Mobile App Development Blog

Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Building a Mobile App.

Maximize Your Mobile App Marketing with Social Media

Ian Blair

You took the time to build an awesome app. It’s been a long, grueling, and expensive process. As someone who has been through this before, I can relate to how you’re feeling right now.

It seems as though you’ve finally crossed the finish line.

But now what?

Your app might be amazing, but it’s useless if you can’t get it into the hands of the consumer. Sure, people can discover your app through general searching and browsing on the app store.

Using tactics like app store optimization is a great way to position yourself and get your app ranked. But you can’t rely on that as your only source of getting new downloads.

That’s why it’s so important for your business to have an active presence on social media platforms. Social media is great because it’s an easy and cost-effective way to help you get more people to download your mobile app.

Whether your app is brand new, been available for years, or still in the development process, you can leverage social media marketing to drive lots of downloads.

But that’s not all. With social media, you can also get existing users to spend more time using your app, which will ultimately lead to higher conversions and more money for you.

If you’re unfamiliar with social media marketing strategies for mobile applications, you’ve come to the right place.

You can use this guide as a reference for how to use social media as a marketing tool for your app. Here’s what you need to know.

Promote your app before it launches

As I briefly stated before, you can take advantage of social platforms while your app is still being developed. Don’t wait until your app is finished to start promoting it.

Start to build hype for your app as soon as possible. Now is the chance for you to get your app name out there.

Here’s a great example of this strategy being used by The Swift Life mobile app.

the swift life

Run promotions like this on your social media accounts.

For existing businesses, this should be easy. You’ve already got these profiles set up and have followers. But for apps that are launching as a new business, you’ll need to get started on this right away.

The first step is to create a profile on all social platforms. Make sure you establish yourself on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and even Snapchat.

If you have an account on as many platforms as possible, you’ll increase the chances of getting the largest possible exposure to prospective users. Now try to get as many followers as possible.

Engage with these people. Give them a reason to follow you. Make sure your content is interesting and informative.

What does your app do? Who is your company? How will your app help improve the lives of users?

This is the foundation for establishing a strong social media presence. So by the time your app launches, people will know exactly who you are and they’ll be ready to download the app.

Marketing your app on Facebook

Facebook is at the top of the food chain when it comes to social media marketing. It’s the king of this industry and it’s probably the first place you should start marketing.

The reason why Facebook is so important is because they have the most users compared to other platforms.

monthly users

Unlike other social platforms, Facebook gives you the most options in terms of what kind of content you can post.

You’ve got the ability to post an unlimited amount of photos and videos. Plus there isn’t a restricted character limit for posts with text.

In addition to using your profile as a marketing tool on Facebook, you can even run sponsored campaigns if you’re willing to pay a little extra to promote your app.

Sponsored Facebook posts are great because they really make it easy for you to target your audience based on their age, gender, and other demographics. You can target ads by location as well.

This is information that you should already have. You’ve already done this as part of your market research before you started developing your app.

Now you’ve just got to apply that information to the ad specifications so your promotion can reach the proper audience.

Having a Facebook page for your business and mobile app is 100% necessary. It doesn’t matter what type of app you have or what industry you’re in. Make sure that you establish your presence on Facebook.

Instagram marketing

While Instagram is primarily just pictures, it’s still a valuable marketing tool for mobile applications.

Instagram is evolving as well. Now you can add up to ten photos for just one post. Plus, you can add videos that are up to a minute long.

If you don’t want to post on Instagram every day, you can at least use your Instagram story to engage with your followers. These posts will disappear after 24 hours, but they will serve as a constant reminder that your app is out there and available.

Recently, Instagram added a new feature to their story options. You can now take a poll through your story, which will definitely increase engagement with your audience.

That’s one of the reasons why Instagram has the highest engagement rate based on seconds on the platform compared to other social sites.

Instagram

Another way to increase engagement on Instagram is by running contests. This type of marketing strategy is a great way to get users excited about using and downloading your app.

Plus, Instagram contests can encourage user-generated content. Here’s what I mean. Try to get your users to post pictures promoting your brand and app on their personal profiles in order to enter the contest.

Then your brand will be exposed to their followers as well. These could be people who may not even know that your app exists right now. So it’s a viable growth strategy for brand exposure.

Instagram is also a great way to target a younger audience. But we’ll talk about this in greater detail later on.

Master 140 characters

With Twitter, your promotional content will need to be a little bit shorter since there is a restricted character limit. But that doesn’t mean that this platform isn’t a valuable marketing tool.

Your brand needs to have an active Twitter profile if you want to get as many downloads as possible.

I love to use Twitter as a creative way to communicate with prospective app users. Here’s what you need to do.

Let’s say that you have an app uses GPS technology to track people while they’re riding a bicycle. It gives cyclists information about their speed, elevation, distance traveled, calories burned, and things of that nature.

