Beyond the in-store promotions and advertising to increase consumer awareness when launching a new retail product, there's always the hope that satisfied customers will recommend the product to their friends and family. Nothing helps sell a product better than good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
This is especially true in the mobile world of iPhone and iPad apps, where users are constantly texting, tweeting and chatting with friends. In this digital environment, virtual word-of-mouth recommendations can play a huge role in the success of a mobile app.
There's no guarantee that people will talk about your iPhone or iPad app on their own. But fortunately, there are resources available for taking a more proactive approach. With very little development effort, you can turn your mobile app into its own promotional tool by integrating grassroots community marketing tactics directly into the app.
At the next meeting with your app development team, pass along these helpful tips:
1. Enable users to easily spread the word about your app. Share game scores and achievements by adding in-app social networking support for email, Twitter and Facebook. Apple's iOS SDK provides native support for in-app email. Third-party, open-source solutions are available for in-app connections to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms such as Matt Gemmell's MGTwitterEngine, Facebook's iOS SDK and Nate Weiner's excellent ShareKit.
2. Reach out to your satisfied users by gracefully encouraging positive reviews from within the App Store. Customer ratings and reviews can greatly influence sales. Frustrated users are motivated to vent their anger, but satisfied customers may not be as likely to voice their opinion. Prompt users for positive feedback within your app after they've enjoyed the app for a few days or when they've earned a high score or achieved some other sense of accomplishment. Provide a convenient button that links to your product page in the App Store.