This is a guest post by Yoav Vilner, CEO and Founder of Ranky.
Hey Y’all! It sure is a serious pleasure writing for SocialMouths. This is my story, and it’s about connecting two of the hottest niches of our age: Social media and Mobile apps.
Ever stopped to think how the correlation between those two really works?
If you are thinking, “Hey, I know – Combining the two would result in a Facebook App!” then you have completely misunderstood this article’s purpose.
Key takeaway #1: Understand article purposes better.
I don’t need Social media, my App will make me rich
This false misconception that Apps are get-rich-fast type of products has caused more damage than you can imagine to innocent developers’ pockets.
The App Store holds an impressive amount of close to 1 million Apps for both iPhone and iPad. Can you imagine what would happen to our economy if each and every App would make its developer a millionaire?
Who will pay for that?
In fact, the true statistics show that only about 5% of all App developers have gotten rich thanks to their new born App.
The standard methods of earning pennies from a new App are crystal clear;
You could get a commission for each 0.99$ worth of a download, install in-apps paid upgrades for your free app, and get your app website pumped up with traffic and wealthy co-operations with advertisers.
Key takeaway #2: Completing the App doesn’t mean you have a profitable asset in your hands.
Can an average human being rank in Apple’s top Apps lists?
Yes, he can.
Ranking in Apple’s top Apps lists doesn’t require you to be a well-connected, gigantic corporation with billions of dollars worth of marketing efforts.
It only requires your App to get uniquely downloaded a certain amount of times in a single day. The competition is stiff, but doable.
To be ranked at the Top 25 Free Apps list, you need to get almost 40,000 daily downloads. The top paid apps, on the other hand, have all reached around 4,000 unique downloads in a single day.
Key takeaway #3: It’s not the funds that make Apps successful, it’s the reach.
Social for Mobile: Clash of the Titans
During 2012, Facebook announced its 1 billionth user.
It’s the same year as smartphone usage (with iPhone in the lead) has managed to cross the 1 billion line as well.
This is no coincidence – all of your potential App fans are using social media. Being able to take advantage of free social platforms to promote your App is a great gift that must be dealt with extreme care.
The basic rule is building a social community at the pre-launch phase of the App, and make them anxious about the upcoming release.
Key takeaway #4: All of your potential App fans are using social media.
Connect your Google+ to the App Website
Having a full-on website for your App, or a mini-site to the least, is mandatory and thus I won’t even begin to stress its importance.
Your first social community building step would be opening two Google+ profiles.
Google+ profile numero uno would be your App’s official page, and should carry its exact title. This will assist you in taking over your online reputation when people search for the App within Google or its ever-growing social network.
Upload the App logo and implement your important keywords within the editable content boxes (basic information, about us and so on.)
Google+ profile numero dos is just as important. If you don’t have your own Google+ profile by now, you must open it to assist your App marketing efforts.
Open a profile with your real name and a nice photo of yours. Fill up the profile with as much information as you can, and use your App’s main keywords in this profile too.
Now, here comes the nifty part. You should connect your personal Google+ profile to your App’s website (Yes, your personal profile – not the App business profile).
To do so, follow these two steps:
- List the App’s website as the URL at the “About” section of your Google+ profile.
- Within your website’s <head> code, insert the following snippet:
<link href=”https://plus.google.com/yourprofile/” rel=”author” />
The “rel=author” code is very important in the modern SEO world. It shows Google that your site is real and trustworthy, and will eventually show your profile picture when people will search your App.
Now start working on sharing every piece of content you can with both of the profiles, and try joining as many relevant Google+ circles. People who have noticed you added them are most likely to join your Circle in return.
Key takeaway #5: Prove Google that your App website is trustworthy. In return, Google will increase your visibility, and let you sustain all of the future mass algorithmic updates.
Pay Facebook a few dimes to help you start your engines
Facebook could turn out to be the most important part of getting people excited about your upcoming App, so you might want to consider spending a couple of dollars promoting the page.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Facebook PPC. I honestly believe that most of the clicks you gain are Facebook-generated clicks that worth nothing.
