Social media is a powerful tool, and if you’re on a shoestring budget, it’s probably your main form of publicity. When done right, social media can make a business. When done wrong, it can break it. Here are some good rules to follow in your social media campaign:
- Facebook is the most popular platform. Put your time and effort into making your Facebook count. Be there at least once a day, preferably more often.
- Have a Twitter account and monitor it. A lot of people use Twitter for customer support issues. Your ability to handle customer support well over Twitter is crucial because it’s widely visible and easily searchable. If someone asks a question about your app or has a problem, make an effort to respond promptly and politely. Even if you can’t resolve their problem, the efforts will be noted. Think about times when you’ve used customer service and they haven’t been able to solve your problem but they’ve been very sympathetic and friendly. Then think about times when you’ve used customer service and they have solved your problem, but only after giving you the runaround and acting like they were doing you a favor.
- Let your users be evangelists. Give them a great experience, and those who are truly drawn in by your app will talk about it, tell all of their friends about it, and spread the word. The theory is that people want to make the world a better place. Give them a good product, and they’ll want to tell everyone about it.
- Encourage customers to share their experience on social media. TurboTax recently added a feature which asks users to rate their TurboTax experience on Facebook or Twitter as they’re finishing up their tax forms. Many users willingly post positive product reviews on their Facebook walls or Twitter feeds if you just catch them in the correct part of their workflow.
- Don’t talk all about yourself. Give people content that’s interesting, informative, or humorous. If customers know that they’ll always get a laugh by checking your Facebook page, then they’ll keep checking back. If the Facebook page gives information about how to do things that they might need to do, again, it gives customers motivation to check back.
- Don’t delete criticism. First, it lends authenticity. Imagine if you went to Amazon to look at product reviews for a problem and there were 100+ reviews, all five stars, all glowing, without even the slightest criticism of the product. I don’t know about you, but I’d be suspicious. Once in a while, something doesn’t work right, someone isn’t happy. Don’t hide it. Second, customers want to see how you handle complaints and issues. If someone writes on your Facebook wall “Your app stinks. I hate it,” and you write back “Everyone else likes it,” you’re sending a message that you don’t care. If you write back “I’m sorry you’re not enjoying our product. Please send me an email explaining the problem and I’ll see if I can find a solution for you,” you’re sending a message that the customer is important. Again, even if you can’t make the app do what the user wants, the fact that you try is crucial. (And, if you’re selling your app, if you can’t find a solution, refund the user’s money!)
- Videos videos videos! People enjoy watching videos. Give them how-to videos that show how to use the app. Ask for testimonial videos. Stand on your head while talking about your app. Make the videos interesting!
If you’re serious about your app, use the opportunity to use social platforms to get your app out there. Research what works, write down a strategy, and follow it. Remember that your strategy will only work if you keep up with it. Being there is the most important part of the process!