If you are in the business of producing apps or software, you really want people to like what you are producing – whether it is a game or utility. The follow on question is what do you do when someone really does like your app, game or utility? Some will set up a fan site or dedicate a few pages of their existing site to your talk up your app. How do you encourage this? How can you work with your fans to help them get the most value and mileage out of their efforts promoting you?
Fan Site Package – Make it easy for your fans to promote your app. Provide graphics and terms and conditions information that they can “copy and paste” into their web site. Encourage them to let you know they are starting a fan page by providing your appropriate contact information.
Fan Site List – Keep and maintain your own list of fan pages on your site. This gives them a highly relevant and valuable backlink to show that they are “official” fan sites. Periodically review them on your own site. This can be just a brief 1-2 sentence description of what their blog is talking about this week, or point to a feature article for the month.
Privileged Access – Be available to them! Have a member of your team sit in with them on a podcast or YouTube video production. Be open to interviews, provide guest article content on game features, update them first on any new plans and upcoming releases.
Monetization Potential – Look into offering fan sites an affiliate program where they can receive a commission (5-15%) on the purchases of any new users who make purchases through your app. This can be in real money or in app currency.
“Guilds” and “Friends” – This is something that should be considered during the initial app development phase, to include or not. The idea is to make it very easy for other users to interact with others, to reach out to newcomers, and contribute to the formation of relationships, casual or professional. For purposes of utilities, while you may not use the term “guild”, you can still allow the formation of “groups”.
In example, if you are producing an app for “marathon runners”, “dieters”, “investors” (or anything like that), you have your base app that does whatever it is designed to do. Add to this a messaging system so that others can send motivation or advice.
Contests and Events – There is nothing better for a fan site than for it to have its own contests and events, especially when “everything they need to do for them” is provided. You can run your own contest or event for everyone, too; if you like. You can give your fan site/s the ability to offer their own prizes supplied by you, or provide incentive to them for helping you promote your global event. There are all kinds of activities possible in this direction – for holidays or specific professional occasions, a weekly TGIF or a nightly “happy hour”. Anything goes.