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How to Successfully Promote an App on Social Media

Updated on October 19, 2021
6 minute read

Get the down low on downloads – find out how to drive more app sign-ups from social media!

Published October 19, 2021

Looking for creative ways to promote a mobile or desktop app?

Unlike physical products, promoting a digital product on social media requires some extra creativity. 

But with the right strategy, you can see huge returns. Here are five ways to drive downloads and secure those all-important sign-ups:

  1. Build A Strong Community 

  2. Offer Exclusive Tips and Tricks

  3. Encourage User-generated Content

  4. Work With Influencers

  5. Optimize Your Link in Bio

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#1: Build A Strong Community 

Holding a strong focus on building community is one of the best ways to accelerate your downloads.

For Sarah Boland, Founder and CEO of LifeLapse, creating and fostering community on social media is everything, especially since it’s not possible to communicate directly with her users on the app.

And they focus on building community across all social platforms — not just on one. We’re talking Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

“We see how excited our community gets when we leave a comment on their post or when we reply to their Stories,” explains Sarah. “We really love building those connections.”

When you take the time to foster (and retain) real relationships with your current users, you create a group of brand advocates. 

When you have a group of people advocating for your brand, engaging with your content, and organically sharing it with their circles, that’s when you know you’ve started something special.

#2: Share Insider Tips and Tricks 

No matter what your app category is, there’s an opportunity to reel in new users by sharing exclusive tips, tricks, and educational resources.

Sarah stands by using education as a marketing tool. 

Tap into your strengths and weaknesses. Is there a specific feature that your audience is most interested in? Is there any part of your app experience that causes confusion? What sets your app apart from the rest?

Use these questions as a jumping board and plan out your social content accordingly.

For LifeLapse, Sarah has found that there can be a learning curve, especially for new users.

So, instead of waiting for new users to download the app and then ask questions, Sarah and her team work hard to ensure there are plenty of existing easy-to-access resources on their social channels. 

“We share education on YouTube and break it down into smaller pieces of content for Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok,” she shared.

TIP: Repurpose long-form video content for different channels. If you have a YouTube video, use it to create content for Instagram Reels, stories, TikTok, and beyond.  

#3: Encourage User-generated Content

User-generated content (commonly referred to as UGC) is a great way to spread the word and encourage downloads. Plus, it makes for a nicely padded out content calendar.

TL;DR: UGC is any type of content that is created by your community. It can be videos showcasing your product in action, photos using filters from your app, or an organic post talking about your app and its great features.

Not only does UGC help save you time and money, but it also helps build community (hello tip #1!). 

Whatever the case may be, UGC is a great way to get the conversation going. In addition to spreading your app to further audiences, it also helps your audience feel a part of something.

Reposting UGC is one of LifeLapse’s main Instagram tactics on Instagram. 

“Many people follow us on Instagram for inspiration to see what other users are creating with our app,” Sarah explains.

“We like to share UGC, especially from first-time creators, because not only does it encourage people to try and create their very own stop motion, but our users love to see their work on our page.”

TIP: As you’re building out your calendar with UGC, use a visual planner to ensure all of your content is cohesive.

Later’s Visual Instagram Planner shows you exactly what your Instagram feed will look like with your future posts (both images and videos) in it — it’s a game-changer when it comes to nailing your aesthetic.

It lets you easily rearrange or swap out your posts, so you can find the perfect balance for your Instagram feed.

#4: Work with Influencers 

Another way to promote an app and encourage downloads is through influencer marketing — especially because 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations over the brands themselves.

Influencer marketing removes the barriers of traditional advertising because customers are introduced to your brand from a trusted source (the influencer) on an authentic, casual platform (Instagram).

By partnering with relevant influencers who have an engaging and authentic voice, your app is placed in front of people who are already interested in your niche, so it’s easier to make a real, lasting impression.

When searching for relevant influencers, take a look at your existing community. 

“We usually see a spike in downloads when an influencer creates a video with our app and they tag us.” explains Sarah.

It’s a good idea to find someone who is already interested and engaging with your brand. Look through your DMs, comments, and tagged photos to see if there’s anyone who is already a fan.

When you work with influencers who are already talking about your app organically, it's a perfect match.

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