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Social media marketing strategies for apps

How to promote your mobile app on social media

Over 3.6 billion people use social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes across various platforms each day. Mobiles have become more and more important to our lifestyles,making social media a necessary inclusion in every app marketer’s overall strategy. A recent Nielsen report shared that 37% of social media users access these services from their mobile device — promoting your brand and growing an online community on social media is more essential than ever. In this guide, we’ll explore how to market your app on social media.

Why is your social media marketing strategy important?

With so many users choosing to spend their free time on social media, you have more opportunities than ever before to engage an active audience. There are several ways these tools can serve your company goals. Your mobile app social media strategy can grow your audience reach, increase web traffic, provide you with in-depth analytics and boost the medium options for your content (shorts, tutorials etc). A recent DataReportal report showed that social media plays an increasingly important part in brand research for consumers — Gen Z are more likely to turn to social networks than search engines, with trends suggesting that younger millennials will follow suit.

In comparison to more traditional channels, there are two key benefits to social media marketing that help with all of the above:

  • Ease of use: While the benefits listed above can be achieved without social media, these channels have unique opportunities to deliver your message in a user’s preferred environment.
  • User influence: Social media channels allow marketers to leverage word-of-mouth and user-driven positivity. According to a recent PowerReviews report, 94% of consumers now say customer ratings and reviews top the list of considerations in regards to factors that impact online purchasing decisions.

While other channels can be extremely effective in their own right, social media is unrivaled in its ability to offer these advantages. This should also be noted when developing your social media strategy for mobile apps.

Developing your social media strategy: First steps

Before taking these marketing channels by storm, you need to know how and why you want to form a social media presence. In other words, to develop a social media strategy you need to be able to answer a simple question: “What is a social media marketing strategy?” You can create a well-defined social media strategy by going through the following steps:

Define your social media KPIs

It’s essential that you define your purpose on social media. Whether you’re primarily looking to promote your brand, build an active community or generate leads, knowing how social media marketing aligns with your company goals is the first step to developing an air-tight strategy.

Know your target audience

Just like any other mobile marketing channel, you need to know who you are targeting before your strategy can develop. Creating marketing personas is a great way to help define your target audience, which in turn helps clarify your overall strategy. When using marketing personas to target users on social media, remember that the personas will continue to develop over time. For best results, you should always be learning from fresh data to refine your target audience and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Establish what you want to share

To successfully drive engagement on social media, you need to know what you plan to share. This is often a trade-off with your audience, whereby you must consider how the content you’re planning to share will be useful and engaging – not just useful to your company. When building an online community, the value of your social media content needs to be in addition to your app’s services. For example, just because a user loves to play “Pokemon GO” doesn’t necessarily mean they need to follow that game on Facebook. However, if the user can see that the “Pokemon GO” page is providing additional value (with updates, tips, events and competitions), they have an incentive to hit “like” and engage with that community.

Develop a unique social media strategy for each channel

Because no two social media channels are the same, you need a unique strategy for each app. This is time consuming, but well worth the investment. Thorough research allows you to understand how users typically interact with each social media platform, which will make a considerable impact on your results over time. To get you started, here are some essential facts about popular social media channels:

  • Facebook has 2.89 billion monthly active users, making it the largest social media platform in the world. Almost three-quarters of Facebook users log in every day, spending an average of 38 minutes on the platform. This daily usage helps companies establish prolonged engagement with users. 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups, but only “like” a total of 12 posts each month. This suggests that, when building a Facebook community, it’s worth your time to create a group in addition to an official page for your app.

  • Tik Tok was the most downloaded social media app last year with a total of 6 billion lifetime downloads as of December 2020. Creating short-form content can present challenges for brands as the content needs to be entertaining or educational while coming off as authentic. With Gen Z making up over 60% of the platform’s users, reliability and trustworthiness are a must when developing your TikTok marketing strategy.

    Shelly Chadha, content manager for Bytesquad, suggests that the content should be  “relatable and entertaining to young people” while reflecting their beliefs and behaviors. Additionally, "It is compulsory for brands to be up-to-date with the newest innovations in the content they create if they want to win over Gen Z hearts”. Ocean Spray, a beverage company, earned 15 billion media impressions via TikTok just from featuring in a popular short.

  • Twitter boasts 206 million monetizable daily active users as of Q2 2021, up 11% over the previous quarter. However, 92% of tweets from the U.S. in 2020 came from just 10% of the platform’s users. Usage can vary drastically, with a median user tweeting only once a month while the most active users tweet 157 times within that time.

