Most popular apps owe a portion of their popularity to a strong brand name that backs them.
These brands have been in business for years, and a mobile app becomes a natural extension of their branding and marketing strategy. Starbucks is a great example of this theory and the same reflects in a whopping 1 billion+ downloads on Android play as well as Apple play store.
The app is a huge revenue contributor to their business, and if researches are to be believed, Starbucks app processed close to 6 million app payments/week in the third quarter of 2014 (US data)
But not everyone is blessed or has a substantial support of a business house. In fact, a lot of apps are still in the process of developing an identity for themselves.
This means that such apps have to use innovative marketing techniques to charm its audience and create a growth story for themselves. Given the fact (dated report,2012) that 82% of mobile media time is spent via apps, it is important that app developers should be able to market themselves in a way, that catches the instant attention of users. Having said that, there is no better way than using social media platforms to do so.
With numerous platforms to expose their app (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc.), there is no dearth of opportunity for an app marketer today. However despite this some of them do a shoddy job of gaining customer attention.
But there are exception to this rule as well. A few apps have used social media platforms in a very constructive way thereby increasing their popularity and number of downloads.
We decided to analyse 5 mobile apps that have wowed us in more than one way through their tactics on social media platforms.
Superior Customer Service- Lyft App
Why should an app be bothered about customer service on social media platform, you’ll ask? Here’s a simple reasoning. A customer would not shy away from sharing his/her feedback about your app on social media platform. A good review would lead to a positive word-of-mouth publicity, eventually leading to higher app downloads, whereas a negative comment or experience may lead to a customer un- installing your app.
App marketers should remember that customer service is an important aspect on social media platform and one needs to have enough experience in handling any frightful situation that may arise. One way of looking at it through humour.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the app, Lyft facilitates passengers to connect with drivers (peers) and has brought a cab-sharing movement in US. The battle is so fierce that Lyft is often pitted against UBER in more than one way.
What differentiates Lyft from others in the league is its effective customer service through social media. The app has a dedicated Twitter handle for customer support (apart from a regular handle for interactions) and the social media team is proactive in replying and building a conversation with its followers. Here’s an example>
@MR_LeChArMiNg Thanks for the support, Romello! ❤
— Lyft (@lyft) February 19, 2015
They are also prompt in clarifying doubts, just like this one>
A comparative analysis done using SocialMention shows the following data. UBER is more familiar with a higher brand recognition (57%) as compared to Lyft that is almost half at (35%) However, Lyftenjoys a better loyalty score (35%) and sentiment ratio ( 38:1) as compared to UBER. image The above data is a clear indicator of the fact that users trust the services of Lyft more than UBER, which is reflected in its social mention as well. Another comparative analysis done by Tracx, a social media management software, states that Lyft enjoys a positive sentiment within its community as opposed to UBER. In this study, it was seen that Lyft had a positive social media sentiment score of 41.8% as compared to UBER with only 25.2% share. UBER also had a high negative score ( 15.6%) as compared to Lyft. Nearly half of Lyft’s messages end up being echoed by the public as opposed to UBER’s as derived from this analysis. While UBER’s social media presence is much bigger, it does not resonate well with customers at least in the customer service department. Lyft also has built an exciting community on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Exciting Features & Offers- Angry Birds App Customer acquisition through social media channels is a difficult task, and a lot of apps use offers to entice its customers. However, the shelf life of such customers is very small since one can never be sure of their status (fake/spam users etc.), and it will excel only if it is shrewd and unique. A good example of such a marketing tactic is displayed by Angry Birds.
Angry Birds- the gaming app, has been present on Facebook since 2009 and since then has been sharing quality content with its users. This content ranges from new levels for players and new power-ups amongst other offers. It also uses specific occasions to share associated offers. For example, they launched a valentine’s day tournament for their users in Feb.
As of 2014, the Angry Birds app has over 2 billion app downloads, and a part of this could be contributed to its active presence on Facebook and other social media platforms. Sharing on social media is all about being innovative, and Angry Birds realised this opportunity quite early for themselves. They launched Facebook specific features for its growing community of users which included>
1) Power Up
2) Share & Play
In 2014, Angry Birds launched their app on Facebook thereby changing the dynamics around this industry. Today Angry Birds has the fastest growing community of followers on Google+. Putting Money In The Right Place- Hotel Tonight App
A good social media marketing plan can be made better if app developers and marketers put their money in the right places. A lot of app marketers use funds for social media advertising (Facebook & Twitter) without a goal and thus end up wasting valuable money.
A few apps like Hotel Tonight used this opportunity to scale well. Having tasted success with its unique model, the app developers were inclined to bring awareness and acquire more customers who would download their app and eventually use it to book a room. The developers leveraged this opportunity by using a variety of products within Facebook Ads suite. This exercise included using the following > >Mobile App Adverts– This helped them in acquiring new customers to install the app along with engaging with users post the process of installation is complete. It also helped Hotel Tonight in driving conversion within the app.
