Social media has established itself as one of the most effective and economical platforms for developers trying to promote their apps to a wide audience.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter provide all developers -- regardless of size or finances -- with an opportunity to build an audience of potential buyers. With the saturated app marketplace placing a bigger emphasis on promoting apps through social media, traditional mobile advertising campaigns are being rendered unsuccessful without sound financial input.
If you're a developer, check out the following tips for how to best use social media to inexpensively and effectively promote your app:
Make Social Media a Priority
As a baseline, users need to be able to like or follow your products on the most influential social media sites -- namely, Facebook and Twitter. Allowing users to share their experiences on their Facebook profile is a low-investment, low-effort strategy, and it will most likely gain extra clicks from their friends onto your app.
Reward Users for Connecting with Your Product
Making users feel that they will get something extra when they purchase your app through social media will provide an added incentive to connect with you. A bonus of virtual currency or other digital rewards is that they're the types of "expenditures" that expand your audience reach and boost engagement without using any real money.
Make a Long-Term Commitment to Your Social Media Community
Even though there's no need for a large financial investment when incorporating a social media strategy into your marketing plan, you should spend a significant amount of time building up your social community.
After you've successfully fostered a collective following, it's important to retain these believers by engaging them with a steady flow of updated information. Sneak peaks, co-created content, and provocative questions will keep the app relevant and interesting. However, the key is to not bombard people with updates, which will only send them running for the unlike button; up to two posts a day should be sufficient.
Keep Your Tone Personal and Human
Users will respond more favorably to social media updates that are personal and human in tone (as opposed to a tailored marketing approach). The most important factor that translates to all audiences is the developer’s passion for the app. Being generous with your audience and asking for feedback will allow your future iterations and apps to reap the benefits and improve upon your existing successes. You'll see far more promising results than from any type of formal marketing training.
Automate What You Can
Even though social media is one of the most effective means to promoting your app, developers typically don’t have the huge amount of time necessary to publish a steady stream of fresh content every single day. Even if you're a non-developer and created your app with a DIY platform like AppMakr, there's always time to save. Tools that automate your social activity are a cost-effective and easy way to construct and line up updates that need to be published in the future.
One of the best of these is Hootsuite, a social media management tool that enables you to schedule your Facebook and Twitter posts in advance. Fans will enjoy the new content and developers will have more time to focus on other priorities.
Use a “Value First” Approach to Content
Even though social media can generate a strong source of new customers, the real focus should be on helping users connect with your brand. Maintain a sense of trust after someone has clicked to join your community by publishing material with added value.
Video content, jokes, and contests are all features that will reward users for taking the time to “like” your Facebook page. The rule of thumb should be to try to give more than you get from your social media community.
The following are a list of various social media sites that can be used for promoting your app:
Facebook is undoubtedly the biggest social media channel that can help you publicize your app. Promotion on Facebook is two-fold: setting up a fan page will guarantee an organic reach, and paid engagement in the form of Facebook ads will allow you to expose your app to the people who might actually use it.
Advertising on Facebook can also come in the form of mobile ads, so you can focus more easily on gaining users through a dedicated ad campaign.
Twitter is the social media site that makes connecting with your target audience the easiest. It's such a great form of customer support because it enables you to build trust and a dependable reputation by sending rapid replies to users' questions and complaints.
This method of communication also keeps you agile in your responses, as answering individual concerns is a far simpler process than it is over long-form communication channels. Finally, Twitter makes it easier to get a conversation started with influential members of the community you want to reach and engage with.
Google+ is a particularly powerful social media channel, as it will affect your ranking on a Google search. Getting proactive and remaining engaged with relevant businesses on Google+ will translate to higher Google rankings and a greater reach with potential customers.
Instagram is the most popular visual social media network and can prove just as effective as Facebook and Twitter when used to its fullest potential. Combine photos that illustrate details of the app and the people behind the product with plenty of interactions with your followers.
Social media is perhaps the most cost-effective element of your advertising strategy, and can help to make your app go viral through content that you publish and interactions you maintain with your customer base. Avoid direct, aggressive selling tactics on social media, as networks like Facebook and Twitter are the best platforms to access users for brand engagement, not pure sales.
If you aren't a seasoned developer -- or if you're just looking for an easier, faster, and far less expensive way of building an app from scratch -- create your own app on the AppMakr platform today. All apps built with AppMakr can seamlessly integrate any and all social media sites, so you can focus on connecting with your audience and racking up the downloads!
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