Want to promote your app or game on social media?
Social media is one of the best channels to raise app awareness and to promote your app. Sadly, managing social media accounts is a time-wasting process. It requires a lot of time to update and find contents to share with your fans and audience.
Luckily, we can use this awesome social media management tool called HootSuite. Here, I made a 5 step guide to help you use and automate your social media:
Before We Start: Social Media Automation Tips
Here are some few things you need to know first about automating your social media marketing. If you want to promote your app on social media, but don’t know where to start and don’t have any basic knowledge about automated social media marketing yet, I recommend reading this social media automation tips first.
This is not “set it and forget it” method
Remember the Ronco Rotisserie Oven’s famous tagline? Yup, set it and forget it.
Although there is some useful tools like HootSuite that can help you automate your social media marketing, doing a “set it and forget it” approach to digital marketing world is not always going to work. Social media automation tools should not be treated like your favorite chicken oven.
The primary goal of automation tools is not to entirely eliminate your task but to help you work more efficiently and to also reduce your spending time. Most social media scheduling and other automation tools can save you few hours of work and allows you to invest your time to your other task which will make you more productive.
This guide is “semi-automated” method
Semi-automated method? Don’t worry; I just made up that term.
What I mean is, this method will save you time, but it won’t magically manage all of your social media marketing tasks. It will automate your social media postings, make finding contents to share on social media much easier, and make your social media profiles active but never forget them.
First and foremost, know your goal.
What do you want to achieve?
Do you want to direct them to your app landing page? Do you want to have more fans and followers? Do you want to reach more of your target audience and users? Do you want to keep your social media profile to be active as possible? Do you want to keep your loyal app users engaged?
Always identify your goals first. This method will save your time and money while also making your social media marketing strategy robust and efficient. Sometimes, you don’t need to have the best and perfect plan to promote your app on social media. Knowing your goal alone can bring you further.
Know your audience
Know your audience and target users.
Never waste your time building and create a social media automation strategy if you aren’t reaching your audience and using a wrong channel or platform. So before anything else, please do consider your audience. Here is a real insight into which social media site or networks gamers prefer. This data is gathered by the guys excellent in GlobalWebIndex on 2014. If you want to read more, you can read the summary on AdWeek: Gamers are Highly Active on Social Networks, Prefer Facebook to Twitter [STUDY]
Know your best posting time
Identifying your best time to post social media contents will make your social media strategy.
If you are already using some social media management tool, you can analyze your analytics to know what is your best time to post. But in case you don’t know what is your best posting time on social media yet, we can this guide from CoSchedule (one of my favorite blogs): What 16 Studies Say About The Best Times To Post On Social Media.
Know When To Automate Content
Automating contents can become a habit, and it’s tempting just to automate all the social media posts right?
You should understand that not all contents are meant to be automated, that’s why I said it is a semi-automated guide earlier. There is no exception to this; even you are small or one of the top dogs on your niche. Again, the best way which contents to automate is to examine your analytics.
If you don’t have any idea where to start, I highly recommend this awesome rule proposed by TA McCann: 5-3-2 rule of social sharing. This rule suggests that for every ten social media posts, five should be relevant or interesting contents by others, three should be relevant content by you, and two should be personal and non-work related content that humanize your business.
It’s not the most solid plan but consider using this rule if you don’t know where to start or want to try some experiment.
In case you are wondering, my posting schedule on this blog is to post three social media contents per day. It’s either one content from others and two from my blog or two contents from the other and one content from my blog. I know it’s not solid, but it’s ideal for my working schedule.
A Website/Landing Page Is Huge Addition
I highly recommend having a landing page or a website.
The essential benefits are having relevant pages like contact page and about page. But aside from setting up your app’s basic information, there are a bunch of things you can also do to promote your app for just having a website alone. You can add a landing page or sales page, embed your app trailer or demo videos, blog about your progress, publish guides and tips for your app which can boost your app’s online presence and credibility.
How To Promote Your App On Social Media With Free HootSuite Plan
This method will:
- Not cost you money. It’s totally free.
