How to Market Your App Using Social Media

Apps and social media have one very important thing in common — their users are mobile. If someone is going to download your app, chances are they have already downloaded Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But simply knowing that your customers are on social media is not enough, now you have to find them, and more importantly, engage them.

We have already discussed how to build an Uber-for-X marketing plan, but here is a more in-depth look at how social media can help you reach your target demographic and increase the number of people downloading and using your app.

Build your online personality

Imagine your app is a person and the two of you are grabbing coffee. Your app decides to Instagram their fancy latte art — how do they caption the photo? Are they sarcastic, helpful, playful or professional? Do they use emoticons? Are they the type of person to reference a viral video or are they more likely to discuss a hard-hitting current event? It is important to develop a social media personality that compliments every aspect of your app, from its design to its function. When setting up your social media accounts, writing posts and creating content images, make sure everything is on-brand by using a consistent font, colour scheme, verbiage and voice. Not only will this help you build a cohesive brand image, but it also ensures your social media is targeting the same audience as your actual product.

Create content that engages your users — new and old

Social media is a great tool for attracting new users to your app. By using the right hashtags, investing in targeted ads, creating shareable content and joining the right conversations, you can reach a wide audience of people who are interested in your product. For example, New Year’s Eve is always going to be a trending topic, which gives Uber, a ridesharing app, the chance to leverage relevant hashtags to promote a safe, speedy drive home. Similarly, how many people tweet about not being able to get a taxi on Friday at 2am? That’s yet another opportunity for Uber to jump in and create a new customer.

But once people download your app and follow you on social media, make sure you are also posting content that is valuable to your existing audience. If people are interested in your app, what else does that say about them? Customers who use Airbnb, a sharing economy app that allows travellers to rent budget-friendly accommodation, are bound to enjoy travel. Instead of only posting about the perks of vacation rentals, which existing users are already familiar with, Airbnb could share stunning travel photos, updates about checked baggage fees and tips for exploring Paris by foot. They wouldn’t, however, post about the weather from their headquarters in San Francisco, knowing that their users are widespread across the globe. Always keep your followers in mind when creating content, so you can be confident that your posts are both relevant and engaging, while still promoting your brand. By building a significant audience and giving them a reason to stay, you have a group of people who are ready to listen when you post about your app’s new feature or ask them to download the latest update.

Don’t worry about the haters

Some brands shy away from social media in fear that customers will now have a public platform to voice complaints. But here’s the thing: if users have something bad to say, they will find a way to say it, either by going online, venting to their friends or simply deleting your app. Forgoing social media is a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears — it doesn’t change what people are saying, it just means you can’t hear it. By building a social media presence, you have the chance to diffuse a negative situation and make an unhappy customer happy. And if they have a valid complaint, it gives you the opportunity to improve your app for future users.

Be ready to respond

It’s not enough to simply set up accounts and roll out content — there is nothing “social” about a one-way conversation. Social media users are used to the immediacy of the Internet, and if they reach out to you, whether it’s praise, a question or a complaint, they will be expecting a prompt reply. Before going live with any social media accounts, make sure you have a team member in place to monitor the feeds and engage with users. If someone mentions your app online and you strike up a conversation, it not only creates a favorable impression, but also makes them more likely to post about your app in the future — aka free advertising. Even if you don’t have an immediate answer or solution, simply acknowledging that you have seen their comment and are working on getting back to them is always better than waiting to respond. You should also decide on a policy for responding to disgruntled customers. Do you apologize, thank them for their feedback and ask them to email Mike in customer service? Do you tweet them and offer an in-app gift as an apology? It is important for your messaging to be quick and consistent, so make sure you have a clear strategy in place before building your online audience.

We hope you feel better prepared to go social with your app and connect with your customers. Social media is a budget-friendly tool for promoting, improving and growing your brand. And in a mobile world, it’s the chance to actually hang out with your users, which we think is pretty great!