Well, you can take advantage of the Twitter advanced search query to find people who may be interested in using your app. Here’s what it looks like.

twitter advanced search

Use this tool to search for relevant keywords, accounts, hashtags, and locations to connect with prospective users.

So for our example with the bicycle app, you could type in keywords like “bike ride” to see what comes up. Then, you can Tweet directly at those users telling them to download your app to improve their riding experience.

Reach out to people and explain how your app can help solve their problems.

Yes, this strategy will involve a little bit of work on your part. But it’s an effective way to get new downloads.

Go live

Make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the resources available on the various social platforms that you’re using to promote your app.

Sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all have live streaming options.

Take a look at some of the top benefits of using live video streams.

live video

Creating a more authentic interaction with your audience will benefit you in several ways.

First of all, this will encourage your followers who haven’t downloaded your app yet to actually download it. But it can entice your current users to use your app more often.

You can use live video to increase the chances of getting more in-app purchases as well.

Within app sharing

Treat your own app as an extension of social media platforms.

This strategy will work regardless of what type of app you have or what industry you’re in. Here’s what you need to do.

Simply allow the app users to connect with other people. Just give them an option to share content from your app on social media platforms.

To do this effectively, you need to have social sharing icons that are clearly visible and easy to access from within your app. Make sure that the sharing options are available for mobile platforms, so users can share content to whatever social site is their favorite.

This is easy advertising for you since you won’t have to do any work. Just give them the option and let the users take care of the rest.

Start adding videos to your YouTube channel

YouTube usually doesn’t come to mind when most people think about social media marketing. But that’s a terrible misconception. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

That’s because YouTube is the preferred method for users who want to watch video content.

youtube

Something like this is just impossible for you to ignore. Your current and prospective app users are active on YouTube. They’re even using the YouTube mobile app.

The reason why YouTube is so great is because all of the content can easily be repurposed.

After you upload a video to YouTube, you’ve got so many other options in terms of distribution. You can embed the video on your website, Tweet out a link to share it, or add to your Facebook page as well.

You can even send YouTube videos to people who are on your email subscriber list. Tease a clip from a YouTube video on your Instagram profile too.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are an essential component of how people use and experience social media. It’s a great opportunity for you to try and get your brand trending on these platforms.

Try to use hashtags to encourage user-generated content. As I said earlier, you can run contests and other promotions on social media.

Create hashtags based on these campaigns. You can choose a winner from all of the submissions using that hashtag. It’s a great chance for you to build brand awareness if your hashtag starts trending locally, nationally, or even globally.

If someone clicks on a hashtag, they will see all of the content posted by you and others who used it.

Leverage social influencers

Part of being an effective social media marketer means that you’re going to need to think outside of the box a little bit when it comes to promoting your app.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to build a relationship with social influencers.

The reason why social influencers are a viable option for app promotion is because they already have a trusted following on their respective platforms. Their audience knows their personalities and trusts their opinions.

When it comes to acquiring customers from online platforms, influencer marketing is the fastest growing method.

influencer marketing

It’s important for you to stay up to date on the latest mobile trends.

There are plenty of online platforms that you can take advantage of to connect you with the right influencers. Klear is one of my favorite tools.

That’s because you can select an influencer based on a variety of factors. Decide which social network you want to use first. Then, you can select which type of reach you’re looking for based on the amount of followers they have.

Obviously, if you’re trying to get connected with celebrities who have millions of followers, you’ve got to be ready to dish out top dollar for their services.

But I think it’s better to work with lots of micro influencers. They may not have as many followers, but they have much higher engagement rates with their audience.

Plus, it won’t be too costly for your marketing budget. Once you get in touch with the right influencer, you can monitor the results of each campaign.

This is will definitely help you build brand awareness and get more people to download your app.

Don’t forget about Snapchat

Snapchat doesn’t need to be the first social platform you make, but that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored completely.

As I started to say earlier, you’re going to use different platforms to market your app based on your target audience. So if your app is geared towards younger users, Snapchat is an absolute must for your social media marketing strategy.

Recent studies show that more than 70% of Snapchat users are under the age of 25.

snapchat

This is important information to know if you’re targeting Generation Z or Millennials.

But for those of you who have an app that’s intended to be used by people in their 50s, then you probably don’t need to use Snapchat as a marketing platform.

Conclusion

Building an app is one thing, but you’ll need to learn how to market it properly if you want it to be successful.

Social media is one of the best ways to reach your target audience.

You’ve got lots of different options, but it’s important that you establish a strong and active presence on as many social platforms as possible.

Use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Take advantage of tools like hashtags and the Twitter advanced search options.

Broadcast live video streams to promote your app. Depending on your target audience, you may even want to use Snapchat on a regular basis.

Follow this guide so that you can use all of these platforms appropriately to get the best results.

How are you using social media to effectively promote your mobile application?

Ian Blair

BuildFire Co-Founder. I'm a digital marketer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I'm here to help businesses go mobile and build apps more efficiently than before.

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