How to socialize our app when social media is breaching trust?

What we do after developing an app?

We share the big news with our audience, request them to use our app and if possible give their useful feedback. We also request them to share their contact details. No doubt, this is a big ask. But, we need it to reach out to them later with better offerings, and a much developed product.

Let’s accept Facebook and other social media have been very successful to be the go-to platform for such meeting and conversation.

But good days are now old days-

After the terrible Facebook Cambridge Analytica scam, scepticism and apathy are brewing in the minds of the social media users.

This is huge loss for all of them who has bet on social media to introduce their app to targeted audience. Now, when odds are against Facebook and others social media, how will the business have connection, communication or traction?

The makeover has already started. Zuckerberg is apologetic and others in the tribe are trying to polish their avatars.

“Unlike the vast majority of publishers, we never sell your data to third parties or leak your activity through ads.”
Ev Williams (Medium Founder)
The Medium Model

We pray this will be enough. We wish that would change the scenario and earn the trust. But, the scar, fear and doubt are already here.

So, what will you do after developing an app? Where will you connect to people (for validation or feedback) when they are not trusting the platform?

Still, there is a hope:

Who is to be blamed for all?

Us and certainly not Zuckerberg. He has just made us over-dependent on facebook and such platforms. These platforms give us power, comfort and leisure. We happily dance to it’s tune and never try to explore other way-outs to socialize or reach out to people with our message or application.

Result was a worldwide phenomenon i.e if you have to cater more users for your application, social media is the best option. As if there was never an alternative!

We flipped few pages of Intercom’s marketing book and find out that misconception is a predominant factor in marketing-

“A common misconception about marketing at a startup is that it means doing things like: signing up on Product Hunt, writing some blog posts about what’s wrong with the industry you’re in, cold- blasting a bunch of journalists with a press release and then hoping for the best.
There’s nothing wrong with doing the above — they are decent starting points, better than nothing — but over the past few years, I’ve learned that marketing is significantly more challenging than following a playbook.

Now the playbook is even more complicated where few chapters have lost their relevance and resonance (Think about Facebook here again).

How did Intercom move forward?

Lets know from them-

“Marketing in year one
By Des Traynor, Co-founder
The most important tasks for any early stage startup are to write code and talk to users. When we started Intercom the latter was my job. About 50% of my time was spent communicating with potential users, whether that was asking them to try Intercom over email, meeting them at conferences, responding to them in blog comments or talking to them on Hacker News.”

So, here is a really soul-searching question for all the app developers. The common belief will tell you to go social media to tell people about your app.

It’s the trend now and who does not love the comfort and convenience of social media.

Here, the debate is not on choosing “A” platform over “B” platform or going door to door with your application shutting down your Facebook or Instagram profiles.

The debate is on believing that still there is a hope, way of communication and a life beyond the social media.

Question is are we willing to accept that and take steps ?

Basecamp can live without Social Media Marketing:

To be honest, Basecamp can live without even marketing, at least the popular model of marketing.

At Basecamp, there is no marketing department.

And when we visit Basecamp website, they greet us with users’ numbers growing every year. Now this envious number of users (and revenues) have been achieved without all the buzzwords- SEO, Social Media Marketing and etc etc..

Question remains though-

How they made it possible?
Would it be awesome ( double or quadruple sales) if they do social media marketing?

Basecamp founder Jason Fried answered-

“Instead, we behave as if everything we do is marketing. Customer service is marketing. So is product quality. The phrasing of that error message, what you call that button, how you greet your customers — it’s all marketing. And so far, so good: Our flagship product, Basecamp, has earned the business of tens of thousands of businesses almost entirely on the basis of word of mouth.”

When questions come on socializing (reaching out to more people) with your application, Jason Fried was doing it right without chasing social media marketing.

Today, if Facebook shuts down, we think Jason can easily survive as he has not really fancy his business on Facebook or any such platform per se. The Basecamp is not leveraging any such marketing strategies but they are doing wonders with their belief in one common secret.

A Good Product Sells Itself

We understand, it’s not easy to suddenly stop doing social media marketing. At the end of the day, your app needs audience (users) to be successful.

Social media has been faithful here. But, there is a dent now. We think, let’s accept the fact and think ahead.

How will your business connect to the audience if they stop coming to social media? What will be the alternative way?

We believe there is an alternative way or multiple options which will help all business including you and us to sustain and grow.
We think, it’s time to move over Facebook rant, find out the alternative and do the basic i.e build the best app for your audience.

Isn’t it best to do where you have complete authority! You can come up with useful ideas and build some wonderful application.

And who does not know, good products sell themselves! We have seen it happen before our naked eyes.

Talking about eyes, you must keep them wide open.

Make Sure You are Not Missing the Party:

It’s nice to have a warm conversation with your app users.

But, there are other meetups and conversations too. Where your users talk about your app among them!

Are you listening to them? Are you attending those parties?

Over to Seth Godin for more on this-

“Connection between you and the customer, surely, but mostly connection between customers. Great marketers create bands of brothers, tribes of people who wish each other well and want to belong. “

Is it a big ask? Well, a good application/product will do the job for you. It’s better you and we concentrate on that.

Always there will be a channel for communication, connection and conversation. If not facebook, something else.

But the question is, what they will talk about? Will it be your application or business?

We would love to trust you here!

PostScript:

We are a team of developers and designers at heart and certainly not marketing wizards (but we love to talk to people!). Consider this post as an open letter to all business where we are opening up our hearts at the backdrop of recent events.
Do you feel the threat or you still consider Facebook and other social media platforms as viable playgrounds?

We would love to know. Would you love to tell us?