For years brands have been releasing content and growing large audiences on scaled social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.
Why do brands invest energy and money into these platforms? Well, it's because so many people are spending their time on them, so that's where brands have to go to reach fragmented audiences. Old mediums such as TV, radio and print just aren't as effective as they were before, especially when you're trying to reach young consumers around the world.
Well, what about Roblox? Are brands building audience followings there, too?
There's lots of people on Roblox (over 58 million every single day). And there are more and more brands building on the platform across industries such as entertainment, music, sports, apparel, retail, celebrities, food, personal care, auto, and more.
When brands join the Roblox platform, they are usually doing one of the following:
Building their own custom game (think Nike building Nikeland)
Integrating into an existing game (think the Minions movie having a 2-week challenge and free legendary item within all-time popular Roblox game Adopt Me!)
Selling UGC virtual items within the Roblox Avatar Shop
When brands enter the Roblox platform (especially for building a custom game or selling UGC virtual items), they need to create a Roblox account and also a Roblox group.
Roblox group members is the closest thing Roblox has to social media "followers." Building a brand group following is somewhat like building a following on Instagram or TikTok.
In my opinion, a player joining a branded Roblox group signals that the user cares (at least to some degree) about the brand itself. These players either have an existing affinity or are starting to build a new affinity for that brand.
And that's huge because it gives brands a way to cultivate those relationships and communicate with users that have opted in.
What's a Roblox Group?
Here's what Roblox has to say about groups:
"Groups are a way for players and their friends to form their own mini-community with other like-minded players. Groups can battle other groups, assist in building, engage in discussions, and more."
Roblox players can join Roblox groups, and that becomes a way for them to "follow" their favorite game developers or brands building on the platform.
Group pages have several areas that group owners can customize:
Description: Area to lay out what the group is all about
Shout: Place to make announcements
Experiences: Shows any games that the group has made
Social Links: Twitter, Discord and YouTube are supported. These are the few links that Roblox allows that lead away from Roblox.
Wall: Open forum for members to post comments, ask questions, make requests, etc. This can section can be open to public comments, or group owners can choose to keep comments off.
Here's a look at the Squishmallows group page...
Members are listed, their avatar pictures are shown and they can leave comments:
While there can frequently be SPAM comments, having a wall open can also lead to very valuable feedback from community members.
Here below are some Squishmallows group members asking for the types of Squishmallow characters they'd like to see added to the Roblox game.
Where else would the brand get this sort of feedback from actual players (who are probably quite young)? These players are probably not on other social media platforms, so this channel can be very informative.
Which Brands are Getting the Most Love?
Top Games with Most Visits
When looking at the brands with the largest groups, it's easy to see that the leaders are the ones with the most popular games.
Sonic (#1) and Warrior Cats (#2) have two of the most popular branded Roblox games of all time, so it makes sense that they would have lots of people join their groups. Clearly, their games are fun and engaging, and therefore the brand is delivering a lot of value to players. Players probably enjoy connecting with others who play the same game and might enjoy the chance to learn more about new game updates or other brand annoucements.
While not as big as Sonic or Warrior Cats, NARS Color Quest (#5) and Sunsilk (#8) also stand out as being other great games that have spawned an active community of happy players. Both of these games have done really well on Roblox with lots of visits, and it's clear that the players have started to form into a community.
Cool Brands that People Like a Lot
Nike, Chainsmokers and Spotify are high on this list with not as many game visits.
Why is that?
I believe it's because lots of people truly care about these brands. The brands don't have the most popular games, but players still want to be aligned with these brands on Roblox, just like they want to in real life.
I'd also put luxury apparel brands like Gucci (#7 & #16) and Tommy Hilfiger (#14) into this same bucket of brands that gain followers because people just like them a lot.
Brands That Have Failed at Growing a Following
Which brands are not resonating? Well, these brands, which all happen to be retailers, have EXTREMELY low Roblox group followings, despite having millions of game visits:
Walmart - 10.4 million visits / 87 group members
Dick's Sporting Goods - 4.6 million visits / 21 group members
Ulta Beauty - 3.1 million visits / 16 group members
To me this signals that the average consumer on Roblox just doesn't care about these brand. It also means that these brands don't really stand for much (that resonates with users), or the brand message isn't getting through to consumers.
This Space is Still Evolving
Brands have only been getting active on Roblox for the past 12-18 months. That means we're still very early, and the platform will surely continue to evolve in the months and years to come.
For brands entering this space, it's a good time to think about growing an audience on Roblox. And here are some questions to consider:
How much is the value of Roblox group member / follower?
How does the value of a Roblox follower compare with a TikTok follower?
Will Roblox followers...purchase virtual items, eventually purchase physical items or follow your brand on other platforms?
Where do your touch points on Roblox fit into your overall customer acquisition funnel?
Roblox users, who tend to be younger Gen Z & Gen Alpha members, are incredibly hard to reach on other platforms, so now's a great chance to get your brand in front of them before there's too much competition on the platform.
And if your brand is showing up in ways that get players excited to connect with you, that's a great way to start building a powerful base of new lifelong fans.
Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter the metaverse.