How To Use Social Media For Successful Mobile App Launch

Social media is a powerful marketing platform, provided you do things correct.  If you want to use it to the fullest, you have to work in an organized way. Most people do several things randomly on social media – try this and that without a proper goal in mind, ultimately get no result and then conclude social media is of no use.

However, if you take care of few basic things in advance and come up with a proper social media marketing plan, it can work wonders!

Let’s get started. Here is a list of activities that you need to complete preferably in the following order.

  1. Define Goals
  2. Identify Target Audience
  3. Make Social Media Marketing Plan
  4. Execute and Track

Let’s take a closer look at them.

  1. Define Goals

“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”
– Seneca

Hence, make it 100% clear to yourself what you want to achieve, what are the returns you expect. Do not prepare broad goals. Be very specific about your expectations such as:

  1. Build an email list with 10,000 entries during the pre-launch phase
  2. 25,000 downloads in the first month
  3. 10,00,000 in ad revenue in the first month
  4. 8000 Facebook Likes, 6000 Twitter Followers

These are examples. You have to set up your own target. Be sure that the figures are realistic. If you are launching a mobile app for cab drivers in Kolkata, and there are, say, 100 cab drivers in the city, do not expect 1,000 downloads!

  1. Identify Target Audience

“Advertising practitioners are interpreters. But unlike foreign language interpreters, adpeople must constantly learn new languages. They must understand the language of each new product, and speak the language of each new target audience.”
– Jef I Richards

Who are you marketing to? What is their age group? Do you know what they like or don’t like? Point them out. If possible, draw a set of pictures of your target audience – how do they look, what do they wear, how do they talk, where do they live, what does make them happy, what device do they use. If you do this analysis properly, you can easily make a plan to reach out to them.

While working for Barnoparichay Bengali, a Bengali alphabet and number learning app, persona analysis helped us a lot. The app was designed for the kids of age group 4 to 6 primarily. The app is suitable for anybody who wants to learn Bengali but during the pre-launch phase and initial few days after the launch, we wanted to target this age group. While promoting this app on Social Media, we listed some random points. Sharing some part of it here to give you an idea:

  • Targeting parents who have kids of 4 to 6 years old
  • Parents are well-versed in Bengali
  • Parents are tech savvy
  • Parents can be in India or outside India
  • Parents like Bengali ethnic wear
  • Parents like Bengali dishes, sweets
  • Parents may read Bengali books

As Barnoparichay Hindi is coming up, we will do a similar analysis so that we can understand our audience better. This kind of analysis helps to reach out to the right audience quickly.

However, knowing your audience is not an easy task. The book “Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customers Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business” by Adele Revella is a good read. This book is available on Amazon.

  1. Make Social Media Marketing Plan

“Sound strategy starts with having the right goal.”
– Michael Porter

Making a plan is not difficult, especially when you have figured out the goals and identified your target audience. To make a plan, you have to know various social media tools and platform available out there and understand which is used for which purpose. Once you know which to be used for what, you can come up with a plan in minutes.

Some Pre-requisites:

It is highly recommended to have a website or a web page for the app. During the pre-launch phase, allow visitors to subscribe to your mailing list, follow on Facebook, Twitter etc. so that once the app goes live they get to know quickly. It is also recommended to get some creative banners designed and prepare an explainer or demo video.

  1. 1 Facebook

Let’s see how we can use Facebook to spread the words.

  • Create a Facebook page for the app. Add proper picture and cover image. Show your creativity, use bold design and text.
  • Create an album and upload screenshots of the app. Pick those which explain the features of the app better.
  • Share the Teaser / Explainer video. A teaser works best during the pre-launch phase. Boost this post.
  • Invite people in your network to the app page. Invest some money to get some relevant Likes to the Facebook page.
  • Come up with some app-specific campaign ideas and run then on Facebook. This depends on the type of product and target audience.
  • There are plenty of Groups and Pages on Facebook meant for iOS and Android apps. Participate there and spread words about your apps. Look for app review exchanges as well; if you get some articles published on blogs around your app, that’s a plus.
  • Prepare a short, crisp pitch and send it to the Journalists on Facebook who might be interested to write about the app. Watch this video to learn how to pitch to a tech journalist. Don’t spam, please.
  1. 2 Twitter

Organic promotion on Twitter is tough and it often ends up as spamming. If you have budget, do some ads and implement the plan mentioned below.

  • You can grow your followers using Twitter ads. Twitter offers certain targeting option so that you can reach out to your target audience.
  • Share screenshots, Teaser / Explainer videos as well.
  • Converse with people using @mention.
  • Try to use a #hashtag from the beginning.
  • Depending on your target geo, find out top newspapers, magazines, journalists on Twitter and start conversation with them using @mention. If the journalists are not on Twitter, chances are high they are on LinkedIn; find them and take it from there.

3.3 Google+

I like Google+ for its simplicity. Plus, Google keeps adding new features regularly. Google+ Hangout is a great place to interact with your target audience. However, getting people attend the Hangout might be a tough task. Depending on the nature of app and the target audience, you might come up with some campaign ideas to host an engaging Hangout.

Share the Teaser / Explainer video on Google+ without any miss.

3.4 Youtube

The Teaser / Explainer videos must be on Youtube. Drive traffic to this video through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can add this video on the website as well. If you have budget, it’s good to run some interesting video ads.

3.5 Pinterest

Like videos, screenshots are very useful to give users an impression about the app – what problem does it solve, how it looks, what features does it have etc. Share the screenshots on Pinterest; be present there. If you create banners etc. for social campaigns, share them on Pinterest too.

3.6 Tech Magazine, Blogs and Forums

Old but effective! There are many blogs where you can contribute articles as a guest author. You can also reach out to publish reviews of your app. There are many geo-specific and topic-specific forums where you can participate and spread the words.

If planned properly, you can launch your app at an event like The Rodinhoods Open House which will fetch high visibility.

This is a good start; with a fair idea about what you can do, make a solid plan for your app. Campaign ideas, creative designs, text messages should be tailored to attract your target audience.

  1. Execute and Track

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
– Winston Churchill

Finally, execute the plan and track the result. There are several social media tracking tools available out there. Google Analytics can give some idea as well. If you are running paid campaigns, you can get some insights from those dashboards.

Always keep the end-goal in mind, do not forget the figures that you decided at the beginning. And make sure you are on right track.

Word of Wisdom:

Organic growth is great; we will want that. But ads are not bad either. If you have budget, invest in ads wisely.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
– Henry Ford

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