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Why you need MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and Prototype while developing your app?

Can’t wait to get your new idea to the market? Honestly, the market is already littered with apps that went all-in and failed to meet customer needs.

In order to minimize the aforementioned risk and to show a successful “Proof Of Concept” (POC) to your investors. You need to launch the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) & Prototype as to obtain consumer feedback first and furthermore to modify your app based on those received comments and responses.

Mobile application development is a great example of MVP concept. Years ago, native apps were designed and coded according to customers’ specifications. However by the time the app got completed, customer and market needs might inevitably changed.

Now you have three choices: 1) You can build a basic app (MVP or Prototype), 2) enhanced, or 3) with ultimate level, all-in! To be a MVP, the mobile app only need those basic functions, by no means to have the fully featured product at the very beginning stage. Thus, when you start with the MVP, you can limit your risks, both time and money, by reducing your initial investment and on the other hand maximize your returns by producing a more desired finished product in future based on the MVP.

Although wireframes could show the blueprint and the texture of the design, nothing brings you closer to your desired app than prototyping. The app may look great on the screen, but you never know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Prototypes not only use to help on providing the “Proof Of Concept” (POC), more importantly as to show any usability flows behind the wireframes and the concept.

Are marketers underestimating the power of apps?

In a mobile-first environment, marketers need to ensure they are providing highly-customised mobile-friendly experiences both in-browser and in-app.

Google recently announced that this is the case in 10 major countries, including Japan and the US. According to research from the IMRG, mobile devices now account for 45% of all visits to ecommerce sites, and with mobile sales up by 27% in Q4 last year and climbing.

So what do brands need to do to gain agility in the mobile marketplace and increase conversion rates in an increasingly competitive market?

The shift in attitude has been monumental and the app market has grown exponentially over the last few years, with some of the largest companies on the planet depending on it.

Google’s recent statement that it has changed its algorithms to begin indexing mobile apps means that whereas before a click would definitely lead to a specific browser page, now it can lead to the appropriate part of an app, which massively reduces friction, creating a friendlier user experience.

When you consider that 89% of consumer media time is spent in apps, it is easy to see that if a brand is able to engage with a customer in app, then there will be greater loyalty when compared to doing so within a browser.

People constantly refine the number of apps on their device, compared to the vast swathes of pages they open within their browser, so having an app is often a mark of loyalty and signals that it’s a key step on that consumer’s path to purchase.

With this in mind, to a loyal customer, an in app advertisement is going to go a lot further than a standard banner ad on a web page. For the brand, getting it right will mean greater engagement, higher spend and brand advocacy through recommendation via social media and word of mouth.

Despite this, apps are an often overlooked resource. Although mobile browser optimisation is crucial, the technological similarity to desktop means that marketers are already well versed in honing their web pages and collecting data.

Native mobile apps however, are developed from the ground up and are hard-coded, requiring app developers to modify them ahead of marketers re-submitting them to app stores. However, marketers can take the following steps to begin optimising their native apps:

The personal touch. Use data to pinpoint specific consumers with user-defined in-app offers and preferential content based on multi-channel user-level profiles that combine information from every channel and touch point.

Optimise the experience. The effectiveness of app pages can be split tested to see what works best. The ability to swap in content in real-time will give more accurate and versatile results. Creativity is key as minor changes, such as the colour and shape of a buy button, could drastically affect conversion rates.

Dynamic data collection. Integrate tagging to your apps. By collecting data from app usage you can analyse it alongside other channels at the user level to gain nuanced insight to the consumer.

Forward-thinking marketers are increasingly realising that native app optimisation will pay dividends further down the line.

A smartphone screen is the first thing someone looks at in the morning, and the last thing they see at night, so it is essential that marketers get to the heart of what the consumer wants.

By using effective testing practices, clever use of data and subsequently delivering a personalised user experience in app, it’s possible to radically boost conversion rates.

The future of marketing is rooted in delivering tailor made experiences across every channel and touch point, be that on desktop, a connected TV or on mobile. Mobile apps are simply the next gold mine that marketers are sitting on, while waiting for the next stop in the consumer journey to become a reality.

How to Market Web Apps Online

market-web-apps

With more than 1 billion websites that are online every day, it is difficult to get the attention from people whom you want to market your product, especially if you’re still starting to grow your brand from scratch.

