The iTunes App Store will soon have one million apps and yet Apple still hasn’t found a great way to give visibility to all the app developers who deserve it. Only a small percentage of developers are lucky enough to get a featured spot by Apple on iTunes.
Developers without a hefty international advertising budget must find innovative ways to market their apps. It helps to recruit a crowd to spread the word about new apps. The easiest and most affordable way to reach that crowd is through social media.
To make a social media campaign effective for launching apps you need to start early. Even before you have a product, you can get out there and start building up a community.
Seven reasons app developers should start early promoting their apps on social media:
- Grab your name.
Great names on Twitter and Facebook get taken quickly so as soon as you have an idea for your brand name, secure that name on all relevant social media platforms.
- It takes time to build your social sites.
Choosing your platforms and building your sites take a bit of time. You will want to think about this well before launch day. What kind of content will you post? Which images will you use for cover photos and avatars? Plan a strategy and then build your social sites with quality content.
- It takes time to gain followers and create a community.
Let’s say you create the perfect app for teachers who teach 4th grade Spanish. You’ll need to connect with these teachers online well before you launch. You should join some teacher groups and post content that they find useful. Contribute to their conversations via Twitter chats. If you do this for six months, you’ll gain a decent number of 4th grade teacher followers. If you do it for a year, even better.
- Connect and support reviewers and influencers.
Reviewers are swamped with app submissions. If you want to stand out from the crowd, start supporting your favorite influencers on social media well before your app is released to help your app get noticed.
- Build a credible brand.
As with all product launches, having a strong brand will help people trust that what you are offering is valuable. Putting your name out across social media with a consistent message — well before launch — helps people know who you are and what you represent before they see your app on launch day.
- Create buzz.
Start the buzz early. Artgig Apps posted, tweeted, and announced the anticipated launch of the Mystery Math app months before it hit iTunes. They even offered their social media followers the chance to give input as to which icon to use for the App Store. This gave some ownership to their followers and got everyone – even reviewers — excited about the launch.
- Launch social before you get too busy.
It’s easy to think during the first month of development that you can wait a few months before starting your marketing campaign, but those last few months of development can be the busiest time. Start social media early and get a head start on marketing. It will be worth it in the end.
More time equals more followers.
The good news is that once you have your social media presence established, there are many great tools to make it easy and efficient so that you still have time to actually create your app. Stay tuned to our blog and we’ll share some of those tools with you.