As we discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, app developers looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace should consider using social media as a cost-effective way to promote their apps. I believe that mobile advertising is highly valuable (after all, that’s the business we’re in) but if you have a limited budget and are willing to invest the time and energy, social media marketing can be a cost-effective way to attract more eyeballs to your apps.
Here are some more ideas for how app developers can use social media to drive demand for apps:
- Experiment with Facebook advertising for your community: Once you have set up a Facebook page for your app (or your app development company), you can experiment with Facebook advertising for as little as a few dollars a day. Facebook advertising works on a pay-per-click or pay-per-action model (where you only pay every time someone new “Likes” your Facebook page. The biggest thing to keep in mind with Facebook advertising is that you need to make sure to target your ads. For example, you can target your Facebook ads so that people only see your ad if one of their friends has already “Liked” your page (giving you additional credibility and social proof), and/or by targeting people with specific interests (if you make an app that is a Sci/Fi or Fantasy game, you can target fans of these genres who have expressed an interest in these topics as part of their Facebook profiles). Facebook advertising for mobile app developers doesn’t have to be expensive – if managed and targeted properly, you can achieve a cost per connection of as low as $0.10 for many apps. Remember, the goal here isn’t to acquire a bigger Facebook audience just for the sake of being “famous.” The goal is to find people who are predisposed to engage with your app and eventually to convert them to paying customers from your community. Another Facebook advertising tip is to run “sponsored stories” to make sure that as high a percentage of the audience as possible sees your latest posts – otherwise your content might get lost in the clutter of Facebook. The cost for this “sponsored stories” option is minimal and the payoff in terms of extra exposure is substantial.
- Embrace and encourage user-generated content: One of the first rules of social media marketing is that “it’s not a monologue, it’s a dialogue” – and on that note, you don’t have to create all of the content yourself! Reduce your workload by encouraging your users to post their own fan art, videos, comments, reviews and other content. You can run contests and offer incentives to get people to participate in sharing their ideas and creating content – but be aware of Facebook’s content rules to make sure that any competitions that you run comply with the site’s terms and conditions. Read the Facebook Page guidelines, section III E., “Promotions.”
- Tell people what you want them to do: Community members have a tendency to follow your lead – after all, they chose to “Like” your page for a reason; chances are that they respect your judgment and want to be part of your “movement,” whatever that may be. So if you want your Facebook fans to take action, go ahead and ask them to do so. If you want them to like a post, say, “Like this post if you love the new features we’ve added to our app…” or “Do you want us to release a new level sometime soon? Tell us more!” If you want people to share a post with their friends, say: “Please share this post to help spread the word about our new app, coming out soon…” If your audience likes you and trusts you because of the ongoing value that you provide to them, they will be happy to help you – but you need to ask.
What’s your take on this? Have you used Facebook advertising to promote any of your apps, and if so, what did you learn from the experience? How do you engage with your followers and fans on social media, and how do you give them incentives to help spread the word about your apps?
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