How to Build a Community Around Your App

After we discussed about Word Of Mouth and User Generated Content we continue with the series of articles related to bonding with users. Now we are talking about creating a community around your app. Managing a community and allowing users to connect with each other provides trust for your brand and in the same time you generate a phenomenon around your app. The trick is not to show them how your app works, but to encourage users to improve their lives using your app. Our following step – by – step guide will show you how to build a community and when is the right time for every move.

Start With Knowing Your Users And Audience (Really!)

The first step for building a community is to be aware that you need to invest a lot of time to connect with possible users. If you struggle to juggle the development tasks and you don’t know when you are going to handle the community then don’t even think about starting it. But, if you know that you will be there for your audience then let’s proceed.
First, you must be close to them and to find out the main interest that brings people together. Don’t talk, just listen. People are ready to share their feelings in any circumstances. After you find out how you can help them through your app, associate the idea with your community. The goal in having a community is to offer and receive insights about a topic, in this case your application. An effect of creating a community is the amount of information you gather after user signs in to your platform and, in the same time, you increase your user base.

Invest In Content Marketing

A smart strategy is to use content marketing because it offers you a hint about users’ concerns. If you have many apps this is a great solution to promote your entire brand and to manage the marketing campaign easier for all of them. The main requirement is to post regularly. If you provide value through your content you earn new adepts that will get confidence in your skills and they will understand that you are there to help them. A great example is Evernote team, a mobile app that helps you take notes in an innovative way, which created some videos for YouTube channel to help people realize they need the app to make their work smoother.

Image Source: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote

Image Source: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote

 

Give Them a Platform to Communicate

Now that you have the focus point of your community create a space to handle the interaction. Whether you build your own platform or you use other ways of organizing groups the target is to have a virtual place to meet with the persons who share the same interests.  Nike+ is a platform created by Nike which encourages people to be active, to be motivated and to be healthy. It is built around its app Run, which offers distance tracking, calories and speed calculator. Even more, this platform allows developers to use Nike technology to build applications for Nike users. It isn’t about sports equipment or the app anymore it is about lifestyle gathering over 30 million members.

Consider In – App Community Building

Look at this chart provided by Statista with the most popular apps in the world in May 2016. What all these apps have in common? That’s right! They all provide the environment and reasons for people to get together in one way or another. The second observation is that Pokemon Go was launched in July, after this research but it follows the same pattern. It offers a scope and a place for people to meet. It seems that this is the key to success.

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Consider Online Community Building Like Forums and Social Fan Pages

If you are wondering how to manage your community you can choose forums or social fan pages where the discussion flows from person to person and everybody brings improvements to the entire content. Take a look to Forums section of AndroidCommunity to understand better. But, in the same time you have to offer your users new things that will encourage them to come back over and over again. Don’t be boring and enjoy the adventure.

Being Active On Social Media Is More Than Having Accounts

There is never too early to think about the methods of promoting your app. Start your actions from the moment you think about creating your app and grow your community in the same time you develop the app. Take advantage of social media benefits and you will find the right direction for your app.

Use UGC

User Generated Content (UGC) represents a form of content, either text, images or video provided by users of your application. Discover what people who use your app care about the most. After that you can create a campaign encouraging them to share their thoughts. This can be a fun or an emotional campaign. The key is to unify people with the same goal related to your app. A great approach would be to create a competition offering some incentives. This way people are motivated to join your community and to be part of the whole experience. Find out more about the best practices of creating a campaign with user-generated content in our previous article.

Image Source: https://hootsuite.com

Image Source: https://hootsuite.com

 

Ask For Feedback And Give Rewards

The good thing in having a community is that you always know the real feelings of people who use your app. Search for quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of members in your community if they don’t help you to improve your app and they don’t join your mission. Encourage them to share their opinions about your app and offer them special facilities within your app for those that make you move forward with your development plan.

Add Social Sharing To Your App

Another smart movement that needs to be made from development stage is to implement social sharing buttons. This is a great way to gather people and to show them how their lives will be improved by joining your community. Don’t wait for users to close your app and then connecting with their social accounts. You need to act when they are the most engaged and they are convinced about the quality of your app.

Give Them A Reason To Be Your Brand Ambassador

Now, that you offered them the ambiance and a topic to talk about, concentrate on the idea of word of mouth. We always say that users are the most effective marketers.

Image Source: http://www.crmtrends.com/loyalty.html

Image Source: http://www.crmtrends.com/loyalty.html

 

Have Something Unique

If your app is just like the rest in its category, then you have nothing. But if you give it a little extra touch that can reach to users’ interest, you have a winner. We mention again Slack which can be an example for all marketing strategies because it is so popular that it generated a survey called 731 Slack Users Reveal Why It’s So Addictive. This image concentrates the answers for the question: “What type of person do you think would benefit most from Slack?” The most frequent answers after the “teams” are “Anyone” and “people”. That says it all.

Image Source: https://hitenism.com/slack-product-market-fit-survey/

Image Source: https://hitenism.com/slack-product-market-fit-survey/

 

Reward Your Brand Ambassadors

It would be great if your community members would spread the word from the start but, to inspire them you can offer little rewards. Maybe some benefits when they use your app or some premium features which will engage them even more. Like Uber did with its campaign WhyIRide, to encourage its users to tell their story. “No matter what (or who) is waiting at the end, we’re here to help you get there.”

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Uber/status/649447146173956096/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Uber/status/649447146173956096/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

 

Give Them Freedom To Express Their Experiences

Make people feel that they are part of what you created. The social factor is very important in this situation. Offering people the liberty to create guides, tips and tricks videos or even to spread an innocent joke about your app will help you to create the community faster and effortless. Take the example from Mojang, the company who developed Minecraft. Its fans created videos on YouTube about the game that accounted for 31 Billion views, according to Tubular Insights.

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Moreover, if you have the ability to convince influencers in your domain to talk about your app through social channels, then users will be impressed and they will support you in the evolution of your app. Search for people who have something to say in your domain on Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Image Source: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-social-media-influencers/

Image Source: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-social-media-influencers/

 

Final Thoughts

We keep saying that developing a great app is not enough to be in the top of app stores. You need to build some strategies to convince people about the value of your application and some of them aren’t even expensive. This is the case of creating a community where you just need to put a great amount of time and a huge volume of creativity to be close to your users. The rewards will come not only for your app but for your entire brand.

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