In the tech industry, there are already existing websites that are dominating the web in providing great content (blog posts, reviews, guides) to people they want to target.

If you’re a web app site owner, there are tons of things that you need to consider not to get behind from the competition and still attracting sales from your targeted customers.

In this post, I’d like to share a few tips on how you can market your tech-related website.

1.Choose a good hosting provider

If you’ve been blogging for quite some time now, you already know that a good hosting provider will positively impact your website in terms of providing life time website experience to visitors.

Server errors and issues brought by a bad hosting provider are some problems that you may encounter if you choose not to invest your money in a good hosting.

If you’re using WordPress, you can choose any of the listed hosting provider sites here. Find one that is most recommended (proven to provide high quality services) but is still affordable to pay in a monthly or yearly basis.

2.Publish useful content

It doesn’t mean that you are not a techy person, you can’t write any posts related to technology or web apps. In fact, a simple research on the most common problems faced by non-techy people (e.g. senior citizens) and sharing how to solve them in your blog posts could already be considered as a useful content.

A good example of a useful app-enabled accessories website is Appcessories. It consistently publishes news, reviews and resources about the latest tech-related accessories for niches like health, fitness & sport and cameras.

A list post like this is a one good example of content that requires only a small amount of time and effort to research and write about.

How to Spread the Word About Your App

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Marketing begins the day you put your mobile app idea into production. But not everyone has a budget for marketing. Contrary to popular belief, most effective marketing strategies don’t require any spending at all. How to put that strategy in place?

From the period before you launch your app to after it goes on the market, here are six important marketing strategies. While they may require time and perseverance, they involve little or no money:

1.Make your press kit pop. Your press kit should include information about the problem you’re solving, but not enough detail to completely give the product away. Key components include a high-resolution logo, sample design screens, an app icon, a press release, a microsite and a teaser video. Make sure you have a fantastic name and icon for your app that’s catchy and connects with the audience instantly. The first paragraph of the app description should be your selling pitch and app store screenshots should be customized to attract your customer.

One of the most under-rated, but highly effective strategies is app store marketing. Because a lot of people browse with keyword searches, select your keywords wisely by researching successful competitors.

2.Build an enticing microsite. These two to three page website aggregates all the information about the product. While a lot of downloads will come directly through app stores, a huge amount of traffic is driven through the web. For example, the Path app‘s microsite homepage greets visitors with the tagline: “Private messaging and sharing with friends and family” directly above a sign-up prompt at the top of the page. This is designed to hook new user as soon as they hit the landing page, before they’ve gotten all the information they need on the app.

3.Create a teaser or giveaway campaign. Build a teaser or giveaway offer into your microsite and invite people to share their email address to stay updated on when your app launches. This helps build a database of people interested in your app. For example, a teaser videothat came out before an app called Analog Camera came out last month, offered demos of how the app would work without going into a full explanation or revealing the release date. Instead the video lead you to a microsite with the message: “Sign up and you’ll be the first to know when Analog Camera launches!” — a clever way to gather potential customers early.

4.Keep content fresh. Do this by creating a blog linked to your microsite. This is important because blog posts are indexed by Google. Keeping your content fresh will drive a lot of inbound traffic to your website. You can also make your presence cohesive on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Digg and Stumbleupon by sharing your blog posts with an active audience. Always think about how your content can be of value to a follower. For example, Angry Birds’ social media strategy includes sneak peeks of new game levels and versions, special offers and real-life examples of people enjoying the game.

5.Build hype. Once your app is ready to be submitted to the app store, be sure to set a release date and plan publicity around the launch.

Get in touch with tech blogs and publications likely to write about your product. Personalize your email with links to the press kit and microsite. If you haven’t heard from them in a week, send a reminder. If they did not cover your product initially, reach out again after your launch with download statistics and customer testimonials.

Some popular sites like 148 Apps, App Advice and Macworld can help spread the word about your app. After it launches, write to them for a review of your app. There’s a large audience that reads recommendations online when deciding what to download.

6.Ask customers for feedback. The more positive the ratings are for your app, the better chance it has of being downloaded. That’s why it’s worth it for you to build a code into your application asking users to rate it. Make sure to include contact information at the end of your app description or use a software development kit such as Appsfire to let people send feedback from a notification inbox. You can then reach out to unhappy users, resolve their issues and ask them to leave a rating on the app store if they were satisfied. Converting unhappy users to happy ones will improve your ratings.

