Wondering how to promote an app online? Hopefully you’ve got a marketing checklist that includes social media marketing.
“Social marketing” isn’t just for social media, though. In fact, any form of online platform that involves communication is social in nature.
This can include:
- Question-and-Answer Sites
- Any Site with Comment Functionality
And so on. Wherever you can interact with users – even if that interaction is simply voting, such as Reddit – you could consider that site as having a social component.
This type of marketing is two-way, which contrasts with most advertising, which would be considered one-way.
1. Social Media (Of Course)
Social media is one critical juncture in the customer journey. This is where you, as a person or company, can help build awareness about your product. Though you can advertise through social media, we’re more concerned with using social media as a communications tool.
Networking, for instance, is what you do at conferences and events. But social media speeds up that process: you can meet and connect with like-minded people, potential customers, and potential partners all around the world.
When choosing your social media outlet, don’t necessarily go with popular wisdom. Prioritize your time and money. Pick the network that is most appropriate to you personally, but also find out where your customers are more likely to be. Build a following, update regularly, and put in the legwork to maintain relationships with your audience.
It will pay off down the line.
Blogging is a cross between writing and socializing. Unlike writing articles for print publications, users can read and immediately comment on your posts…hence the social nature of the blogosphere.
Here are a few ways you can use blogs to connect with people:
Comment – Find niche blogs relevant to your app and comment. The goal here isn’t to throw your name out here, however. Connecting people is the goal, so find blogs that you can relate to, that your potential customers can relate to, and that you would like to build relationships with.
Start Your Own Blog – The more you update, the better. A blog is a great place for you to interact with your social circles, your professional circles, and your target audience. It can also be used as a landing page for people interested in your apps.
Guest Blog – Posting on other blogs is one of the best ways to increase exposure. Guest posting can help you position yourself as an authority in your field and also help you increase the size of your audience. Typically, you’ll get a short bio link at the end of your post, and you can send people to your website and social media profiles.
Forums are another great way to get social online. You can interact with people in your niche and simultaneously help build your authority.
You should connect with two types of people in forums: customers and partners.
Partners are other non-competitors in your industry, such as other developers who create relevant apps. These are people that you can work with in the future to help build one another’s businesses.
Here at CodeFuel, for instance, we built our monetization solutions by partnering with a trusted network of developers, publishers, and advertisers. Together, we connect advertisers and merchants to the right customers. And the right customers are the foundation of your business.
They are your audience. To find customers and position yourself as an authority, find forums where potential users spend their time.
If you’re developing a B2B app for a particular industry, find a forum relevant to that specific industry. If you’re developing an educational app, then educational forums related to that industry may be a good place to connect with customers.
4. Get Users to Do the Work
Be creative when it comes to spreading the word.
Include in-app incentives for social media sharing, for instance: unlocking features, upgrades, or in-app rewards are just a few ways to incentivize user-initiated social media sharing.
This type of approach is similar to affiliate marketing programs, but instead of paying cash, you’re offering incentives that only increase your exposure.
5. Customer Service
On the one hand, promotion could be considered one-way broadcasting. But if you want word-of-mouth to work in your favor, you’ve got to be good to your customers.
Your app’s users are your customers, and they can make or break a reputation through reviews, comments, and blog articles. Resolve negative reviews as soon as possible, remember that the customer is always right, and listen to suggestions for improvements.
Being social means acquiring and retaining relationships with anyone who can help grow your business, not just customers or “users.” Think of your users as people and interact with them on an emotional level. If you do, your audience will grow and help you do your marketing for you.