The app you’re developing is here or on its way, and you need to let the world know about it. Whether you’re going to use public relations and paid marketing too, you also know you’ll still need social media.
Depending on your budget and the value of your time, you can pay someone else to create and even manage social media for you. However, if you’re limited on expenses or simply want to be more resourceful, you have options.
Social media account creation is something you can do yourself, it costs mostly time, and the biggest barrier is the learning curve.
We’ll help you overcome the learning curve, and then give you the fundamentals of scheduling and content creation for each platform. We’ll also briefly discuss how to grow your social media.
Deciding on your social media identity
Before you start clicking buttons and creating accounts, it’s important to stop and reflect on what you’re actually going to be representing with your social media. The best way to do this is keep a running document to guide your actions. Companies both large and small use this technique to keep the appearance and message consistent.
This will also potentially help with branding even when you’re optimizing in the app marketplaces.
Is the social media for your company or your app?
One of the first things you’ll have to decide is what feature of your company is going to dictate the direction of your social media. For example, if you already have a medium social media following for your company, and your app is a direct extension of the company in name and purpose, then you may just want to promote your app on the existing channels.
The same holds true if you’re making a sequel to another app you created and the predecessor already has social media traction.
However, if you’ve created an original app, or your company’s following would simply not overlap in interest, then it’s time to create a brand new social media account for your app.
A good example of how this works is the Angry Birds app and their creators, Rovio. Both the app franchise and the parent company have their own Twitter accounts, which serve different purposes now that Rovio has multiple apps, and the Angry Birds franchise has television shows and movies.
Is your app the first of its kind? Is it a medical app designed by an actual practicing doctor with accolades? These kinds of things are what you should focus on across the board.
Once your app achieves any sort of critical success, such as a high ranking in an app store category, this success should become an additional talking point.
Creating and branding social media for your app
There are a number of social media accounts to choose from, so we’re going to list what they’re best for, and attach links and instructions for starting an account and making ideal posts.
When branding your social media, there are a few things that nearly every account allows you to use:
- Your app icon as a profile picture
- An app-related banner image
- Basic app description
- A link to your App Store and Google Play download pages
Attempt to add these consistent elements to every platform, and then customize beyond that once you have a better feel for things.
Facebook.com is currently the most popular social media channel in the world. In addition to allowing companies to create free Facebook pages, Facebook also lets you use paid advertising to reach a targeted audience for your app or app Facebook page.
How to start a Facebook page for your app
First, you must select someone to be the administrator for the page. This should not be taken lightly, as the primary administrator has the ability to change access and ownership as well as post and delete the account. While it may be tempting to let a marketing company or employee own the account, a high-level executive should take the top administrative slot.
Second, whoever creates the app’s Facebook page must have a personal page as well. Years ago, Facebook company pages could be created on their own, but as Facebook has strived for more security and accountability, attaching the company to a private account has become the standard.
Once you’ve decided on or created the personal account, log into Facebook and click this link to create a Facebook page.
Facebook will walk you through much of the page’s creation, but you’ll want to add the essentials as mentioned above.
You can then invite additional page managers. Anyone who is able to edit the page can invite people from their friends list to like and follow the page.
Ideal posts for Facebook
Scheduling: Because Facebook posts are lasting, you should post to Facebook no more than twice daily at the absolute most. For an app’s page, you can post much less frequently, even as little as twice weekly if you don’t have much to say or share. If you post too often, your audience may become annoyed and choose to block notifications or unlike your page.
Content types: Post on Facebook about your app’s release schedule, updates, and awards. Consider running contests and promotions through Facebook as well. If your company creates content related to the app, then post that as you publish it.
Twitter is an enormous, live social medium with millions of users around the globe. If there’s any way to reach relevant strangers outside your current social circle through organic social media, it’s probably through Twitter.
How to start a Twitter account for your app
Twitter requires the creation of a business or app page to be separate from a private account. Simply log out of any current accounts and then click the link here to create a new page.
Gathering followers for Twitter is different from Facebook. You’ll want to follow other people early on in hopes of having them follow you back. Send a link to the Twitter page to anyone you know who would be interested in following.
Ideal posts for Twitter
Scheduling: Twitter posts are ephemeral, so you’ll want to tweet as often as possible. Twice to five times a day is fine if you can support the quantity with original material. Tweets are also time-sensitive, so consider the times of day when your audience is using Twitter and when you’ll have the least competition for attention.
Content types: Post on Twitter about anything vaguely related to your app or industry. You can talk about your app’s release schedule, updates, awards, contests, and promotions multiple times per week. Share articles related to your industry and mark other authors, companies, and keywords (using ‘@’ and ‘#’) in order to get their attention and cross audience.