The main investment in these tactics is your time, persistence and creativity. Armed with these three qualities, you can get over a million eyeballs for your app in a very short time.

Top Three Inbound Marketing Strategies for Mobile Apps

Mobile. The very word makes some of us cringe these days. Everywhere you look in the marketing world, you see signs of it – mobile this, mobile that… Is it just me, or is it a bit overkill?

Sometimes, I feel like we’re pushing the idea of mobile to the limit. But then I look at the numbers:

  • There are currently 750,000 apps in the App Store alone.
  • These apps have over 40 billion downloads.
  • There are one billion smartphones existing in the world, and that number is growing.

2 Huge Markets - The growth in iOS and Android apps over the past 4 years

Whoa.

There are over one billion consumers looking for information on their mobile devices, and you know what works when consumers are looking for information? Inbound marketing.

In this post, I share the top three most effective inbound marketing tips app marketers can use to begin making waves in the world of mobile.

Inbound marketing wins in mobile

The opportunity to connect deeply with consumers through inbound marketing has never been larger than it is today, and mobile is fueling a huge amount of the growth. When it comes to apps, all you need to know is this: apps have already surpassed the web when it comes to consumer time-spent, and are second only to time spent watching television.

Time Spent in Mobile Apps Now Rivals Time Spent with Television - a multi-year comparison chart 1. Be social

By this point, we should all understand how important social is to any good marketing strategy. However, when it comes to mobile, social is just what we do as humans. We text and email like crazy. We ride the bus and check Facebook. We Instagram our lunches and Tweet our random observations while standing in line at Starbucks.

These days, to be mobile is to be social. This means that social is a perfect venue for conversations about your mobile app’s offerings. Let’s take a look at two of social’s leaders and how they can be used for mobile purposes.

Twitter

A while back, Nike ran a Twitter-focused experiment to introduce a new mobile app they’d created. They proactively shared their content and the app with likely consumers who were sharing their athletic activities on Twitter. The results astounded them. Their two week experiment yielded:

  • Over three clicks per outbound Tweet
  • A doubling of the positive ratings and reviews in the app store for their app
  • As many downloads from the Twitter campaign as their largest paid channel

Although Nike is a large company, the results of their campaign fascinating at any level. The last part is the most interesting: they received as many downloads from their social “experiment” as  they did through their largest paid channel. The ROI was extraordinary.

Facebook

It’s impossible to talk about the social landscape without bringing up Facebook. For mobile, Facebook can be incredibly important. For certain categories of apps (movies, tv, games, news, and others), connecting with Facebook drives a massive increase in revenue and engagement from users. Take a look at the data from some of the most popular apps who have integrated a Facebook login.

Engagement & Monetization Data from Popular Apps with Facebook Login

Facebook isn’t necessarily the best option for every app developer, but when it’s done well, it’s clear that integrating Facebook into your app can really improve your results.

2. Tell your own story

Consumers generally surf and search for apps from within the app store. As such, making sure that you’ve optimized your app store presence is absolutely crucial.  Getting discovered by a large audience of interested customers can be as simple as:

  • Selecting the right name
  • Investing in a compelling and memorable icon
  • Experimenting with categories and keywords, and
  • Testing and optimizing your app’s description (social proof in the description itself works wonders – take a look at the description that document signing app SignNow has crafted)

You must own your presence in the app store and also make it another channel for telling your app‘s story. Most app developers gloss over many of the important details that can affect downloads for an app. It’s important to not let the app store tell your app’s story for you. If you do, you’ll be missing out on a large marketing opportunity.

The app store is only one place to tell your story. Using your website and other channels to share why people use your app and what problems you’re solving is an increasingly powerful method of enabling app discovery, and it also makes your app seem more “human.”

Because apps are so exceptional at providing task-oriented solutions in small consumable packages, journalists and bloggers are actively searching for apps they can share with their audiences. The largest tech blogs and app review sites routinely drive as many installations as a feature in the app store. Take the time to produce content and information that will appeal to journalists and share your story in enough detail that they’ll discover your app and want to learn more. For a great example, take a look at how the small team behind Chewsy has shared their unique take on restaurant and dish reviews with publications like Forbes.By sharing your story with these outlets, it’s likely that your downloads will increase.

