5 Ways to Market Your Mobile App on Social Media

By Ian Heinig / 19 February 2018

More than 50% of people discover apps through their friends, family, and colleagues. Here are 5 social media tactics for marketing your app on social media and boosting app downloads.

Marketing your mobile app can seem daunting, especially when you consider that over 5 million mobile apps are available, and 25% of downloaded apps are never used after installation.

After the late nights building and preparing to launch your app, you’re committed to gaining users so your hard work doesn’t go to waste. 

Fortunately, social media is a great way to market your mobile app. It’s highly influential and creates buzz quickly.

In fact, more than 50% of people discover apps through their friends, family, and colleagues.

App discovered outside store
Source: Mobile App Marketing Insights

Of course, you’ll need to post regularly on social media to create a strong presence. A robust content marketing strategy will be critical for reaching your audience across platforms. 

Here are 5 ways to marketing your mobile app on social media:

  1. Use paid ads
  2. Explore influencer marketing
  3. Encourage user-generated content 
  4. Seek out reviews and ratings
  5. Understand the advantages of different social media platforms

1. Use Paid Ads on Social Media

Sponsored posts on social media are an effective way to reach an interested audience. 

Social ads drive 49% of mobile app downloads. Given the steady decline in organic reach across social media, boosting your visibility through paid ads is essential to converting users.

All social media platforms offer app installs as an advertising option, so choose the platforms most aligned with your audience. 

The more granular your targeting, the more marketing budget you’ll save and the greater your total downloads will be.

Use our 7-step guide to begin advertising on Facebook.

2. Explore Influencer Marketing

Pairing with influencers lets you present your app to an already engaged and receptive audience. 

Twitter reports that almost 40% of users have made a purchase at the direct recommendation of an influencer. 

According to the 2016 Bloglovin Global Influencer Survey, 59% of micro-influencers believe that Instagram is the most effective channel for engaging an audience.

Where influencers are image
Source: How Micro-Influencers Really Want to Work With Brands

For best results, consult with your influencer about how to best promote your app. 

Influencers and micro-influencers know their audience and have insights on how to activate their followers. Prepare your own suggestions, but listen to them.

3. Encourage User-Generated Content 

User-generated content (UGC) can persuasively illustrate the value of your app. 

As research by market reporting firm Nielsen shows, 90% of customers listen to peer recommendations – but only 33% listen to ads. 

Your aim is to show how the app can improve lives, so encourage photo and video submissions that highlight your app's practical benefits.

Here, workout app Fitplan uses a contest to generate UGC and exposure for a free trial download. 

Example of Fitplan app

Interactive tactics like these amplify engagement with current users while creating opportunities to invite friends and family into the fun.

4. Seek Out Reviews and Ratings

Promoting your best reviews on social media will directly encourage downloads.

About 60% of people think that ratings and reviews are the most important factor when deciding to download an app.

For example, the Facebook page for WiFi Map displays reviews from its users. 

Example of WiFi Map

Since only 40% of mobile users browse for apps in the app store, hosting reviews allows you to feature valuable social proof that would otherwise go unseen. 

If you receive a review from a beta tester or an app store accomplishment, share this praise on social media to boost your visibility. 

YouTube channels like Daily App Show or app review sites like Product Hunt are also great for acquiring highly visible ratings and new users.

Learn how to get your mobile app featured as Product of the Day on Product Hunt.

5. Understand the Advantages of Different Social Media Platforms

Each social media platform offers unique advantages that you can leverage when attracting users to your app.

Facebook Encourages Community Building

Creating a page on Facebook affords a variety of ways to engage potential users:

  • Feature promotions such as discounts, special offers, or referral freebies
  • Run contests or giveaways for passes and free trials
  • Post an engaging mix of expert blog content, high-quality images, GIFs, and videos

Joining relevant Facebook groups allows you to mention your app to a specific audience, as WiFi Map shows here.

Example of WiFi Map Facebook group

Making comments and recommendations in Facebook groups shows that you’re willing to help people and opens an opportunity to show how your app may benefit them.

When Facebook group members find value in their feed or receive a direct response from your brand, they’ll be primed and ready for an install.

Quora is another online question and answer forum that lets you show how your company and mobile app is a solution to a challenge or question.

Get started marketing your mobile app on Quora.

Instagram Users Gravitate to a Well-Rounded Aesthetic

As a visual platform, Instagram excels at generating hype through “sneak peaks.” You can post a video promo, a screenshot, or a website visual.

Sneak peaks are a great way to create interested users, since people love looking forward to what they can’t have right now. To maximize your reach, use up to 30 relevant hashtags and post a couple times a day. 

Try to find a balance between:

  • Entertaining content
  • App screenshots
  • How-to videos
  • High-quality photos
  • Feature explanations
  • Influencer shoutouts
  • Contests and giveaways

Since Instagram is a visual platform foremost, supporting great content with a strong aesthetic is  pivotal to growing your following. Pick a branded theme that will appeal to onlookers and sustain the interest of current users.

Need help creating social media artwork for your Instagram business page? Here are 4 free apps for creating social media artwork.

Below, meditation app Headspace uses its Instagram to share content in an approachable way.

Example of Headspace Instagram

Headspace's Instagram features videos, images, and promos for books and Facebook live sessions.

Get familiar with other ways to market your mobile app on Instagram

Twitter Works Well for Acquiring Users

Since Twitter hinges on the exchange of ideas, you can use it as an interactive platform to acquire users. Share content, update your followers with news, and ask about their experiences with the app.

Encouraging a dialogue will help you sustain app usage and spark engagement. 

You could ask users to Tweet their feedback individually, or distribute a poll and then share the results.

The more engagement and social proof you generate, the more users you’ll attract.

You can also promote your app by using Twitter as a customer service platform.

Image of "71% of consumers with positive social customer care experience are likely to recommend the brand to others."
Source: Cooler Insights

As you grow, amazing customer support will translate into positive word of mouth. Showcasing your customer care on Twitter will cement your status as a caring company whose app is worth the download.

Promote Your App on Social 

Marketing your mobile app on social media requires content that’s memorable, sharable, and relevant. 

Social media users seek authenticity and value above all, so think like a marketer instead of a programmer. 

Highlighting the benefits of your app will develop a niche community around your app and help you drive downloads.

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