How to build your mobile community – best practices

Great content

It is much easier to build your community around some strong common interest.
Examples:

  • a food blogger in London turning a couple of years research into best burgers, coffee shops and pizzas into a Location Based Mobile app (check out our YoungAndFoodish app or this awesome video).
  • mommy blogger in Oregon listing the best shops for moms and kids, special deals or events for children
  • Country music guide app, mapping country music events and locations
  • College basketball fans app, with up to date information, game schedules, latest news and list of players

If you have an amazing asset like this you are ready to take your fans mobile. ShoutEm will make it really easy.

Up to date local and real-time information

Mobile apps are all about real-time communications and mobility. Find some local news source that your community will find useful while they are on the go and supply it in your mobile app.

Examples:

  • List all the events going on tonight around your neighborhood or city. Invite people and offer free entrance to those who check-in first. (weharlem link)
  • Map local deals, special offers or free wine tasting locations (Napa Valley Wine Tasting Finder)

Full time community manager

Imagine an empty bar. How appealing is to go in alone, sit down and have a drink or snack? Not very!

Well, downloading an app, leaving a comment and not getting any response is pretty much the same sad feeling. You need someone to monitor users activity and try to engage with them as soon as they join your mobile community and set up a tone.

Your community manager is not only there to provide a company for other people, he also has the important role of building a freindly, interesting, vibrant community inside your app. Again, imagine a really fun and entertaining barman. People will like him and be more likely to hang around with him. He is setting up a tone and profile for people who hang around in his bar.There are plenty of resources on the internet about this topic; start by typing into Google something along the lines of “Community management tips”.

Special local deals just for your members

Go out and talk to local businesses:. bars, restaurants, shops. Show them what a great app you have and pursuade them give you some special deals for your users.

Examples:

  • Free burger for every fifth check-in
  • Free coffee for posting a link to their website, Facebook or Twitter profile
  • 5% discount for regular visitors

This will make you community go crazy. Have you heard of Groupon? 🙂

Push notifications

These shouldn’t be used too often, but they can be really helpful from time to time if you have something important to announce. Regular iPhone users have dozens of apps installed on their phones, and are very unlikely to launch yours unless reminded. However, make sure that you do not abuse this feature, as users will just delete your app or disable push notifications if you do. You need to have something important to say; like news of new album releases, free concert tickets, etc…

Nice looking app

First impressions are important. If your users see that you spent a lot of time looking for great visuals, creating a logo and making your app look awesome, they are more likely to believe that you are serious about the whole thing. If you cannot do it by yourself, hire a designer or ask a designer friend to help you out. It is going to pay you back for sure; trust us on this one!