3. Court your audience of fans from day one

It should be clear that you want to own your story and tell it in the app store and elsewhere. However, there is another, more powerful route – having your customers tell great stories about you. Not only is this personally gratifying (nothing’s better than hearing from a customer that you’ve developed something that delights them), but word of mouth is incredibly effective. Consumer studies continue to show that recommendations from the people we know are trusted the most for the average consumer.

Data on the Most Trusted Advertising Sources for Consumer Decision-Making

Now, how do you get your fans to go tell their friends and say good things in public?

For many web businesses, this is an incredible challenge because there’s no centralized source for customers to share their thoughts. For mobile apps, that’s not the case – the app stores give you a great venue for this in the form of the ratings and reviews sections.

But how do consumers get to the app store to review your app? Despite the existence of easy opinion-sharing venues most customers don’t speak up.In fact,it appears that less than 0.1%of downloads result in a rating or review in the app store. Most consumers need a nudge – a reminder that they can share their thoughts and opinions.

This is why you should be proactively connecting with your customers from day one. If your app has a returning audience it means that there are people who are a fan of what you’ve built. Those customers are highly likely to share their fandom with the world, if you make it easy for them to do so.

The wonderful thing about developing apps is that you can use them as a direct channel to talk with your customers. Reaching out to your biggest fans inside your app, and connecting more deeply with them is a powerful strategy for increasing customer loyalty and motivating a group of evangelists.

Connecting with your audience of fans certainly increases the number of customers leaving great reviews for your apps, but it’s about more than just reviews. It’s about the recognition that we walk around with our smartphones all day long.

When we take a look at our phone in a meeting or open it at dinner, we’re around others, introducing them to apps we love. By communicating closely with your customer base, you can massively change your awareness and download trajectory. We’ve talked with a number of developers who can map their adoption geographically. Word of mouth, in the real world, is a major inbound channel for mobile which every app developer can influence in a meaningful way.

6 To-Dos before marketing your new mobile apps

Today, trying to develop your business without proper marketing is likeTrying to climb a tree to catch a fish. Mobile app marketing is no different in this regard. With so manymobile applications  being developed day-after-day, the probability of showing off your newly-developed application becomes lesser and lesser unless it is marketed really well.

Any marketing strategy requires proper planning and execution. Any individual, who really wants to make it big, has to develop a market plan that is tried and tested in other operations. In this case when marketing your apps, there are several questions you need to be asking yourself.

1.Know your Target Audience

As you know, mobile applications are available in a variety of categories like applications for students, mathematicians, astrologers, bedtime applications, kid’s education, cooking, multimedia, games and many more. So whom are you going to target? Who are the ones that might best utilize your app?

So targeting your audienceis the most important factor that might make or break your business. More often than not, your apps are more likely to succeed if they are a potential solution to people’s problems.

For example, if you have an app that can solve any of the modern teenage problems (say you have an app that can find solutions on the web for all teenage problems like smoking, drinking, and many more) then your target audience is the teenagers.

2.Let your Message be more appealing

The next big thing is how you get these products marketed or how you make them appealing to your targeted people. This is very important. Every piece of message you pass on has to be conveying and convincing. The value of your app has to be understood simply by the look of your presentation or writing.

Anything that is unique about your application has to be pointed out. This can be anything including features, sounds, animations and other functions. A lot of your success depends upon how well you explain your app. You may even popularize the smallest of advantages you see in your product.

3.The Pricing Factor

Another important factor that will determine your success is the pricing of your app. It is very easy to be carried away here. You should be careful not to over-price your app. Some people tend to do this hoping to prosper faster. On the contrary, this could backfire. You might end up gaining very little as there are few people willing to try out new apps digging deep into their pockets.

On the other hand if your product is competitively priced, you will have more people paying greater attention to your new invention. This will result in much more and longer benefits. You will have more people peeping into your product through referrals and other means and so that would mean long time prosperity.

4.Study your competitors

In the modern arena, this strategy cannot be ignored. Make a detailed study of all the competitors around you. As a beginner it would not be smart to challenge an experienced game developer or a professional programmer. Here, being mild and keeping away from the big boys would be the right thing to do.

