Social media plays a big part in generating pre-launch publicity. Creating a presence for your app before it is launched is a great way to increase interest and gather initial users. There are several ways to use social media to your advantage; many of them necessary, but few optional. We’ve highlighted the important ones here.
Before your app launches, your ultimate goal with social media is to get your audience to sign up to be notified of when your app launches, so they become your initial users. This can be done through a call to action button on your accounts and various links and reminders. Keep this in mind as your driving force when thinking about all the other necessary aspects of social media.
Branding and consistency
Before launching your app, you must create social media accounts. You don’t have to go around opening an account on every single platform you’ve ever come across. Instead, pick the two or three that you think are best suited for your app. We like the combination of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to start off. When using multiple platforms, it is also important to note that you need to make sure your brand and voice is consistent, without sounding robotic. Potential users are more drawn to products that sound and look like they are human-run.
Organically building your audience
Once you have unified your account images, descriptions, and made the pages clear and easy to read, you can begin promoting your page. Generating some buzz around the accounts may feel tricky at first, but here are a few simple ways to start off:
- Invite friends to like or follow you
- Share your app page on personal accounts
- Ask friends to share your app page on their accounts and to invite their friends
- Like, comment, and follow other similar accounts or pages from your app’s account (not your personal account)
- Link to social media from your app website
With these five steps alone, you’ll begin to create a following around your app. You will need to continue working to build the audience through external publicity, but at the same time, you must focus on keeping up a presence.
Content and engagement
This includes updating and responding to others regularly. These updates do not have to be solely self-promotional. Try to incorporate these updates with other shared content that is relevant to your app, and shows the audience why they need it. Additionally, you can create your own content, for instance, blog posts, infographics, and images.
Don’t be afraid to share updates about your app as well. Screenshots, news about progress, and perhaps even a behind-the-scenes video are all great ways to get your audience excited about your app.
Facts about what time of day and how often to post to each account is largely acquired through trial and error; you have to dedicate time to tracking your accounts and user engagement to find out what works best specifically for you.
However, it is generally recommended to post 1-2 times a day to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and 5-10 times a day on Twitter. The best time of day to post on Facebook is in the early afternoon, and during lunch or at the end of an average work day are optimal times for Twitter. Weekdays during business hours are best for LinkedIn, while Instagram is fairly consistent throughout the day. When choosing a time of day to post, make sure to consider the time zone of the majority of your audience! Business hours for you might be sleeping hours for your audience!
Posting to several platforms every day can feel overwhelming, so we’ve provided a handy social media management template to schedule content for all your accounts. You can add or remove platforms that you are or are not using, as well as change the timing of the posts to what works best for your app – this is just to get you started.
Once you get the basics down, you can also consider incorporating other methods to convert your audience into potential initial users.
A giveaway is a proven way to convert a social media audience. For an app that is in the pre-launch stage, the giveaway can be a prize to selected initial users. For instance, you can award the first ten people who download your app with the designated prize, or choose one winner from the first 100 people to sign up to be notified of the launch. Whatever you decide the specifics of the giveaway to be, you need to make sure that to be entered, you need to either sign up to be notified of when the app launches, or to download the app when it comes out.
Two other important things to keep in mind when creating a giveaway are the legal aspect, and ensuring that you create a prize that is significant enough to get people to actually want to participate.
Credits or discounts
If your app uses in-app credits, is a paid app, or uses in-app paid downloads, you can provide incentives for your audience to download your app. For instance, you can create a campaign that grants anybody a certain number of in-app credits or a discount from the app itself if they download it on launch day.
With this, you must provide a call to action and a link to where they can sign up to be notified of the launch. Like with a giveaway, you need to make the incentive great enough to seem worth it to the audience. Furthermore, you must establish a way to give users personalized codes so they can redeem the credit or discount, as well as a way to accept them on the developer’s or app store’s end.
Social media is a useful platform for hosting competitions, and can be used in tandem with giveaways. For example, photo competitions, where people have to post photos of certain things relevant to your app with a specific hashtag to be entered to win a prize. You can then feature certain users on your app’s account which further increases potential user engagement.
No matter what optional tactics you use, you must first start with the basics outlined above in order to optimize your audience following and interest. If you consistently stay engaged with your audience and post intriguing new content that, always having the final goal of converting people into potential users, you’ll be well on your way to social media success. The use of giveaways, discounts, and competitions will only help further this success!