- Semi-automate your social media marketing for your app.
- Make your accounts more active and lively
- Boost your social media engagement
This method is tried and tested by me (LOL), a not so impressive and influential source but hey, you can always try it for your app. Some experts may raise their eyebrows to this method and for sure, there are “easier” ways around the web. This method is just my personal preferred method, and I like to share it with you guys.
Why Use HootSuite?
What makes me prefer HootSuite is its “stream” feature. Streams can make your HootSuite your ultimate social media dashboard where you can use your live feed on different social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can retweet, like, direct message and comment straight from your HootSuite Stream. It’s like using all your social media accounts at the same time. So let’s begin our step by step guide to promote your app on social media with HootSuite:
Step 1: Connect Your Social Media Accounts
Connect your Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus accounts to your HootSuite account.
In HootSuite’s free plan, you are allowed to connect up to three social media profiles. Like I said earlier, identify first which social media networks your target audience or target app users lurks around and most active. If you don’t know where to start, we can always go with the most common social media platforms which are Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
You can easily find the “Add Social Network” button on the top. From there, you can easily add your social media account to automating posts. Remember that Free accounts only allow up to three profiles, and as I mentioned earlier, if you don’t know where your target audience lurks around, the norms are Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Step 2: Customizing Your Stream Dashboard
Let’s add some stream!
So here is the feature I’m talking about earlier. For me, HootSuite’s Stream feature are innovative and makes finding contents you can share on social media much easier.
Why are Streams important?
Never run out of contents to share on social media.
If you are trying to promote your app, aside from web app reviews and your blog, most of the time, we don’t have much contents or articles to promote on social media. Promoting other’s posts is an excellent way to build a relationship, make an influence and keep your social media account active.
Another good thing about the stream is you can segregate them using tabs. Optimizing your tabs will make your dashboard much efficient, cleaner and prettier. Not really important but I recommend having three to four streams per tab. Having many streams on one tab just overloads my eyes, but It’s really up to you.
First Tab: Add Your Social Media Profile’s Stream
For your first tab, add your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. news feed/home/timeline to your HootSuite dashboard.
Adding these streams will save your time instead of visiting your social media accounts one by one. From your first tab, you can do almost all you can do like on your social media account. For example, you can reply, retweet, like, direct message and more for your Twitter account straight to your stream. You can also share, like, and comment on your Facebook.
Your first tab should have one stream each for Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. It should look something like this:
Second Tab: Add Streams From Twitter (Optional But Highly Recommended)
For your second tab, you can add streams from Twitter. The second tab will act as your social media listening tool for your Twitter account.
Create A New Tab
Creating your second/new tab on HootSuite dashboard is easy and no brainer.
Add Twitter Mentions Stream
Including this will make engaging easier.
Whenever someone mentions your Twitter on their posts, you can easily see them in Twitter Mention Stream. From there you can retweet, like and reply to them.
Add “Influencer Twitter List” Stream
Is this “influencer twitter list” relevant? For me, yes.
Creating your Twitter list should be included on your checklist. Find and add influencers, columnist, bloggers, authors and sites that are relevant to your niche. You can use this list as another source of contents you can share. Adding them to your list can also make your Twitter account under their radar as they will be notified when you add them to the list.
Keep engaging influencers. Like and retweet their contents and they might share yours too, but don’t expect them to do the same thing.
Add “Followers” Stream
What makes even better than engaging influencers? Engaging with your followers!
Engaging with your followers is probably one of the best ways to level up your social media marketing. From your “Followers” stream, you can always do the same thing like on other Twitter streams. You can reply, like and retweet on their recent posts. The good thing is, you can also direct message them right on your dashboard.
Your second tab should look similar like this:
Third Tab: Add Other Streams
For your third tab, you can stream from different sources.
Building your third tab is the part where we can fully maximize the power of “Free” HootSuite plan. Your third tab will serve as your daily newspaper or magazine where you can quickly pick contents, news, and articles on your favorite websites or networks.
