The number of smartphone users in the world today is 6.648 billion–that's 84% of the population!

A major factor spurring this growth is the creation of mobile apps that give people easy and optimized access to products, services, information, and processes.

As a Community Manager, it makes a lot of sense to roll out a mobile app for your community

With an app, you can conveniently connect with members on a channel where they are already spending a LOT of time*, facilitate deeper engagement, and enhance brand recognition.

*People now spend an average of 4.2 hours per day in apps!

However, despite smartphone use being at an all-time high, the fierce competition in the app market makes it challenging for organizations to survive. 

There are over 2.7 million apps in the Google Play store and 2.2 million in the App Store. But most of us use only nine apps per day and 30 per month, and 80 percent of mobile apps get abandoned after their first use.

So, what do you need to consider to create a community app your members will use and love?

Let's take a closer look.

Put Member Experience at the Center of Your App

Put Member Experience at the Center of Your App

A fantastic app doesn't just look great. Its interface also needs to be instantly understood by members so they can achieve their goal(s) with minimal effort! 

Your app needs to be intuitive enough so that even your least tech-savvy members can post a comment, share a photo, or RSVP to an event without thinking twice.

The key to achieving this? Test, test, and test again!

Ask a group of community members to test your community app before its launch to understand how the app feels in the hands of real users! Invite them to report any bugs or usability issues so that you know what needs fixing (or ditching) before you launch!

Remember, your app should look and feel like the desktop version of your community. Your brand should be reflected in every detail of your app–think logo, colours, fonts, graphics, etc– to reinforce your brand identity and provide a consistent member experience.

Harness the Power of Personalization

Personalization has become a must for mobile apps! Why? In short, because your audience expects it. (One study found that mobile app personalization is the number one expectation among internet and mobile users in the near future!)

You can use personalization inside your app through pop-ups, event recommendations, or special offers based on location or preferences. You can also use personalization from outside the app through personalized push notifications.

So, what data do you need to do this?

You can personalize your members' app experience based on demographics such as age, location, likes, and dislikes. For example, if you've got an event coming up in Paris, you can send everyone based there a notification to save their spot!

Focus on your Marketing Strategy

marketing_strategy

For your app to be a success, you need to decide how to market it to your members. 

Start marketing your app way before its launch, and continue long after it hits the app store. Generating buzz is a great way to build interest in your app with your current and potential members. 

Here are some ideas (in no particular order) to inspire you!

Use teasers

Create a teaser landing page (which could also be handy for getting beta testers). 

Create an impactful landing page

Make a simple and clear introduction of your app to encourage members to download it!PetrolettesScreenshot of Hivebrite Client, Petrolettes' landing page

Host an app launch party

Celebrate your hard work and promote your app in the process!

Gather public reviews

Once your app gets traction, ask your super users for reviews to encourage others to sign up.

Apply for an app award

There are tons of organizations that give prizes to new, innovative apps! Apply to a competition that you would be a good candidate for.

Run competitions

Offer prizes for the first people who download your app.

Promote your app in all communications

Include a link to your app download page in your community, blog, podcast, email signature, social media, etc.

How Hivebrite Helps

With Hivebrite, you can create your branded community app to create extra value for your community members!

Empower community admins to send push campaigns based on demographic data to promote news articles, events, and more.

You can also facilitate engagement within your community with app features such as Hivebrite's native "Who's around me" feature that lets your members see who is located near them on an intuitive map interface.

Schedule your personalized demo to discover more!

Written by Hivebrite
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