Your LinkedIn page will be limited to your actual company, but it can still be used to support your app. Because LinkedIn is above all a professional forum, you’ll want to remember this in everything you do on that channel.
How to start a LinkedIn page for your app
To create and manage a company page on LinkedIn, you must already have your own personal page. Once you or your desired administrator are logged into a personal LinkedIn account, click on this link.
Once you’ve created everything, it makes absolute sense to send a link invitation to anyone you’ve worked with in the creation, development, and promotion of your app. You can also connect with anyone on LinkedIn that you believe would be interested. Just make sure that you have some type of relationship with the person you link to in order to avoid spamming.
Ideal posts for LinkedIn
Scheduling: Post to LinkedIn whenever appropriate. Since few people check LinkedIn for content as regularly as Facebook feeds, it’s okay to post anywhere between once a month and once daily. If your post frequency is greater than your content quality, it will appear unprofessional. Basically, it’s better to post fewer things but of higher quality when scheduling for LinkedIn.
Content types: LinkedIn is conducive to longer posts, such as articles, case studies, press releases, and company stories related to your app. Anything you post will last, and the people who will read it will be looking for more than laughs and gossip. Be substantial, and use LinkedIn to repost anything good you’ve also put on your company or app’s website.
To keep it simple, Google+ can operate on the same account if you already have a Google account for your company or app (YouTube, Gmail, Adwords, Google Play, Google Drive). If you’re lacking in the company page department, or want to make a new identity for your app separately, click this link and get started with Google account creation.
Scheduling: Google+ doesn’t have very many limitations. What you share will stick around on other people’s feeds, so it’s okay to go for quality over quantity. Post to Google+ when you create something new for your app or find something interesting in your app’s industry. Your frequency can be daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your other social media activity.
Content types: Think of Google+ as a place to curate your other content. If you’ve made an article, press release, video, or new page, then use Google+ as a place to talk about it. Of course, your reach will improve if you’re also curating the best stuff from other related apps, news, and companies to show that you’re a great page to follow.
YouTube, the world’s largest video hosting network, is an ideal place to promote your app with video content.
How to start a YouTube account for your app
If you already have a Google account for your company or app (Google+, Gmail, Adwords, Google Play, Google Drive) then you can simply log in at YouTube.com and start managing your YouTube account.
In the event that you don’t have a company or app identity with Google already, you can create an account by clicking this link. You may also want to start this separate account to distinguish between your company and your app, of course. Follow the prompts until your YouTube account is created!
Ideal posts for YouTube
Scheduling: Unless you promise a regular program or show, simply post to YouTube whenever you can create video content. Many popular content creators only add something new once a week to once a month, although there are obviously daily uploaders as well.
Content types: YouTube is an audio and visual medium. What does this mean? You have to make videos and recording for anyone to care what you’ve added. This is great news for app developers, though. You can show your app in beta, have someone do a live review of the app, walk users through your app’s setup, answer frequently-asked questions, talk about an update, or simply showcase your app’s best features.
Attracting followers to your app’s social media
You’ll have to be proactive if you want to grow your social media. Whether you are creating an app as an individual or a company, you can take advantage of these social growth tactics.
Family and friends
Invite the people you already know and work with to follow your app’s social media. If those closest to you and the people who work on the app aren’t even willing to follow you, why should anyone else?
Granted, friends and family may not be your target audience, but in many ways they can still create a core foundation to build upon. They may also know other people who are a better fit, and can share your pages with those people.
While you’ll probably want to use the majority of your paid promotion specifically for your app downloads, you may find that promoting a social media account is more cost effective.
For example, if you pay $5 for an app download but only $.10 for a Facebook page like, and more than 1 out of 50 of your Facebook fans downloads the app, then you’ve got a better conversion rate with Facebook and a better potential for viral growth.
The core principle of good social media: Add value
Don’t just make content about you. Constant, tasteless, and shameless self-promotion don’t attract people and will probably not give you the viral growth you want. Your audience really comes to learn, be entertained, or to experience something new. Provide these things for them, and they’ll notice your brand along the way.
This concept is called ‘adding value.’ Many times, talking about your new product and feature can still be valuable, so there’s nothing wrong with promoting it. However, simply sharing a link to your app’s download page in posts, or going to another company’s page just to talk about yourself is considered worthless and will hurt you more than help.
Do you want to know more about how social media can fit into your overall app marketing strategy? Read our free ebook, The Complete Newbie’s Guide To Mobile App Marketing Strategies, by clicking the button below.