    When promoting your app on Twitter, note that users have been proven to like brands that are inclusive and straight-forward. Twitter ad engagement is also up by 32% since Q1 2021, while cost per engagement is up 42%. Implementing video ads is a smart choice on Twitter as they’ve recently introduced a prediction model for the likelihood of video completion that prioritizes engaged, long-form views — driving Twitter’s highest video completion rates yet.

  • Instagram has over a third of American adults on its platform, with more than 500 million people using Instagram Stories each day. Six in ten Instagram users log in at least once a day, and spend an average of 29 minutes on the platform daily.

    Instagram can be a great channel for app marketers, with the average user visiting at least one business profile every day. One-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses.

  • Snapchat ranks as one of the most popular social messaging apps worldwide with  more than 293 million daily active users. Additionally, 71% of Snapchat users between 18 to 29 use the app daily. Snapchat offers many formats, including as filter ads (allowing users to adapt your brand or message as a filter), collection ads (showcasing a series of products in a tappable way) and story ads that appear alongside content tailored for users.

    When advertising on this platform you should create highly tailored content to cater to its large Gen Z and female audience. Your content should be limited to 20 second creatives while also being fun and exciting.

  • Quora may not be as big as Facebook or Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it should slip under your radar. By the end of 2020, the site had 300 million monthly active users, up from 200 million in 2017. JD Prater, Product Marketer at Quora, explains that the site has “a variety of companies leveraging Quora Ads to grow their business” which is “around 60% B2B and 40% B2C.” Companies using Quora Ads have experienced up to 4x more conversions.

    The largest group of Quora users are between the ages of 18–24, making up almost half (45%) of total users. With over 300,000 topics on the site, when advertising, it’s important to find the users within the topics, keywords and interests that reflect your app and target audience.

Social Media strategy for mobile apps: 4 questions to consider

What is your social media persona?

It’s important to ensure your social media output has a tone that is consistent and in-line with your overall brand image. While this sounds restrictive, it’s an essential measure that must be monitored and adapted for best results. Netflix’s Twitter account is a great example of how a company’s brand image can be leveraged to create engaging, shareable content. Netflix’s Twitter feed includes relatable memes that aim to increase brand awareness and help build the streaming service’s community. The account – which maintains a persona of an everyday fan – currently has 13 million followers.

The personality you convey to users on social media will have a considerable impact on engagement and growth. Ensure that you consider the purpose of using each social media channel and develop your tone over time for best results.

How can you leverage user-generated content?

User influence is one of the biggest strengths social media has to offer. User-generated content can be used to gain trust with your community and help your users enrich their relationship with your brand. To add to our Netflix example above, take a look at their Twitter feed and you’ll see that half of their content is generated by fans (in the form of retweets).

Along with user content that is generated organically, you can also make this one of your KPIs. For example, if you have a cooking app, you can create a hashtag where users can share how their meals turned out. This gives users the opportunity to share their creativity with the world while also showing your app in a positive light.

How can influencer marketing help drive growth?

Influencer marketing is an increasingly popular way to drive conversions and improve brand image. Influencer marketing is only growing in popularity and is projected to exceed $4.14 billion by the end of 2022. The success of this type of marketing can also be attributed to online users’ quest for authentic and transparent ads they can trust. In this article, eMarketer senior analyst Jasmine Enberg says: “In the early part of the pandemic, many marketers temporarily paused their influencer marketing campaigns. But, as the pandemic also accelerated many new creator-driven social trends, including short video and social commerce, marketers quickly resumed and are now increasing their spending on influencer marketing, as they realize that influencers are their ticket to reach those audiences.” This is backed by a recent Influencer Marketing Hub report, which revealed that72% of companies believe that the quality of customers from influencer marketing campaigns is higher than other marketing types. Check our article to learn more about influencer marketing and how it works.

How should paid ads be utilized?

While marketing an app on social media offers several options to drive engagements without paid ads, this is still a tried and tested method of reaching your target audience. However, implementing paid ads will have a different set of best practices depending on where you are placing them. To get you up to speed, each social media channel has resources designed to help you achieve your most ambitious targets. Here are few must-read articles (from the app developers themselves) for any marketer looking to promote their app on these social media platforms:

If you’d like to learn more about paid user acquisition, take a look at our complete guide. We also have an article on paid UA specifically for the gaming vertical.

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