As we discussed in Part 1 of this series, one of the best ways for app developers to “level the playing field” and stand out in a crowded app marketplace is to build their own audience of fans and followers by using social media.
Here are some more tips on how app developers can use social media to promote apps:
- Keep your tone personal and human: Many app developers are nervous about managing Facebook or Twitter communities because of their lack of formal marketing training – they often wonder if they have the communications skills and writing ability to handle these tasks themselves. Even if you’re not a natural wordsmith, don’t feel intimidated from speaking to your users via social media. App developers’ lack of formal marketing experience can actually be a benefit – social media success often goes to people who are good at “being real” rather than being a silver-tongued spokesperson. Instead of trying to pick the right words or trying to sound “bigger than you are,” embrace the fact that you are a small developer. Be yourself. Share your passion for your app, be generous to your audience (by thanking them for following you and by promptly responding to their feedback, questions and ideas) and make clear that your social media efforts are in service of creating better apps for your customers, not “getting famous” for its own sake.
- …But automate what you can: Yes, you need to have a human voice, and you need to respond to your users’ questions and ideas promptly and authentically – but you don’t have to allow social media to take up too much of your time and effort every day. You don’t need to spend every waking moment on Facebook, waiting to respond to the latest updates from your fans. There are a lot of great tools that you can use to automate your social media activity. For example, Hootsuite is a social media management tool that enables you to schedule your Facebook and Twitter posts in advance. If you get a bunch of great ideas for social media content, you can save them and space them out in Hootsuite so they publish once every 1-2 days. Tools like Hootsuite are a great way to stay on a regular publishing schedule and maximize your time, without having to log into Facebook every single day – and while giving your users a consistent flow of new content. Another tool to automate your social media work is TweetBig – this is a way to automatically build a bigger Twitter audience by following people on Twitter (with the idea that these people will follow you back). You can also use TweetBig to “piggyback” off of the audiences of other Twitter users who are in a similar niche as you, or who have larger audiences that you would like to reach as well.
- Use a “value first” approach to content: Many app developers make the mistake of using social media as just another way to make a sales pitch and solicit more downloads – but people didn’t join your Facebook community to be “sold to.” They joined your community because they have a genuine interest in your brand and what it represents. If people take the time to “Like” your Facebook page, that’s kind of a big deal – they want to interact with you and your brand, beyond merely downloading an app. So cherish these relationships and maintain people’s trust – instead of trying to “sell, sell, sell” all the time, focus on adding more value to your audience’s lives. Give them content that adds value and helps them solve problems and entertains them: tips and tricks, relevant articles about your app or your subject matter, jokes, video content, contests, funny photos, and anything else that might educate, enlighten and brighten people’s day. It’s OK to use Facebook to make requests (“please download this,” etc.) but you should only make requests sparingly. Make sure you try to “give” more than you “get” from your social media community.
We have so many social media marketing tips for app developers, we couldn’t fit them all into two articles! Stay tuned for another bunch of great ideas to promote your app on social media, in Part 3 of this series…
What’s your take on this? What other social media management tools (like Hootsuite or TweetBig) have you tired? Which tools would you recommend? What are some examples of great “value-added” social media content that you’ve seen from other app developers?
Looking for even more tips on how to get the most from your social media marketing? Check out this video series with Nathan Manning, co-founder of Playmous, Inc
Part 1: Using Social Media to Drive Demand for Your App
Part 2: How to Scale Your Community
Part 3: Focus on Creating Emotional Connections, Not Marketing Features
About Ryan Morel: Follow @ryanmorel