Create Your Third Tab
As usual, create a new tab. Remember, always rename the new tabs you create on your preference to have a more organized look.
Add Other Social Media Streams
Aside from Twitter streams which we used on the second tab earlier, you can also add Facebook and Google Plus streams. There are not many available streams on these two social media networks (Facebook and Google Plus), but if you are following some Facebook Page or Google Circles, you can also add them to your HootSuite dashboard.
Add Some HootSuite Apps
What are HootSuite apps? Think of it as “extensions.”
Most of the HootSuite apps allows you to integrate other application or networks you are already using outside of HootSuite. Although HootSuite does not enable you to post on connected apps right on your compose message field, integrating your account with apps is a good way to save some time instead of visiting number of websites.
Some apps are premium which is paid, but there are a lot of apps in their library that offers free options to integrate your account. Here are some useful HootSuite apps you can include on your third tab, you can choose what you find helpful but remember to have only three to four streams per tab. So are some few useful HootSuite apps:
- HootSuite Syndicator
- Tailwind for Pinterest
Your overall third tab should look something like this:
Step 3: Setting Up Your AutoSchedule
Since we are doing some automation on a free HootSuite plan, what we will do is to schedule posts while also using HootSuite’s AutoSchedule feature manually.
Posting Schedule Template
Disclaimer: I highly recommend you to identify the best posting time for your target audience. But if you need a quick and easy template, this guide is just right for you.
For this method, we will use my on-the-go posting schedule. For me, it’s simple, doesn’t require that much effort and beginner friendly. If you are a complete beginner, you can use this template. Here is how my default posting schedule goes:
- Frequency: 3 Post-Per Day on all social media accounts
- Time: Default time is between 10 am – 6 pm EST or customize your time based on your audience location
- Content: At least one relative content from you
- Visuals: Every post should have visuals like images or GIF
Like I said earlier, identify first your best posting time to make your schedule reliable as possible. If you don’t have any posting schedule yet, you can follow my posting schedule template here. Just a bit of disclaimer, this isn’t the most efficient strategy, and I recommend customizing your posting schedule based on your analytics or following and experimenting with other’s suggested plan.
Why 3 Post Per Day?
The reason I recommend posting three contents per day is that this is average suggested posting frequency for Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. You can read more here in Buffer’s article: How Often Should You Post on Social Media? See the Most Popular Research and Tips. To save you some time here are the key takeaways:
- Twitter – 3 Tweets a Day: Based on Social Bakers study where it analyzed 11 thousand tweets from global brands on data ranges from May to June 2013, engagement slightly decreases or drop a bit after your third tweet.
- Facebook – 2 Facebook Post a Day: Buffer suggest to have 5 – 10 post per week or roughly 1 – 2 Facebook post per day based on studies also made by Social Bakers back from 2011.
- Google Plus – 3 Google Plus Post a Day: “The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get.” Based on the average out of two data sources, Buffer suggests having at least minimum of three Google Plus post at most.
With the above data, it is safe to say that posting three times a day on three most common social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus) is a good posting frequency.
Why Post Between 10 AM – 6 PM EST?
Looking back to the social media automation tips earlier, I added some useful graphics from CoSchedule about the ideal post day and time. The chart suggests to post on Facebook between 9 AM to 3 PM, tweet between 12 PM to 6 PM, and to post on Google Plus between 9 AM to 3 PM.
Based on those data, I conclude that the best time to post on these three social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus) is between 9 AM to 6 PM. It covers the earliest time to post on Facebook and Google Plus while also covering the last hours of Twitter’s suggested tweet to post. But why am I using and recommending to use 10 AM – 6 PM EST?
Minding the time zones
So the best schedule to cover all the suggested time to post/tweet is from 9 AM to 6 PM, but we should mind the time zones, right? People with most online activity resides on time zones Eastern and Central so it is better to optimize our posting schedule on these time zones.
If we are going to use the schedule 9 AM to 6 PM, it will look like this: 9 AM – 6 PM EST is equivalent to 8 AM – 5 PM CST, 7 AM – 4 PM MST, and 6 AM – 3 PM PST.