And of course, if you are confident enough of your genius gems, you may go ahead and challenge them. But again, be careful as your skill might be challenged.

5.Making a Praise-worthy After-market Plan

Last but by no means the least, always make a praise-worthy plan that will yield the best after-market results. For example,think of the followers or the feedback obtained from individuals who have downloaded and used your app. These feedbacks are like gold. This will in turn attract or drive away users into your section. The more number of satisfied customers or the more positive feedbacks, the better are your chances of success. Again, people who are aware of your successful app will follow you to your next app development. There you have a readymade set of customers to test your new app yet again.

Here you see how one brilliantly marketed app, can help you in your next venture.

6. Utilize of Social Media

Social Media is a blessed tool or a boon to people involved in marketing. They can be used efficiently to build on any kind of marketing.

In recent times, the tools available for app marketing in social media have increased considerably. However, the above mentioned strategic ideas have to be followed in order to experience any kind of genuine success.

13 steps to perfecting your app optimization

When it comes to ASO, there are two types of people: one will admit to not having a clue what that is, and the other will tell you that it’s basically like SEO, only for Appstores. While the latter is partially true, the real story behind ASO is far more complex, deep and interesting.

Our purpose isn’t generating app-page traffic, but instead making sure your app is discovered by relevant, loyal users who will not only visit the app page but continue to install your app and use it on a regular basis. It’s not about traffic, it’s about conversion.

In other words: to truly optimize your app store page, you need to pay close attention to various aspects that will come into play during a potential user’s visit. The following list details the key steps in creating a creative, compelling and informative experience that will do just that:

Keyword research

Most organic traffic to your page will be the result of a simple App search, so give it all you’ve got.

App description

Potential users don’t know or care about keywords. They want the app asking permission to access their most sensitive information to be serious and smart. Don’t write text that might suggest otherwise.

App logo

When potential users scroll and examine different options, your icon is the first thing they notice. You have to stand out.

Screenshots

just like you would never use a bland, simple banner, don’t let such a crucial part of your app page become boring and predictable. Use screenshots to tell a story.

Video trailer

Your trailer allows users to see not only what your product does, but also how creative the people behind it are. Keep potential users both informed and entertained.

Competitive research

It’s always good see what the current standard is, and then do something completely different to become an Appstore superstar.

Reviews and 5 starts rankings

Users expect you to be ready with an answer in an hour, so if there are loads of reviews consider assigning a staff member to stay on top of it.

App Name

Only the first characters of your chosen title will be visible to users, so make it short and sweet.

Category

Your chosen category gives potential users a better sense of what your app does, and allows them to find you in a relevant search.

Price

If your app is on sale, make it part of your PR plan as well, and get featured on an “apps gone free” post.

Localization

There’s no “one size fits all” in ASO. Include local phrases, slang and cultural references to match each specific location.

Analytics

It’s a trial and error business. The saying “if you don’t try you will never succeed” was never more fitting.

For app developers to fully understand what drives potential users to install an app, think of your app page as a storefront on the busiest boulevards in your area and apply each part of our guide as if were a way of attracting window-shoppers. Focus on creating an emotional shopping experience for users and you’re bound to see the results right away.

3 Challenges for Mobile Apps: Getting, Inspiring, Keeping Users

Did you know that 20 percent of all mobile apps downloaded are opened only once? Marketers face three key challenges in promoting an app:

Getting new users
it’s not enough to add users. You also need to know where those users are coming from. What channels are more effective? When you know that, you know where to focus ad dollars. Getting this data can be a challenge when an app store is in the way.

Inspiring users with great experiences
Once your viewers have downloaded your app, what parts of the app are the most useful to them? Where do they find value? Viewers who understand and value the experience the app offers are more likely to stick with it.

Getting users to come back
On-screen push notifications are a great tool to let users know that your app has something new to share—perhaps a new trailer or other video—but half of all mobile users disable push notifications. Notifications grab a user’s attention, but not everyone likes that.

Marketers recommended that brands deep-link their app content, so that they benefit from search engine traffic. It’s a great way to get people to return to the app. Also, video providers can benefit from inserting milestones to measure how much of a video is viewed. Just because a video is located in an app is no reason to skip useful analytics.

