After all of the investment and hard work that you have dedicated to the development of your social app, you need to make the project worthwhile: You need to ensure that mobile device users actually download and use it. To do that, users need to actually learn about it, download it, and install it. This can seem challenging when you are already up against hundreds of thousands of other app marketers who are trying to do the same thing.
If you’re willing to dedicate 10 days to building a foundation for the promotion of your social app, and if you use the right techniques, you can not only create a lot of hype that will help smartphone and tablet users will actually hear about it, but you’ll encourage them to actually download it, too.
Keep in mind that the key is in active promotion, so while your first ten days will be setting the scene, it will be up to you to keep it going over time with some quick maintenance efforts.
Day 1: Create a micro-site. This needs to be mobile-friendly and in one or two crisp, clean, search engine optimized pages, your social app needs to be effectively showcased to your target audience.
Day 2: Create a teaser website. Ideally, you should be doing this a couple of months ahead of the actual launch of your app, but it’s better done late than never. The idea is to encourage people to register for news and updates and provide their email addresses so that you can let them know about the launch of the app on various platforms, and other important promotions. Use this communication sparingly. You want to create hype, not frustration because you’re emailing too often. Only the biggest promotions should be emailed to subscribers.
Day 3: Start a blog. Again, beginning earlier is better than later. Link the blog to your micro-site to help to send traffic in that direction. Make your content interesting and relevant instead of being promotional. Write something that people want to read. People don’t want to read commercials. Keep this up regularly and search engine optimize it in an organic way. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a professional writer to do it for you.
Day 4: Create social media accounts. Create accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and everywhere else you feel that you can keep up relevant content. Promote your app here and on your own personal social media profiles several times per week, but keep the posts relevant. Exclusively hard selling in your posts will cause more people to “mute” you than to check out your app.
Day 5: Come up with a product video and create it. It should be unique, personal, funny, or otherwise appealing. Describe the app in a way that will make people think or in a way in which they will be able to relate. Do something that they’ll want to share with their friends over social media.
Day 6: Personally connect with journalists. While PR blasts are all well and good, you’re far more likely to get a journalist to pay attention if you communicate with them individually instead of hoping that one will spot your press release and pick it up.
Day 7: Dialog with bloggers. Create a personalized communication that requests that they blog about your social app or that they at least allow you to guest blog on their site. Pay close attention to bloggers who write about topics that apply to the target market for your type of app.
Day 8: Engage with review sites. Pitch your social app to some of the top app review sites. Again, do this individually instead of copy-pasting the same message to them all. Nobody wants to hear from a robot. Even a mention on one of those sites can create hype, so they’re worth your time.
Day 9: Get on Vine and hashtag with #howto. That is nearly always among the top trending hashtags on Vine, so create some awesome six-second how-to videos for your app and start to build your own series.
Day 10: Launch a contest. Get people to share and tweet your content over their social media profiles so that your promotions will spread. Tell people that you’ll draw the name of a participant at random and they’ll get a promo code for a free download of your app (assuming that it is a paid one) or that they will receive another similar type of prize such as a free upgrade or free in-app purchase.
Robert Chang is the Director of Engineering at SETA International, a global software solutions company. SETA is a proven systems integrator, which specializes in custom software and application development, onshore-offshore staff augmentation and quality assurance testing. Read more from Robert on the SETA blog.