There is a report that we spend over two hours a day on our phones, checking for new texts, alerts and games every six minutes. That’s not all; 80 percent of that time is dedicated to apps we’ve downloaded.
In other words, if you’re in the business of creating and selling apps, the market looks good.
The problem is there are over one million apps available for downloading. How do you make sure that your app stands out from all the others?
You need a social media campaign that is capable of launching your app into the public consciousness. Successful social media campaigns abide by a strict list of “dos and donts.” Here are some excerpts from that list.
ENCOURAGE YOUR USERS TO REVIEW AND SHARE YOUR APP
When people are considering whether or not to download a new app, they typically read the app description first and the reviews second. You don’t need just any kind of reviews; you need positive reviews. Hopefully, you’ve created a high-quality app that will speak for itself, but you still need to encourage customers to leave the kind of reviews that make other people want to try the app.
You can generate a pop-up message that will appear when users open your app, asking them for a review. However, you should consider the following issues:
It’s vital that you don’t ask for a review until after the user has used the app a few times. If your user gets a pop-up message the first time they open an app, that’s likely to annoy them.
You don’t want to interrupt the person’s flow while they’re using the app, so you need to time your pop-ups carefully. Also, the user should always have three choices: rate the app now, rate the app later or never rate the app.
If using pop-up messages doesn’t appeal to you, put a “Review” button in the “Settings” screen. This will allow the user to create a review at their leisure, and it will increase the likelihood that the review will be positive.
Asking your customers to spread the word about your business is one of the oldest marketing techniques in the book. Place a button in your “Settings” screen that will create an email with a link to your app in the app store. You can also easily add buttons that allow customers to generate a Twitter or Facebook post with a link to your app.
REWARD YOUR AUDIENCE FOR REVIEWING/SHARING YOUR APP
If you offer incentives to your users for reviewing or sharing your app, they’re more likely to play ball. A reward doesn’t have to cost you much, and it can be something as simple as giving out extra storage, a new character or a free upgrade.
Here are three reward-based strategies you might find helpful:
Give your users access to a free in-game purchase if they leave a review or complete a survey.
Add a button to your app that automatically allows your users to become your Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Once they hit the button, design a pop-up message that notifies them of a prize they’ve just received.
Every week, share promotional codes with your Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
Offer prizes to anyone who shares the app with at least 10 people.
ANSWER QUESTIONS ASAP
Your users are more than just a source of revenue; they can provide you with valuable product research. Whenever a user asks you a question, they’re providing you with an opportunity to improve your product or clarify how it works. If someone sends you a question, don’t keep them waiting. Acknowledge the fact that they took the time to ask a question, and answer it as soon as possible.
INCLUDE FEATURES THAT ENCOURAGE USER ENGAGEMENT
Keeping your users engaged with your app is key to maintaining and widening your user base.
Case study : MotorMouth is an app that helps people find the best deals on petrol by encouraging its users to share the prices of petrol stations in their area. MotorMouth recently added a function that allows users to notify their friends directly about cheap, nearby petrol stations. The best part is you can do this without ever leaving the app. MotorMouth also added a function that allows you to create a “Favourites” list of petrol stations so that you can keep tabs on any future price changes. Features like these ensure that when someone types “fuel app australia” or “find petrol station app” into their keyword search window, MotorMouth will come up.
In summary, the types of features that lead to high user engagement are:
Features that allow you to share useful content with friends.
Features that are location-based and allow the user to access information about services or deals in their specific town or city.
ADHERE TO YOUR APP STORE MARKETING GUIDELINES
No matter what app store you use to distribute your app, you’ll be required to follow a set of app store marketing guidelines. Read the guidelines thoroughly and contact the store if you have any questions or concerns. Follow the guidelines to the letter so that your app makes the cut and doesn’t get pulled from the store.
Having covered the things you should do in order to launch a successful social media campaign, let’s turn to what you shouldn’t do.
As stated earlier, when people take the time to ask you a question about your app, they’re giving you an opportunity to clarify the nature and purpose of your product. Ignoring their questions is disrespectful and bad for business. It will make your users feel like you don’t respect them, and that can lead to a loss of business and negative reviews.
DELETE NEGATIVE COMMENTS
If someone leaves a negative review about your app, you might be tempted to delete that review. Resist that temptation. A negative complaint can actually help you if you know how to work it to your advantage.
Instead of hitting the “Delete” button, create a record of each complaint. If you see the same complaint over and over again, then you know there’s a real problem with your app that needs to be addressed. If that’s the case, you should congratulate yourself. You just got free advice on how to make your app better.
You can also invite a negative reviewer to contact you directly so that you can help them work out the issue. Don’t underestimate the power of this gesture. People who take the time to complain about a product need to feel like they’rebeing listened to. Once you do that, there’s a good chance they’ll return the favour by turning that negative review into a positive one.
SPAM YOUR USERS
If you don’t like receiving spam when you’re using an app, how do you think your app users will feel about it?
Unfortunately, too many apps flood their users with automated, ill-timed promotional messages that are disruptive, self-serving and irritating. Spam ruins the overall experience of an app, and if you subject your users to it, you shouldn’t be surprised if they either ignore the message or uninstall your app all together.
ASSUME PEOPLE WILL KEEP USING YOUR APP
Between 80 and 90 percent of all downloaded apps are eventually deleted. That would be a frightening statistic even if the number of deleted apps was only half that percentage.
Don’t assume that people will keep coming back to your app, especially if they don’t have a good reason to do so.
Consider designing a pop-up message that, after a long period of non-use, encourages the user to return to the app. You can encourage wayward users to come back to the fold by offering them rewards, exclusive content and promotional coupons that are only available through the app.
When you study successful social media campaign examples, you’ll find they share these common attributes: a well-thought-out plan of attack, definable goals and a post-campaign analysis. The last attribute is of particular importance because you can build off both your successes and your failures. Knowing what worked and what didn’t during a past social media campaign is the surest way of achieving success in the future.