Mobile Placements– This helped the app in choosing the exact places where the app developers wanted to showcase their ads. These placements included the apps to either appear in news feed (mobile/ desktop view) or right column on Facebook giving them control over ad placement.
Offers– Hotel Tonight used offer adverts (special discount/promotion) to boost downloads. App developers can also boost the offer along with tracking the performance, which would help them in their future campaigns.
Advanced Advertising– The app developers also used advanced advertising option like re-marketing and reaching existent users by analysing their earlier usage patterns.
Hotel Tonight was able to achieve 30% lower cost per install and around 80% higher return on ad spends on Facebook as compared to average mobile advertising spends. Unique Campaigns- Tinder App
We shared an article about how Tinder ignited the dating scene. However, a lot has changed since then. Marketers across the globe have taken notice and created campaigns involving this dating app. These campaigns brought in a good footfall to the social media platforms and eventually led more and more people to download it.
Though often rebuked as a run-down app, Tinder used campaigns to restore its status by promoting meaningful issues like sex trafficking and forced marriage amongst others. One of its most notable amongst them has been the social tees animal rescue campaign.
Not only did Tinder benefit from these strategies but also gained a positive sentiment from its users increasing the popularity of its app manyfold.
Unique Customer Engagement- Pocket App
The success of any app on social media platform is dependent on the level of customer engagement it provides to its followers. There are numerous ways to do so however the most active medium is through sharing quality and interactive content with your community. A few apps like Pocket have gained excessively by incorporating this tactic in their social media strategy.
The Pocket app constantly shares interesting content with its community on Facebook and Twitter. This includes ‘pocket interviews’, curated long reads, weekly top reads and company updates amongst others. They also have a unique hashtag #MostSaved that they use to share content that is worth saving.
— PocketHits (@PocketHits) October 13, 2014
Pocket uses Instagram to share ‘behind the seen’ and other company moments with their community.
Exploring Beyond the Regular- Crowdfire App
Most apps would put a full stop to their social media presence after being present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Very rarely would they jump on the Google+ bandwagon and even if they do so, there wouldn’t be anything exceptional about it. One app however made us sit up with its unique approach. Apart from sharing engaging content with its users, Crowdfire created a unique public community on Google+. Through this community, Crowdfire lets other users to collaborate and share insights, bringing in engagement all the way.
Though this community is still growing, it’s a refreshing take on using social media, especially if you are an app marketer keen on tapping the right users.
Looking at the examples above it’s hard to believe that an app would shy away from being present on social media platform. But, as they say, there’s always an odd one out.
Odd One Out
Most marketers are well aware of the benefits of a mobile app for business and the added benefits of having its presence on social media. Both work in tandem and the absence of either factor can cause a dent into the app’s customer acquisition strategy or limit it to some extent.
In 2014, TacoBell wiped its social media presence to be able to concentrate on promoting its mobile app and its unique features. However, it soon realised its mistake and took a swift U-turn.
Being a giant, Taco Bell could have taken a step; however newer brands should stay away from such steps.
Before we conclude this article, we will leave you with 5 benefits of selling your app on social media
Inexpensive Source of PR and Marketing– Most social media platforms offer a free platforms to users thus making it a viable option as compared to expensive PR and marketing.
Measurable Metrics– Even if an app marketer invests into paid marketing on social media platforms, the results can be measured and improvised. Given the scenario that a campaign is not worth its money it can even be stalled midway, providing an app developer full control over his paid marketing plan.
Sustained Relationship– How many times have you actually gone and unfollowed an app or unliked a page of an app that you are using? Most of you would rarely do that until and unless you had a bad experience, or the app is spamming your time with spammy content. When an app makes its debut on social media, most users follow it mostly because they use the app every day thus building a sustained relationship leading to lower chances of the app being uninstalled.
Personal Touch– We all would love an instant reply to our issues and a standard e-mail, or other forms of communication don’t quite do that. Social media platforms, on the other hand, are quite responsive and add a personal touch to our communication. It makes the app user wanted thus building a strong user foundation and elevating the spirit of participation
Global Platform– Most app developers target different geographies to tap users, and social media platform is the best way to reach the masses.
Whether you have recently launched an app or already established name, the need of an app in today’s time cannot be debated. The same holds true for maintaining an image on social media platforms. The success of the apps as mentioned earlier talk volumes about the sustainability and convenience that social media platform offer today, thus making it a right fit to showcase your app.
Do you think otherwise? Do drop in your comments below.
[This article is written by Taru Bhargava, Content Ninja at AppVirality Inc. She has a keen interest in mobile and digital marketing stories and dissects them – word by word.]