How To Start A Successful App Business

The rise of mobile computing and technological innovations such as cloud computing have helped spur a new round of high tech entrepreneurship in creating apps. Few new companies or products actually makes it, but considering the characteristics of the most successful recent tech firms can be helpful in turning a good idea into a great company. The app industry is highly competitive and consumers are increasingly distracted and fickle. A successful app, however, can provide a great deal of wealth for its creators and its developers.

SUCCESSES IN THE APP BUSINESS, RISK AND REWARD
Apps can be a very large profit center. Apple reported in 2013 that customers spent in excess of $10 billion in its App Store. Today, there are tens of thousands of app developers around the world working independently, with start-ups, or big established companies all trying to come up with the next big thing. The competition to develop a successful app is certainly fierce, and there is no guarantee that even a great idea that is executed well will catch on and bring financial success. Even though some apps have made their creators multi-millionaires, the great majority of developers will not strike it rich. The odds of making it big in this business are depressingly small. Less than one hundredth of one percent of the millions of apps that are available will benefit from any sort of financial success.

According to Forbes, the average app developer produces somewhere between three and five apps, each one bringing in an average yearly revenue of $1,125 on Google’s platform, and $4,000 a year on Apple’s. A diligent programmer with five apps can thus expect around $20,000 a year before taxes. That amount does not account for the money and effort invested in creating those apps. With such meager earning potential, it can be difficult to build a team of talented developers and to create advertising campaigns aimed at increasing product recognition and boost the number of downloads. And then there is outside competition. For every category and sub-category of app, there exist numerous options to choose from. Making yours stand out and be the one to gain traction can be hit or miss.

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, was touted to be worth $6 to 8 billion by analysts in 2012, but by October 2014 the company had planned to lay off 16% of its workforce. Many other apps have seen their valuations drop as users’ short attention spans and increasing access to new offerings make them passé in shorter periods of time. In 2013, TechCrunch published a study which showed that 80%-90% of all downloaded apps are used just one time before being deleted.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL APP BUSINESS
With that in mind, the best place to start is with a good idea. While this may appear obvious, nothing dies harder than a bad idea. There may be a flaw in the logic of the concept, or it may not be feasible when put to use in the real world. Improving and building upon existing ideas can also be lucrative. Many first movers have found themselves overwhelmed by better copies.

Once the idea has been fleshed out, a business plan should be thoughtfully written and followed. A clearly defined business plan or strategy does not have to be complex or overly imaginative. It should be easy to understand,well thought out and easily implemented to describe how the business will function, earn money and grow. A sound financial discipline with budgets, realistic deadlines, and cost-benefit analysis, is critical. Many successful apps are free to download and may generate revenue by offering in-app purchases or through hosting advertisements. Some app developers offer a free version and then allow users to upgrade to a more feature-rich premium version which they can download after purchasing.

Co-founders, employees, advisors, and equity investors all are members of a team being formed to operate and manage the company. Having outside advisors who can give good, unbiased advice will often help take the firm to the next level. Advisors should not be afraid to challenge and hold founders to a high degree of accountability. New employees should be talented and ambitious, but also be a good fit with the developing corporate culture.

For an app business, computer programmers and developers are vital to creating bug-free and reliable pieces of software that can be installed on a variety of popular platforms including iOS, Android, Microsoft phone, and Amazon Kindle. In addition, skilled designers that understand consumer psychology and what they demand are essential. The app must be intuitive, easy to use, and pleasing to look at. With so much competition, apps can’t just look good, they must look amazing. Branding and promoting the app in a unique and catchy way is important. Even if two or more companies offer basically the same service, individual apps can be differentiated by the design, look and feel of the interface and user experience.

Customers also demand that apps be easy to install and to use. People do not have the time or patience to learn how to navigate a complicated app or website when a competitor may offer a much more intuitive version. Keeping the app as simple as possible while conserving its usefulness and design features is key. It is also important to ensure that the app or site doesn’t force users into long, drawn-out sessions when time is of the essence. Making the interaction time-efficient and concise adds to the ease of use and overall user experience.

THE BOTTOM LINE
It starts with a good idea, followed by effective execution of a stand-out app, website, service, or product. By learning the lessons from winners and losers of the past, new startups can be better equipped to achieve success in an increasingly competitive environment.

