The times when social media were just for teenagers showcasing their clothes are long gone. Since almost 60% of the world’s population actively uses social channels, there’s space for everyone to find what interests them, and for every brand to reach their target audience.
We’ve compiled a list of tactics that work especially well for those who want to promote their mobile app. Read on to get inspired by app creators who do extremely well in their social media marketing and create your own winning social media strategy.
One good strategy to create a buzz around your mobile app is to provide your social media followers with early access to the app, before it is officially launched. Such a strategy brought fame to apps such as mmhmm or Clubhouse. Let’s analyze what the first of these two did:
In September of 2020, mmhmm had over 11 thousand followers on Twitter, almost 5 thousand subscribers on YouTube, and it… hadn’t even been launched yet.
They started up with a quick, humorous YouTube video previewing the app and encouraging people to request an exclusive invitation to test the app before anyone else does. The video gained over 300K views in 20 days. To date, the app preview has over 1.4 million views.
Three days after the video premiere, mmhmm had sent 1,000 invitations for the beta version of their app. And that was just the beginning.
The campaign was a huge success as mmhmm managed to create a sense of exclusivity: once you requested the invite, you had to wait for your turn to receive access, but when you finally got it, you felt like the chosen one.
In turn, the sense of exclusivity made people brag about their early access: they started creating their own social media content, showcasing the app, and spreading the word about mmhmm. It was a win-win: the content earned publicity for the app and eternal fame for the testers.
But there’s more to this than vanity metrics. User-generated content from testers can be used to genuinely improve the app. And that’s another value that pays off in more ways than one: you excel in the application, and the testers feel like real app stakeholders. And that’s when loyalty is born.
Build a community
Social media is about being social, growing a community of like-minded people. Once you create your social media profiles, think about the values that are important to you and your target audience. Then, create a content strategy around these values.
By catering to people’s hearts, you’ll gain dedicated followers who trust you as a mobile app designer.
Here’s an example from Move U, a sports and wellness app that helps sports people from around the world work on a proper, safe posture while exercising:
They provide their Instagram followers with videos explaining safe postures and pain-releasing methods. That’s a foretaste of what they’ll find in the mobile app.
Content creation is only your first step towards an engaged social media community: it allows you to generate engagement. Once the generation phase is done, you then need to manage that engagement, i.e. reply to all comments and messages and answer all the questions. And that’s what Move U does really well:
Dealing with all these comments might be overwhelming, especially if you post across several social media channels. That’s when a social media engagement tool may come in handy. With such a solution, you’ll be able to reply to all social media comments, messages, and reviews from a single dashboard.
Collaborate with Influencers and Streamers
It’s a massive job building a decent following on social media. Why not use the help of those who already have a very strong audience?
Influencers, Streamers, Ambassadors – they have lively communities of users who trust them and follow their lead. According to Oberlo, 49% of customers claim that they make decisions based on influencer recommendations. This means that your mobile app simply must have its own ambassadors.
Think about your product and to whom it is addressed, and try to find influencers who cater to your target audience. Bear in mind that finding influencers and proceeding with the collaboration is a time-consuming process. That’s why you may find it useful to collaborate with an influencer agency.
Utilize user testimonials
So you already know the value of professional influencer collaborations, but what if I tell you that everyone’s influential?
Users’ positive experience is your biggest asset. Why not use it to enhance your social media presence?
As per Luella Cooke, social media strategist at Test Questions, “Every time you hear someone praise your app, ask them to leave a review on Facebook. You can consider offering an incentive to leave a positive review.”
For example, you can set up automatic messages to every new follower and offer a freebie in return for a review. There are tons of top marketing automation software available for this.
Another idea is to turn user testimonials into content. That’s what a storytelling app called Episode does:
Episode shares users’ success stories and their personal recommendations of the app in the form of Facebook posts. A publication like this one encourages other users to follow in Naemi’s (and others’) footsteps.
Offer a gamified user experience
The flexible system of interaction associated with social media platforms creates a perfect opportunity for you to engage users in games. Here are two inspirational gamification ideas:
- Organize a treasure hunt
Get inspired by Volkswagen and hide a prize for your followers in a detail-rich illustration. For Volkswagen, the street view of a big city was a perfect environment to hide their treasure, the new Tiguan. But if your product is a mobile game that takes place in a virtual village, you can hide your prize inside that village.
- Prepare “this or that” Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories offer a broad range of interactive stickers: polls, questions, and quizzes. Tap into the potential of these features to engage your followers in a gamified experience. Create Stories consisting of two options on each Story: two mobile game characters, two meals available to be ordered via your app, or two activities recommended in your sports app, and add a poll asking your followers to choose between the options. Just like X did:
With all these tactics and sources of inspiration coming from successful app creators, you’re ready to reverse-engineer your own social media strategy. You can start even before the app’s launch by building anticipation around your product. Once the app is available, your most important steps are to build engagement through useful and/or gamified content and to find ambassadors who will promote your mobile app, regardless of whether they are social media influencers or just advocates of your fantastic app.
Kasia Slonawska is a marketing specialist at NapoleonCat. She’s a keen content writer, a passionate social media geek, and a greeting-dogs-on-the-street kind of person.