It’s a good one because none of your posts will be sent too late on all the U.S time zones but your first post is too early, especially for PST. 9 AM EST is equivalent to 6 AM PST, posting a social media update on 6 AM is just too early. Imagine receiving a notification about some social media post that early.Would it be annoying for some people, right? That’s why I always use 10 AM – 6 PM EST for my default scheduling.
Would it be annoying for some people, right? That’s why I always use 10 AM – 6 PM EST for my default scheduling. Again, I highly suggest optimizing your posting schedule based on your audience time zones and online activity.
Step 4: Pile Stocking Your Contents To Share
After customizing your schedule, you should now pile stock some contents.
How To Create Contents On HootSuite
Composing new message on HootSuite is very simple. Right on your dashboard, you can quickly see the “compose message” on the top of your streams. From there, you can write new contents, attach media, choose account where you want to publish and so on. Remember to choose the social media you want your content to be published.
Save it to drafts
Every time you write, new content make sure you save it to drafts first. Keeping the posts will allow us to plan our content better while also giving us the option to keep a copy of that content. Maintaining a copy of your materials will make it easier to recycle some posts.
What Contents Can You Share On App’s Social Media Accounts?
The common problem for us, app entrepreneurs is we don’t have much content to share on social media sites. It would be time-wasting to write every day or week as we have so much work to do while hiring a writer isn’t always viable due to our budget limits. So what contents we should share?
Common App Promotion – A typical approach would be like this, a promotion without value or engagement. A tweet about your app might not be the best to engage with people. It’s not the best content you can share. I’m not saying don’t do this but if you are going to, don’t over do it.
There are few remedies to lack of materials to share, and one easy solution is to analyze what your competitor is doing on its social media profiles. You can take a peek and analyzed which contents they are publishing on their profiles. You can also copy what leading app publishers are doing, another good thing copying top publishers is they often hire real experts.
Let’s take a quick look what are top publishers currently posting on their Twitter accounts:
Guides (Clash of Clans) – Look at those damn retweets and likes! Clash of Clans post some quick tips and guides for their app users. What 0makes that post even interesting is that content is from YouTube which makes the guide much easier. This kind of post will add value to your gamers, promote both the guide and your app while also interacting with them on social media.
Support/Help Desk (VainGlory) – Love how Vainglory uses their Twitter account to update their gamers what is currently happening on one of their servers. The results? Their users love it. It shows how quick they will react to this kind of situations which adds a little bit of “professionalism.”
Reviews (Reigns) – Give and take. If someone just did a review or mentioned your app or game, you “shall” always give back. People who spend the time to review your app alone is a huge boost on your promotion, so always find a way to thank them.
Updates (Firefly Studios) – Give them head ups! Firefly is currently working on one of their games in development which they were actively updating on their Twitter account. This will totally help you build app awareness, and hype for your soon-to-be publish app or game. If you are planning to launch some updates on your app or game, you can also do the same. You can post some teaser and patch notes on what’s new about your latest update.
App Features (Spotify) – Share some of your features on social media! Spotify is using some of their playlists as content to share on their social media profiles. It’s very basic examples of what materials you can share on social media and Spotify is nailing it.
Events and Holidays (Google Play) – Here is a good tweet how Google Play interact with its follower on Twitter in Batman Day using the hashtag #BatmanDay. Using events and holidays like this is one most common strategy to promote your brand (or in our case your app) in social media. You can also reach a broader audience by implementing this kind of strategy.
Quick Tips For Creating Social Media Contents:
What Is it For Them?
Always ask yourself how your audience will react with the quality of your content. On this way, you can easily visualize the outcome of your contents. You can try to ask questions, join discussions, make them feel good with news, tap their emotions, leverage controversy, use memes, participate in the pop culture, debate, rant and so on.
Always Use Visuals
The image above is a snippet of the infographic from Quick Sprout. If you want to learn more and see the whole content (highly recommended), you can check it out here: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Visually Appealing Content.
