffic source you’re acquiring. The typical percentage is 1 to 3% of total users.

Finally, Albert introduced his catch all metric that he uses to understand a user.

K-LTV: Social Network Lifetime Value Per User (Viral Life Time Value)

The user is a revenue generating unit which a full lifecycle. The user is a viral recruiter, and how much are they making for the company in the second order as they recommend the game to friends. This is a key factor to developers that are attempting to profit from traffic sources by understanding how much to bid for that traffic.

For a complete look at the presentation, check out the slides here:

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