No matter where you are in your app development journey – from ideation to having an existing app in the marketplace – you can immediately benefit from real-time social media interactions. In a perfect world, social media marketing (as with building your app website & most other elements of a strong marketing plan) is best leveraged when you first start concepting your app. This seeds fan followings and enables you to gather and implement feedback early on in the process. For instance, Clear sold 350,000 copies of its app within nine days of its launch, thanks to marketing tactics fired well in advance. But don’t worry if you’re much further along on your roadmap – by thinking about marketing at all, you’re already ahead of most app developers.
Naturally, if you’re not already on Facebook and Twitter, you need to start here. Your personal accounts aren’t enough – create unique accounts for your app! Depending on the nature of your app, you might also consider niche social strategies using platforms like Reddit, Vine, and Instagram.
Build a following. If you already have large followings on your personal accounts, absolutely use them to promote your new app pages. Otherwise, find friends and people in your network with large followings and kindly request a shout out – or post directly to their page if you have to. Follow/like people and brands you share a target audience with, and comment in discussions where you can offer an perspective. More importantly, be sure to interact with your own followers!
Use hashtags – thoughtfully: Post content with appropriate hashtags so relevant people can discover you. As a general rule, hashtags should be general enough for people to search for them, but not so general that you’re buried under a thousand posts a minute. #dog is too general, #grumpyonetoothedbulldog is too narrow, and #spotteddog is just right.
Have a content strategy: Create a regular content cadence and tell your followers how often you post – daily, weekly, etc – and stick to it. Your posts should include interesting, relevant updates – not sales messages. Don’t post the same content on each channel. Some overlap is okay, but give users unique reasons to follow you on different platforms. When you don’t have updates of your own, offer an insightful comment or link related to something else related to your industry that is relevant and valuable to your users. Consider services like Outbrain to accelerate your content distribution strategy. Startup Moon also offers a great content marketing guide for startups.
Get feedback: The most important thing to remember about social media is that it’s a two-way channel – not a podium where you do all the talking. Your social media marketing should be a source of intelligence to you. So stimulate relevant discussions. Ask questions, test and validate ideas. Learn who your influencers are. Early on, this can be a great form of market research. Once your social followings have achieved scale, research analytics tools (more on this in a future post) to help test content strategies, identify trends, and fine tune what works.
Note: This post is part of the Developer App Marketing Series, specifically designed to offer marketing tips and best practices for new app developers. The series is intended to begin by covering the basis before moving into more targeted app marketing tactics. Developers – is this content helpful, and if not, how can it be? Your feedback is as valued as it is welcome. Please share your thoughts in the comments section!