Apps of all shapes and sizes are now commonplace, and the typical mobile device owner interacts with multiple apps on a daily basis. Some apps have ended up becoming runaway successes bringing in millions, or even billions, of dollars for their creators. These rags to riches success stories, it must be cautioned, are the exception and not the rule. The unfortunate truth is that most app developers will work very hard to create the next best thing while barely scraping by in a world of increasing competition and consumers with short attention spans.

8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand

Social media has great potential for businesses looking to increase their reach, traffic and leads. But when it’s not used properly, it can actually damage your brand’s reputation.

1. Not properly vetting and supervising your social media managers
Your social media managers are the face of your company online. With social media now driving almost a third of all referral traffic, it’s absolutely critical that those responsible for driving these referrals are up to the task.

While mistakes can’t always be avoided, we’ve seen too many examples of inexperienced, untrained or poorly supervised employees getting free reign of the company’s social media accounts.

2. Not responding appropriately to negative feedback
Negative feedback is going to happen. You can choose to ignore it, fight back or take it in stride. How you respond says a lot about your brand.

Some brands operate under the assumption that they can simply delete negative comments without repercussions. Others believe that ignoring negative or inflammatory comments is the way to go.

Rather than avoiding, why not use these situations as opportunities to shine? Respond thoughtfully and promptly to negative comments, and use them as opportunities to showcase your commitment to customer service.

3. Buying likes or followers
Buying fans or followers is risky business. Some brands still believe that padding their numbers by paying for fictitious fans is a harmless endeavor. But did you know that buying Facebook fans can actually hurt your brand by decreasing your overall reach?

Fake fans will never interact or engage with your page, signaling to Facebook that your content isn’t interesting or valuable to your audience. This leads to an overall algorithmic decrease in your post reach and visibility. You could also find your account being closed, banned or deleted should Facebook find out about your schemes.

It’s far better to focus on attracting real, interested fans who will engage with your posts.

4. Being a one-trick pony
Posting the same types of content again and again can convey the impression that your brand is boring, uncreative or just not in tune with your audience. Instead of posting link after link or quote after quote, change things up by posting a wide variety of content.

When you get hung up on posting the same types of content again and again, your followers will become less engaged and are more apt to think you simply don’t care about posting engaging content.

5. Promoting your products … constantly
There’s a time and place for promoting your business or products, even on social media. However, too many brands are still using social media as a channel for pushing their marketing message.

Social selling is all about building relationships and trust that will ultimately lead to sales. Don’t abuse the platform by using it as billboard or commercial. The 80/20 principle is a good rule of thumb: post engaging, high-value content 80 percent of the time and promote your products no more than 20 percent of the time. Better yet, think about how you can move your social media fans and followers into your online marketing funnel — then you never have to directly promote on social media.

6. Being inconsistent in use and messaging
Do you have a schedule for when and how often you post? Do you have a consistent voice that you use across all your social media profiles? Do your profile and cover photos convey what are you brand is about? How do you respond to negative feedback or criticism?

The best way to be consistent in your social media marketing is to have a strategy in place. This will include, among other elements, guidance about how and when you’ll use social media:

Guidelines for how to respond to negative comments
A frequently asked questions document that various team members can refer to. This will help ensure consistency in messaging.

7. Offering canned responses
Having a social media plan in place will help you to respond to questions and comments in a consistent manner. But the “cut and paste” method of responding to comments — particularly to criticisms — can lead to some pretty significant backlash.

While having prepared responses in place for commonly asked questions can certainly save you some time, use them with caution. Keep in mind that criticisms, negative feedback and specific questions should generally be met with thoughtful, personalized responses.

8. Spreading yourself too thin
Just because a social networking site exists doesn’t mean you have to use it. Spreading yourself thin by committing to too many networks can mean you’re not using any of them effectively.

Instead of spreading your valuable time and resources between eight sites, consider choosing the top five, three or even two sites that are the best match for your target market. It’s better to fully commit to a regular posting schedule on a few networks than letting many lie dormant.

Final thoughts
Avoiding these mistakes all comes down to ensuring your team is properly trained, using your resources wisely and responding to your fans and followers in a professional manner. When it comes down to it, treating your social media followers the same way you’d treat in-store customers or clients will help you avoid the worst of these mistakes.