Heck, I once targeted a full-on US-based campaign worth of thousands of dollars with the most précised segmentation you can think of – and still got mostly Likes from underage Chinese kids!
But the small percentage of clicks that are real could be your very first App users.
Open a product profile for your App – some developers may even choose opening it as a ‘Community’ type of page to encourage future discussions and engagement.
Use your App’s exact name as the title and vanity URL (facebook.com/YourApp), and implement important keywords within the Facebook page’s bio lines.
Invest in your cover picture – it’s the back and bone of your page, and the first thing your future fans see when they click the page’s Ad.
When you start gaining likes, try engaging them. Make them understand what your page is about.
Polls are a great way of getting attention. Try this one out: “Hey Fans, Would you want to see our App launching first for iPhone or iPad?”
We guarantee you will be surprised with the conversion rate for such a question.
Share tech articles from the biggest sites of this niche (Mashable, TechCrunch) to create a professional impression on your fresh follower.
Key takeaway #6: Your App must exist in Facebook.
Know who to follow and what to Tweet
As always, I’m saving the best for last.
Open a Twitter profile for your App under twitter.com/AppName.
Use the same Facebook cover picture or look for free Twitter cover images – they are a dime a dozen and usually are gorgeous.
Get your colleagues, friends and family to follow the new App page. No potential App user would want to see 0 followers on an App’s Twitter page.
Start researching who are the most influential Tweeters in your niche. If it’s Apps we are talking about, then you would want to target the following type of figures: Big news sites, App reviewers and fellow App developers.
Re-tweet their important tweets. Share your site’s content on Twitter and mention them if you think it will interest them. Tweet to them personally with questions, just like when running a Facebook poll.
Do not try to find your potential App users just yet. You will get them to engage with your Twitter only if they see it engaging already.
A bonus tip – 80% of re-tweets occur at Friday, 14:00-16:00 PST. Use that time window to engage your followers.
Key takeaway #7: Increase your Twitter followers by communicating with the right figures.
Correspondence is King
Once you have slowly but surely started building that social community that is bound to use your App, it’s time to connect between all of your profiles.
Facebook and Twitter allow you to do so with a simple click of a button at either of the network’s settings tab.
It could save you loads of time by automatically sharing to Twitter the same status that you just shared on Facebook.
Install social plugins on your App’s website and blog posts (we use Flare WP plugin, but its main competitors are just as good, maybe even better) and encourage people to press those buttons.
Key takeaway #8: Your App should be present on all social platforms at once.
Plenty of people use nasty black-hat methods such as Followers or Likes purchasing.
While Google can easily spot fake traffic to one’s website, Facebook and Twitter have still yet to figure out how to ban fake followers.
Mark my word – that day will come eventually, and you will regret paying 5$ for 4,000 fake followers.
Your App is your business, and I don’t think you would risk an offline business with fake sales.
Key takeaway #9: Don’t forget that it’s not how much followers you have on Twitter, it’s how much of them can you engage to use your App.
If there weren’t any social platforms to help us build a community for our upcoming App, thus ensuring a daily usage by our followers, there’s no telling how things would work in the mobile arena.
I guess you would have to pay tens of thousands of dollars on TV or whitepaper advertising if you wanted to reach a massive audience – and that would mean only giant corporations could win their share of it.
Be sensitive about running your App’s social profiles, and on top of it all – act clean. White Hat methods are slower in nature, but its results are for the long-term. Just last year Apple has upgraded its algorithms to better find Apps that have managed to rank highly through dirty methods.
Use the social platforms to offer special time-limited offers for downloading your App, or for certain power-ups within. Answer your App users on-the-spot ask they send tweets.
Co-operate with influential social figures and even to increase your App’s profiles exposure.
And last but not least – Enjoy the journey, because it’s heck a lot of fun!
Key takeaway #10: Act clean, and both Apple and Google will reward you for your efforts.