Images, GIFs, video, posters, etc. the thumb rule is, always include visuals if necessary. Relevant visuals maximize and boost your engagement and conversion. If you want more ways to use visuals in your social media marketing, I summon this awesome article from Social Media Examiner: 26 Ways to Use Visuals in Your Social Media Marketing.
If you want to create amazing and cute visuals that you can use on your social media. I highly recommend using Fotor. I reviewed them in my previous article, so be sure to out the short review here: 10 Free Tools To Promote Your App And Game On Social Media.
What’s good about Fotor is its a free plan for everyone, an easy interface and the ability to create top-notch images to promote your app. You can use their “stickers” to make high-quality and engaging images which are perfect for creating an image for certain event or holiday!
Site Link: Fotor
Hashtags are probably the best way to connect to people talking or posting about the same thing. Using hashtags can extend the reach of your social media posts. But that doesn’t mean we should just throw all hashtags on our posts. Remember to keep it relevant and narrow down your target audience with hashtags so you can achieve better engagement.
If you want to have some better hashtags on Twitter, you can use Tweetchup. Tweetchup offers a free plan for everyone so be sure to try them out.
Step 5: Scheduling Your Contents
The part where automation happens. After pile stocking some materials, it’s time to schedule your contents to share finally. Also, remember that this guide is following my scheduling template which is to share three posts per day with at least one content from you.
Go to your Publisher>Drafts
First, you want to go to your Publisher. You can do that in the menu on the left sidebar; the Publisher is the one with the paper plane icon. After that, go straight to your Drafts.
Scheduling Your Own Social Media Contents
So, you’re in the drafts now. You can see all your saved contents here that we discuss on step 4. Click the “edit” on the content you want to schedule so we can finally set it. After clicking the “edit,” the content will now pop-up. Click on the “scheduling” or the calendar icon and then choose what day you want that article to be published. Remember always to toggle the “Retain a copy of draft message” checkbox if you want to recycle it for the future.
Good job, you have one content scheduled for publishing. It’s a good start. Remember always to toggle the “Retain a copy of draft message” checkbox if you want to recycle it for the future.
Scheduling Contents From Other Sources
It’s time to use your Streams. After scheduling your content, go back to your stream and find materials you want to share. The problem is if you just click the retweet button, it will be retweeted instantly and not be included in your scheduled content.
Here is a quick example how to schedule other’s content:
So I’m browsing my streams and saw this awesome tweet from AppsFlyer and of course I want to add them to my scheduled contents. On this way, whenever the content is finally published, I will be noticed by AppsFlyer while also helping them promote their content. So you want to click the little arrow on the right side of the retweet button. After that click “edit” and the message composer will pop-up.
From here, you can modify the message and also auto schedule the content you want to retweet by clicking the AutoSchedule button. The button will turn green which means the AutoSchedule is on. And there you go, you have one content from the other users right on your HootSuite dashboard.
Scheduling Contents From The Web
So, you are currently browsing some web pages and found a very useful content you want to share it on your social media, but it will take some time. What a hassle, right? Gladly, there is a HootSuite Chrome extension called Hootlet. Hootlet allows you to instantly share contents around the web without going to your HootSuite dashboard. You can edit and auto schedule the content you want to share. Such a relief.
Chrome Extension Link: Hootlet
Check Your Scheduled Posts
If you want to see your scheduled contents check if everything is fine or want to edit some of the scheduled contents, just go back to your Publisher then to Scheduled. The highlighted contents with a clock icon mean that those contents are auto scheduled. If you follow the guide, your scheduled contents should look like this:
Last Tip About AutoScheduling
Don’t schedule too many contents. I suggest to only schedule contents that are good for one week. Keeping your schedule flexible will allow us to post only the freshest contents while also enabling us to customize it easily anytime.
So I think I will wrap up guys. After 4500+ words, there you have it, the guide to promote your app on social media with free HootSuite plan. Remember to customize your automation based on your goals, audience, and schedule. If you have any questions regarding this guide, just let me know in the comment section below. If you somehow love it, please do share it! Thanks, have a great day.
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